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Cross-Cultural Communication skills is a relatively new term, referring to the ability to recognize cultural differences and similarities when dealing with someone from another culture and ability to recognize features of own behavior which are affected by culture.

 

2007.10.19

Spelling – national pride – eurocrats – and the €

Filed under: Blogare necesse... — Moshu @ 20:13 (UTC)

€ – this is the sign for the EU currency, the euro. As you might have guessed, it comes from the name of the good old continent – Europe. Most of the languages that use the Latin alphabet have a name for this continent derivated from the Old Greek Εὐρώπη (originally, a mythological queen of Crete), and they spell it in a very similar way: Europe, Európa, Europa, Ewrop…

Now, we also heard a lot about the stupid thing the Eurocrats (the burocrats of the Europen Union) invent while they are sitting bored in their offices in Brussels, like the “standard” shape and the curve of the bananas… to be “euroconform”. That’s just plain idiocracy. Unfortunately for the tax payers, very well paid!

One doesn’t really expect from such idiots to have any knowledge in linguistics, although it is a commonly known fact that the Old Greek group of sound ευ, and αυ for that matter, in many Slavic languages has been evolved into “ev” and “av”, respectively. E.g. where we have auto the Russian have ‘avto’ (авто – in Cyrillic). Same with Europe, they call it Европа (try ‘yev-ro-pah’), or in transliteration: evropa. The Bulgarian name and spelling (in Cyrillic) is pretty much similar.

And till now nobody really cared how the Bulgarians, for example, call and spell the continent they live on. But they were not in the European Union (EU) till January this year. Now they are EU-members and the eurocrats want to regulate how they should call the EU currency. Not that it has been introduced in the new member states like Bulgaria or Romania, just for the future.

The Bulgarians think the name should be derivated from their own word for the continent, and spelled “evro” (евро). No way, say the eurocrats, it should be еуро (euro). [BTW, non-English speakers all pronounce it 'eh-oo-roh'] The only problem with the EU spelling is – it means urine in Bulgarian! Not a wise thing to call you money like that… even if it would be worth just shit :)

They are determined to fight the EU. They make it a national pride issue not to let the EU to dictate how they should spell in their own language. Or how they should pronounce a word, even if it is the common currency of the Union. I can feel their pain personally from a different angle: how every native English speaker thinks they should pronounce my name according to their own language’s phonetic rules. No way to make an effort to understand that other languages might have different ways to read the same letter(s). But this is not anout my name…

It is about the lack of understanding that different languages, different cultures might have a different tradition in naming the very same things. They might have a different alphabet with a long historical development that doesn’t fit in the uniformization model of some narrow minded burocrats. In our immigrant-populated Anglo-Saxon countries like Canada, US, Australia if all else fails (outside of our pretty “multicultural ghettos”) we can all turn to English as the common ground and lingua franca. The EU doesn’t have this comfort. Will they invent a new uniform language?

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3 Responses to “Spelling – national pride – eurocrats – and the €”

  1. [...] Succesfully backed up on 02:14:2008Originally Published: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 02:13:27 +0000http://crosscultural.transycan.net/blog/archives/2007/10/1… € – this is the sign for the EU currency, the euro. As you might have guessed, it comes from the name of the good old continent – Europe. Most of the languages that use the Latin alphabet have a name for this continent derivated from the Old Greek Εὐρώπη (originally, a mythological queen of […] [...]

  2. All that fuss, just because of a denomination. I don’t get it at all. Maybe we should just get rid of money altogether.

    Monica

  3. Bob vde says:

    Dont ever be ethnocentric… What?!

    Ethnocentric… Well ladies and gents, this word is one of the basic reasons behind every war and conflict in human history! It briefly means that one sees the world only from ones own culturally point of view and believe others should do the same.

    Other people in the world does not view on issues as you do my friend… no they see it differently. And so the best way of solving any kind of disagreement, is by first trying to understand how the other part sees upon the issue, and why he or she does not agree with you, and obviously ask them to do the same. After this is done, it is so much easier uniting and reaching to wise conclusions.

    But nooo, I am right, I have principals, this is not discusable, I do what I think is right…. I am ethnocentric! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about striving for justice, but do understand that other people who are going in the opposite direction are many times doing what they truthfully believe is right as well.

    Just to name an example; I am christian and with this comes certain values in my life. Then there are people who truly are Muslim believers (who knows, they might be stronger in their faith than me!) and they have a different set of values. Now if I tell them: Man, you are just dead wrong! They will tell me exactly the same thing!… leading to nothing but more frustration and the mere obsession of winning the argument. However would I choose to see/understand it from their point of view… maybe it would change from a discussion to a conversation and later on to a fika.
    1 Corinthians 9:19-23
    Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

    The greatest anthropologist of all time was probably Jesus himself, He became man, grew a beard, had to eat, couldn’t just fly around, got a favorite colour, had to use sandals and became generally vulnerable and limited and went through so many human-culturally things that he actually can tell you like:

    ‘ey dude, I know what its like!… so peace out bro’

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