Lost in Translation is a collection of more than 50 illustrated words, ones that don't have a direct English translation. Basically, languages that are not our own are often a lot better at expressing particular emotions or feelings. For example, did you know that the Japanese language has a word to express the way sunlight filters through the leaves of trees? Or that there's a Finnish word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing to rest?


This is what they wrote on the back of the book:

"Lost in Translation brings to life more than fifty words that don’t have direct English translations with charming illustrations of their tender, poignant, and humorous definitions. Often these words provide insight into the cultures they come from, such as the Brazilian Portuguese word for running your fingers through a lover’s hair, the Italian word for being moved to tears by a story, or the Swedish word for a third cup of coffee. In this clever and beautifully rendered exploration of the subtleties of communication, you’ll find new ways to express yourself while getting lost in the artistry of imperfect translation."
"Charming illustrations and sheer linguistic delight." — Maria Popova, Brainpickings
"Blimey, it's tremendous." — Fraser Balaam
"Warm and fascinating." 
"A book that exudes positivity and connectedness." — Amazon 
"This book is as sweet as it sounds." — Design*Sponge



Refinery 29

Lost in Translation — Guest post for Women Writers, September 2014

Untranslatable Words — Guest post for Women Writers, March 2014


Here is a brief selection of places (both online and physical magazines) that have featured Lost in Translation, wrote about it, or raved about it.

New York Times Bestseller List (oh so casual, Lost in Translation was on the Travel bestseller list a bunch of times)
BBC Culture
Mental Floss
Design*Sponge (the book was snuggled into a 'best illustrated books this fall' list)
Design Taxi
Condé Nast Traveler (with their not entirely insignificant 2,873,169 visitors/month)
Print edition of Entertainment Weekly
The New York Times Style

The original blog post, made for the storytelling platform Maptia, was featured in hundreds (and thousands) of different places, and I definitely lost count at some point during 2013, but here are just a few of them:

Fast Co.Design
A Cup of Jo
Huffington Post

As of now, there are at least 6 different published versions the book (call me crazy but it's actually quite easy to lose track). There is a US one, a UK one, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish... and you can now really, properly buy them in the places linked below. Or alternatively, go down to your local bookstore and ask them if they have it too.

There are also several foreign translations pending, including French (to be published December 2016) and German.