How do you feel about poetic licenses, lax grammar, and invented words? Is language a living organism, constantly evolving, or should a strictly standardized version be enforced? Here's what Romanian-French philosopher E. M. Cioran thinks: "A dead language (...) is a language in which you don't have the right to make mistakes. Which means that … Continue reading Mistake or Linguistic Innovation?
Far be it from me to make light of the difficult times we are all going through, but sanity sometimes requires a lighter touch ("Dinge auf die leichte Schulter nehmen" as the Germans would phrase it), so I thought I'd bring you today some intercultural competence in the form of jokes and puns about quarantine, … Continue reading Applied Cultural Linguistics: Romanian Jokes About the Pandemic
As award-winning blogger Maria Popova once said, "We can never see the world as it really is". And that's because, on the one hand, we are part of the very system we are trying to describe, and on the other because the things we perceive make little or no sense to us until we plot … Continue reading How Do We Make Sense of Things? The Language Connection
In our lives, change is inevitable. It's always on the prowl, in the background, hiding behind an illusion of stability and safety. When 'black swan' events such as the Covid-19 crisis occur, companies are forced to implement changes to their work environments and their business model at the drop of a hat. But how to … Continue reading Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider
Good question. But what is genderlect, anyway? Linguists use this blending of gender and dialect to describe how language use differs between men and women (and also to sound cool). Do men and women use language differently? A large body of research shows that yes, indeed they do. With the advancement of gender equality, these … Continue reading Genderlect: Why Is It Important?
Nowhere is aspirational writing more at home than in the fashion and cosmetics industries. Lotions and moisturizers, dresses and accessories will do all sorts of exquisite things to your skin and figure: they hydrate and cleanse, revitalize and smooth, fortify and enliven. They can flatter your silhouette, highlight your natural curves and make you shine. … Continue reading Skincare Words 101: The Tricky Difference Between ‘Alina’ and ‘Alinta’ in Romanian
"Parties can become angry or entrenched in their positions. Perceptions become distorted, and judgments are biased. The parties stop communicating effectively and instead blame one another. One party has a conflict management style that is not compatible with the other. Perceptions are so different that the parties do not believe there is any possible compatibility … Continue reading Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock
Unless you live alone on a mountain top, you are involved in negotiations every single day. (And even hermits have to drive a ruthless bargain with themselves every once in a while - yes, negotiations can be intrapersonal too). Even though the term sounds fancy, each time you try to persuade another person to do … Continue reading Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation
How do you feel about cooking? Love it? Loathe it? Personally, I am not a major fan, but the coronavirus lockdowns have turned us all into hobby chefs. Out of boredom (or dire need), we have picked up those cookbooks or browsed the net in search of something truly yummy (and not too difficult to … Continue reading Food Words 101: Garen, Gären, (Er)nähren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss
If you're like me, stuck at home in Bavaria this August because of the Covid-19 pandemic (Stichwort: staycation), then you've probably noticed some pretty significant variations in weather patterns and temperatures. Last week's word of the week could very well have been 'Überschwemmung' (flooding, inundation, overflow): But do you know the difference between 'Überschwemmung', 'Überflutung' … Continue reading Weather Words 101: From ‘Überschwemmung’ to ‘Hitzewelle’