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Home > Country profiles > Germany > Articles > Article detail

Haltung – On the Meaning of a Word and Its Relevance for Mediation

Thursday, 6th July 2018

"When you study languages, or gain fluency in more than one, at some point you realise that each language has its own terms that are not translatable. It is about the way language thinks for us, and in different languages or cultures this varies.

Take the English word “sophisticated.” I am bilingual in English and German, and I often work as a translator or interpreter, but I have never found an easy one-to-one translation of this word into German, no matter what the context. If you look in a dictionary you will find a long list of synonyms for this, and would need to take your pick to suit the context. Often it is easier to translate this one word with two or three words in German.

The other way round there is a great German word: “schillernd”, which can mean “gleaming,” “iridescent”, “shimmering” and much more, but is not usually used to describe optical or physical impressions and is instead a word denoting the use of language itself, as in an “iridescent” word or concept. But of course, “iridescent” won’t do the trick.

In mediation training in Germany the word Haltung is a key term. And it is another of those words that contains much more than any translation can do justice do.

Haltung is the way you hold yourself. Physically. The way you stand, sit, walk. Your body language.

Haltung is your approach to something. Your methods, the way you do things.

Haltung is your frame of mind or attitude.

Haltung is the way you look at yourself, at relationships, at other people.

Haltung is your focus.

Haltung is part of your view of life in general.

Haltung is the view you have of your own role in your profession.

Haltung contains values, the things that matter to you."

Select the link to read this insightful article in full:  

Source: Bond & Bond Mediation / University of Wildau
Language: English
Contact: Greg Bond

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