Entries by Megan O'Neil

Untranslatable Words

Emmanuel Macron recently vowed to “emmerder” the unvaccinated, stirring not only political controversy, but also a linguistic debate. The verb, which is derived from the noun “merde”, was translated to “piss off”, “put them in the shit” and “annoy them”, conveying varying degrees of severity. The complexities surrounding the rendering of the French president’s vulgar […]

The World’s Most Studied Languages

It’s becoming increasingly common to learn a new language. The slower pace of life permitted by the pandemic and recurring lockdowns inspired many to take to language-learning apps. Coupled with the recent international success of foreign-language content on streaming platforms, such as Money Heist and Lupin, the growing curiosity in language and culture comes as […]