anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘language

Breaking Down Cultural Barriers with Food in Afghanistan

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It should have come as no surprise that my favorite Dari word from nine intro language lessons would have been “lunch.”

The first step to traveling respectfully is to learn how to say “hello” “thank you” and “goodbye” in the local language. The second step is to learn a few things food related, because no matter where you are in the world, you are going to need to eat.

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Written by Anna Brones

October 29, 2012 at 08:03

Paris, tu me manques.

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Oh how this makes we want to hop on a plane and do a study abroad program all over again.

Via: Prêt à voyager

Written by Anna Brones

January 31, 2011 at 16:50

Posted in Travel

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Making the English Language More Interesting

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Being a language lover, I couldn’t resist posting this photo that I came across today.

Written by Anna Brones

December 4, 2009 at 13:39

Language ponderings

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I’m getting interviewed for NPR show The World tomorrow, all because of this post about IKEA that I wrote for Gadling a few weeks ago. Basically IKEA has a pretty complex system for naming things. For example, sofas and coffee tables are named after places in Sweden while wardrobes and hall furniture are after Norwegian locations. I am getting interviewed to talk about the Swedish language and different translations of things.
In regards to IKEA, Danes recently went into an uproar about the “mocking” nature of the store in only naming items like doormats after Danish places. Apparently doormats and carpets are considered “lesser” furniture after cooler and hipper things like couches. So what do the Danes do? Call IKEA’s system of naming their products a new form of cultural imperialism. Seriously.

This brings me back to the issues of foreign language and language in general. Most non-Scandinavian language speakers probably never put a thought into what their IKEA bed’s name really meant. Or the spice containers for that matter. But to the Scandinavian community, these names are cute, quirky, and, in the case of Denmark, symbolic of cultural frustration.

Language has many purposes. We use it to communicate, but we also use it to associate with certain cultures, traditions and societies. So for the Danes, IKEA using Danish places to name un-cool things like doormats hits a soft spot. It might sound ridiculous, but then again, you’ve never gotten in a room full of nationalistic Scandinavians.

Written by Anna Brones

February 28, 2008 at 11:58

Posted in Bike Love, Portfolio

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