Culture Studies

Why is ice-cream called "glace" in France and "crème glacée" in Canada?

In Europe, it all started with Marco Polo: the explorer "discovered" ice cream during one of his adventures in the Far East and came back to Italy with this brilliant invention.France had to wait until the 16th century when Italian Catherine de Medici married the French king Henri II and brought this delight to the [...]

By | 2015-08-17T22:43:26+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips|

How can languages affect the way we think?

 Have you ever heard that the Germans’ high organizational skills are reflecting in their complex, yet rule-complying grammar? Or that people who speak a language with no future tense are happier? What about languages that do not have numbers?These are stories we hear about the differences between speakers of different languages. But the extensive research [...]

By | 2015-08-17T13:05:28+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips|

Who coined the term "software engineering"?

Some new concepts are hard to describe and get complicated names, but sometimes new terms are created and they fit perfectly. I think that software engineering is one of them. Let's find out who coined it!As explained on the NASA website, it was Margaret Hamilton, pictured above. A mathematician and computer science pioneer, she worked on the [...]

By | 2015-08-02T15:36:11+00:00 August 2nd, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions|

What is a lect?

There are subtle differences between languages, dialects, and vernaculars, but what is a lect?I recently learned that linguists call lect (or variety) any type of language or language cluster, including dialects, registers and styles.For example, the standard French lect is supposed to be the one defined by the Académie Française (French Academy), and the standard Arabic lect the [...]

By | 2015-07-22T15:53:57+00:00 July 22nd, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions|

How to exchange business cards in China?

After multiple email exchanges, you have finally succeeded in organizing a meeting in China with a large potential client. What should you do and know about business cards?As you have been told, business cards have become elements of a ceremonial in Asia, and you should be ready for it.First, it is a good idea to [...]

By | 2015-07-20T06:37:21+00:00 July 20th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions|

How can a comma remove a parking ticket?

Punctuation is very important, as we have seen in our post on punctuation fails. When it comes to writing legislation, contracts, or patents, it's even more important, as a single extra comma or missing comma can completely alter the underlying meaning. For example, the Second Amendment of the US Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the [...]

By | 2015-07-05T14:46:51+00:00 July 5th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips|

What is the color of vanilla?

We all know the color of vanilla. It's off-white right? Well, think again.Vanilla pods look like this:    The outside is a very dark brown, and the inside is almost black. So why do we associate vanilla with a yellowish white? Really, its because of the ubiquitous vanilla-flavored ice-cream. Vanilla, and "natural vanilla extract" being very expensive, the food industry [...]

By | 2015-07-05T10:23:30+00:00 July 5th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions|

How do you say Starbucks Coffee in Quebec?

French Canadians are notoriously very protective of their language, and the Charter of the French Language (La charte de la langue française), also known as Bill 101 (Loi 101), is a law in the province of Quebec erecting French as the official language and defining the language policy.In particular, product labels, instructions, manuals, warranty certificates, restaurant [...]

By | 2015-07-02T13:14:51+00:00 July 2nd, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Localization Tips|
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