Decoder

An illustration of French President Emmanuel Macron and the word emmerder.

Macron’s Vulgarity Is a Big Deal

What the French president’s choice of swear word reveals about his style of governance.

Typographical illustration of the Japanese word bimyou.

The Good, the Bad, and the Bimyou

Neither yes nor no, this idea can take you far in Japanese politics.

Maori, one wearing European garb, paddle a canoe in an engraving from 1826.

How New Zealand Recognizes the People There First

The Maori term “tangata whenua” conveys a powerful relationship with the land.

Illustration of Agbaya

Age and the Agbayas

One word perfectly captures the clash between Nigeria’s leaders and its booming young population.

Zivil Courage Illustration of words

America Doesn’t Need Heroes

Why Germany’s concept of Zivilcourage is one for the Biden era.

A shot from the March 20 episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight.

‘Baizuo’ Is a Chinese Word Conservatives Love

Whether you support Xi or Trump, sneering at progressives is a shared hobby.

India-Modi-Jumla-Postcard-Decoder

The Art of the Jumla

Why India’s Narendra Modi keeps getting away with failure.

Mileurista-Spain-decoder-foreign-policy-illustration-article

Who Wants to Be a Thousandaire?

Spain’s “mileurista” generation is a portent of things to come for the global economy.

chile-FACHO-fascism-pinochet-MAURO-ANDRÉS-illustration-02

In Chile, One Word Defines the Political Revolution

The Chilean term “facho” evokes the image of Chile’s fascist past—but also of present-day tenacity that thumbs its nose at institutional power.

 

How Muscle Works in Moscow

Understanding “krysha,” the word that explains why Russian life is all about having the right kind of protection.

Web

The 3 Most Polarizing Words in India

“Jai Shri Ram” was meant to be a celebration of a Hindu deity. But the phrase is turning into hate speech—and a dog whistle for attacks on Muslims.

posh-britain-decoder-sign-article

British Elites Know Who Isn’t Quite Their Type

The term “posh” appeals to foreigners, but the British know there are teeth underneath the smile.

The Ukrainian word for corruption, prodazhnist’

Ukrainian Corruption Is Trump’s Native Language

The U.S. president has imported prodazhnist’, Ukraine’s distinctive culture of crookedness, where everyone has a price and politics has no value.

IG-flugscham-flying-shame-decoder-germany-climate-martina-flor

Repent for Your Frequent Flyer Miles!

Feeling guilty for the carbon burned on your last flight? The Germans have a word for that.

Calo Rosa for Foreign Policy

El Salvador’s Tough Policing Isn’t What It Looks Like

Shootings reported as enfrentamientos, or confrontations, often mask killings of civilians and other misconduct.

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