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The Global You by Philip Whiteley, Susan Bloch

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Enhanced cultural intelligence

Languages are constructed in very different ways; there aren’t always directly equivalent terms. For this reason, we are fond of taking out words we like from other languages on long-term loan. Many languages adopt English business terms such as “networking” and “software,” while English is just as predatory, pinching “Kindergarten” and “Zeitgeist” from German, “ego” and “charisma” and “democracy” from Greek; “rapprochement,” “detente” and many others from French. To begin with, in written form, they are often italicized to denote their status as tenants rather than freeholders in the host language, but after an unofficial qualifying period, we eventually adopt them as our own. Some words like “OK” and “taxi” are ...

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