Swearing in a Language without Curse Words

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator It’s said that language learning starts from curse words. In various exchange programs and language learning classes, when people from different countries meet and talk about their own languages and cultures, some of the most popular expressions they learn from each other might be “hello,” “I love you,” and swearing. Just like gratitude and affection, it’s human nature to want to express anger, frustration and resentment in explicit and…

Black History Month – A Reflection Backwards and Looking Ahead

By: Omega Menkir February is a month that the world has dedicated to reflecting and remembering the histories and contributions of Black people to society, as we know it over the centuries, decades, and including their most recent innovations and contributions. This month includes updating the curriculum for children to take some time to reflect on what Black scientists, businesspersons, activists, and more have added to the world we had to make it the world…

Localization: The Secret Weapon to International Brands’ Success Revealed

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator When brands or companies want to expand their businesses to a wider audience or unknown international market, the first thing they should do is to localize their brands. This applies to everything: brand names, slogans, advertisements, product/service names, and sometimes, even creating products targeted to customers in the specific region to which they’re expanding. Localization is what makes a business abroad look local. It brings customers the familiarity of…

A Year to Be Remembered – MCIS AGM 2020 Recap

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator On October 29, MCIS held its social distancing-friendly Annual General Meeting virtually for the first time in 30 years. The AGM was a great success with over 125 attendees, and featured performances by our extremely creative language professionals, a very touching keynote speech, awards to top language professionals and partners, staff recognition awards, a presentation regarding Language Advocacy Day 2021, and an exciting online prize draw. The full stream…

Fonts and Writing Systems of the Chinese Language: What Went Wrong in Mulan?

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator As a native Chinese speaker, as much as I want to appreciate Disney’s effort in trying to recreate the story of Mulan, a famous female soldier who symbolizes bravery and loyalty in Chinese literature, the above scene gave me mixed feelings. Upon looking at the inscription on Mulan’s family sword, my feelings might be equivalent to an English speaker watching a period film, where one of the characters opens…

Without Cross-Cultural Competence, This Love Story Would Be Impossible to Tell

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Imagine you were telling someone a story. A fairy tale that involved the love between a knight and a princess. The task might sound fairly easy: A knight saw a princess. He fell in love with her, proposed to her, and they got married. Now imagine you were telling this story to a person who is completely unfamiliar with European culture. The story would be much more difficult to…

My Thoughts on Meditation

By Latha Sukumar, Executive Director We all hear about the benefits of meditation. I thought I would share my own lived experience practicing for several years. Let me start with what the common myths regarding meditation are: Meditation is concentration Meditation is thought control Meditation is to be done in a certain posture and for hours Meditation running away from problems Meditation is a religious practice But is meditation any of the above? Nor really….

Starting from “How Are You” – How Communication Barrier Goes Beyond Language

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Seven years ago, when I first came to Canada, the first culture shock I ever experienced was the question “How are you?” It was my biggest fear at the time, that someone would show up in front of me and burst out the words: “how are you?” I, feeling attacked, would have to answer in return, without having developed the conditioned response of replying with “I’m good.” Before I…

Highlights from the Human Trafficking Webinar

By Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator In early August, MCIS hosted a free webinar with the theme of Human Trafficking: The Diasporic Network Approach & the Ethnic Trap. The event was held in collaboration with Talija Koncar, an independent researcher with a Master of Art’s degree from University of Toronto in The Centre of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. Funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the webinar served as a complementary component to…