Ceci n'est pas une endive

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Cross country, across cultures.

How Speaking Too Many Languages Is Limiting

I know, by saying this - that speaking too many languages is limiting- I probably go against years and hours and sweat tears of very dubious as well as very serious research that say the contrary. As a matter of fact, if you go about googling the advantages of speaking many languages, the number of results is around 123 million results (yes, millions). So who the heck do I think I am to say the contrary? Well, here goes. I've always liked writing. I've written as long as I can remember, which... Lire la suite

Parler plusieurs langues engendre une certaine frustration parce qu'en choisissant une langue, on limite par défaut l'audience à laquelle on s'adresse. J'aime écrire, mais je me sens frustrée et limitée parce que je n'ai ni envie, ni même la capacité parfois, à traduire ce que j'écris dans une langue particulère. Du coup, je m'autolimite dans l'écriture. Mais j'ai décidé de changer cet état d'esprit et d'écrire, quoi qu'il arrive. Désolée si la langue ne vous convient pas.

Empathy, Culture and the Words You Use

In the many scales that exist about characterizing one's personality, be it Myers Briggs or Process Com, i inevitably fall under the "empathic" or "feeling" type. I guess no matter how many of these tests I'd take, this will always be the main streak in my character. I feel first, thought and reason come second. I value too, but that's for another blogpost. It is both the bane of my existence, and a strength I've learned to use in communication with others. I've lived in the... Lire la suite

Je suis une empathique. De base, de tout coeur et jusqu'au bout de mes orteils. Pourtant, j'ai beaucoup de mal avec certaines personnes, notamment issues de la culture nord-américaine, qui abusent de mots teintés d'empathie et leur font perdre leur force. Je me suis trouvée dans plusieurs situations de communication où l'utilisation d'un discours empathique m'a fait me poser la question de savoir si la personne qui l'émettait n'était pas en train d'essayer de m'endormir à coup de positif et bons sentiments, une situation où l'utilisation de mots qui ont leur origine dans les sentiments n'étaient pas "ressentis" mais "pensés".

Of intended puns and other language barriers

I've just read a very true blogpost about how humour just does not cross borders very well. Borders of language, but mostly, intercultural boders. I guess we're all shaped by whatever environment we evolve in, and humour usually resides in that environment. Humour appeals to things we have experienced, TV shows, books, movies, pop culture in its greater acceptance, family history, you name it. As such, it takes quite a bit of knowing the other to make sure that the joke you're about to make will... Lire la suite

L'humour est la chose la plus difficile à traduire dans un contexte interculturel. Souvent celui-ci s'inscrit dans un contexte hautement culturel et fait référence à des choses qu'une personne ayant grandi/vécu dans un autre pays ne peut comprendre. Le plus difficile à faire dans une langue qui n'est pas la sienne sont les jeux de mots, qui souvent sont pris comme des fautes de grammaire plutôt que de l'humour.

Time is Relative

Among the cultural dimensions laid out by Geert Hofstede, there is one that is based on time and our relationship to it. He calles it "Long term orientation". The idea behind this is that culture shapes the way we relate to time, or rather, that our behaviour inscribes itself in a frame that also has a relationship to time. There is a pretty standard exercise you can do when trying to help people get the grip on cultural differences, which consists of asking them to give a value to... Lire la suite

Où j'explique combien la perception du temps varie selon le cadre de référence. Par exemple, sur internet, un site qui a dix ans est un site vieux, alors qu'un hôtel ou un café qui a 10 ans et le montre est plutôt ridicule.

I Didn't Feel So White

I went to South Africa for the week-end. It was a few weeks ago already, but ever since I've wanted to write something about it. A week-end, mind you, is definitely not enough to get the hang of a country, but I guess it is just enough to get a feel of it. So what I remember, in a nutshell and a non exhaustive kind of way. It starts, I guess, with the "Armed response" signs and the spiked fences. (As an aside, it is interesting to see that typing "fence armed response" as a... Lire la suite

Petit résumé de mon voyage éclair en Afrique du Sud. L'omniprésence des panneaux "armed response" (réponse armée) sur les murs des maisons, fraude à la carte bancaire, l'hiver en plein été et le fait que je ne me suis pas sentie "blanche".

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communication(s)

Empathy, Culture and the Words You Use

06/04/2012 - In the many scales that exist about characterizing one's personality, be it Myers Briggs or Process Com, i inevitably fall under the "empathic" or "feeling"… Lire la suite

quadratische quiche

Redlichkeit ist eine Kunst

08/01/2013 - Redlichkeit ist eine Kunst, die die Deutsche beherrschen. Echt. Die Franzosen, nur manchmal. Lasst ihr mir euch ein Paar Beispiele geben. Ich lebe seit 7 Jahren in Deutschland, und… Lire la suite

the other words

How Speaking Too Many Languages Is Limiting

05/05/2013 - I know, by saying this - that speaking too many languages is limiting- I probably go against years and hours and sweat tears of very dubious as well as very serious research that… Lire la suite

somewhere else

I Didn't Feel So White

07/10/2010 - I went to South Africa for the week-end. It was a few weeks ago already, but ever since I've wanted to write something about it. A week-end, mind you, is definitely not enough to… Lire la suite

everyday life

Job Hunting: How Culturally Unconventional Can You Be?

01/06/2009 - I've always wondered if I could find a job in Germany. Not so much because of my competence or lack thereof, but rather about whether I could, or couldn't, conform to the German… Lire la suite

wiki world

Wikimedia Fundraiser: Donating Close to Home

10/12/2008 - Ever since I have been working within Wikimedia, I have tried to understand what the best way to conduct a fundraising was. I mean, what are the tools and definitions people need… Lire la suite

on my way

About "Ceci n'est pas une endive"

16/11/2007 - This blog has been turning in my head for quite a long time, actually ever since I gave a presentation at Wikimania last year in Taipei, about cultural differences. The name is a… Lire la suite

when you're a stranger

What Is Your Single Story?

17/01/2011 - A few weeks ago, I watched a fantastic talk by Chimamanda Adichie about "The Danger of A Single Story". The talk is a year old, but the message is ageless. It made me… Lire la suite

about the world

Quand la pub joue avec les stéréotypes culturels

18/05/2009 - Cet après-midi, en buvant mon café, j'ai feuilleté le dernier numéro de Géo sur l'Islande. Comme souvent quand je lis un magazine, je me suis arrêtée sur certaines pubs et… Lire la suite

Best of me

Why the French Don't Speak Any Other Language

Now here is a commonplace. I believe I have heard this a million times. The French are terrible, they won't ever speak to you in English or any other language and if you address… Lire la suite

Addressing an International Audience

Last Friday, I attended the Going Solo conference in Lausanne, a one-day conference for freelancers. I was very impressed with the quality of the speakers and of course, I tried… Lire la suite

About "Ceci n'est pas une endive"

This blog has been turning in my head for quite a long time, actually ever since I gave a presentation at Wikimania last year in Taipei, about cultural differences. The name is a… Lire la suite