According to anthropologists (like C. Geertz in his seminal work The Interpretation of Cultures), religion is the most important product of culture. It is a comprehensive worldview that purports to give its devotees access to "the real reality" and help them transcend; it also norms behavior and puts forward a clear roadmap for decision-making. In … Continue reading Brand Religion? Try Culture First
To my dear readers: Hi guys, I hope everyone is doing well! I was wondering if any of you might like to help me with my new linguistic pet project. I was wondering how far the equality of the sexes has come and what it feels like to be a woman in our day-to-day interactions … Continue reading Linguistic Research Project – Humble Request
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
Motto: "What's in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other name will smell as sweet."William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet Over the weekend, a couple of my friends have watched Michael Moore's latest documentary, Planet of the Humans. The one aspect that caused the most bewilderment among them seems to be the … Continue reading Language and Deception: Distortion and Socially Constructed Reality
To say that words are powerful, that they influence thought and perception, and engender representations is a truism. Their force and importance is uncontested. Sometimes it is the case, however, that a new physical context emerges before we even have a concept for it. And for it to become a psychological reality, a perceptible reality that … Continue reading Ways Out of the Lockdown: 4 Types of Discursive Strategies
Motto: "The problem with words is you don't know whose mouths they've been in." (Dennis Potter) Ever since Aristotle, and probably way before that, our world has been both aware of and fascinated by the hypnotic power of words. Our word choices and how we put them together to create context and meaning, social representations … Continue reading Language and Thought: How Interconnected Are They?
As Wikipedia will have it, transcreation (the craft of creative translation) refers to "the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone, and context. A successfully transcreated message evokes the same emotions and carries the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language." That's … Continue reading How discourse analysis helps me be a better transcreator
Why does language matter? Why is it important and beneficial for people to have very good language skills? Postmodern culture theorists will tell you all notions are socially constructed, and that language is used not only to reflect, but also to co-create realities. In a sense, all reality is textual: it depends itself on language … Continue reading Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (I)
Words are have impact. Let us start with this axiom. A word is a powerful tool. And powerful tools can be both excellent friends and formidable enemies. The language we use and our own intra/interpersonal communication style impact how we experience and interpret our world and our life. They might even end up defining how … Continue reading Language and Cognition – Can Linguistic Choices Lead to “Bad Thinking”?
So how do we make sense of words, sentences and texts? How are we able to decipher discourse and take part in conversation? What are the required elements of meaning and how are they glued together? Words usually have both a conceptual meaning (their literal definition in a dictionary, the reference they point to in … Continue reading Meaning Revisited