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112 pages, Hardcover
First published September 16, 2014
"If you take something from this book, other than some brilliant conversation starters, let it be the realization that you are human, that you are fundamentally, intrinsically bound to every single person on the planet with language and feelings. [...] As much as we like to differentiate ourselves, to feel like individuals and rave on expression and freedom and the experiences that are unique to each one of us, we're all made of the same stuff".
If you take something away from this book other than some brilliant conversation starters, let it be the realisation (or affirmation) that you are human, that you are fundamentally, intrinsically bound to every single person on the planet with language and feelings. — Ella Frances Sanders
The idea explored in Lost in Translation is one of my favourites. That in which English as dominant as it is has failings, it has feelings, moments that it cannot describe. Okay, English is actually a poor language despite everything. There are some beautifully poetic entries in here nearly all of them are positive on some level, or at least bittersweet. There are words like feminicidio, Bolivia (specifically LePaz) that means a homicide where a woman is targeted and killed for being a woman, usually by a partner, but nothing that negative will be included (I just like that word). The format is effective. The right-hand page is the word, the definition and associated artwork. The left-hand page is a sold colour with a short piece of commentary and the language of origin. The matching artworks are so pretty some are better than others, yes but they are wonderful and varied. All do fit their associated words well.
Some of my favourite entries
• Commuovere — Italian v. To be moved in a heartwarming way, usually relating to a story that moved you to tears.
• Hiraeth — Welsh n. A homesickness for somewhere you cannot return to the nostalgia and the grief for the lost places of your past, places that never were.
• Ya'Aburnee — Arabic n. Meaning "you bury me", a beautifully morbid declaration of one's hope that they will die before another person, as it would be too difficult living without them.
• Drachenfutter — German n. Literally, "dragon-fodder". The gift husband gives his wife when he's trying to make up for bad behaviour.
• Tsundoku — Japamese n. Leaving a book unread after being it, typically piled up together with other unread books.
• Kalpa — Sanskrit n. The passing of time on a grand cosmological scale.
If I have any criticism about this book it's the font and style used for the definitions. The definitions are on the same page as the artwork can be quite hard to read. It's slightly wobbly, almost cursive writing in white with a black outline it has poor contrast and not fantastic legibility. On some of the art, it is definitely more problematic than others and I do like the idea of the more natural font style over a formal or clearly typed one. I'm wondering if this could have been improved by the font being just a little bigger or the weight of the outline a little less.
Read for Autumn Readathon by Lilium 2021. Filling the prompt: "Warm Mug: a book you'd read in the mornings of autumn with your coffee and banana pancakes"
This is the perfect book to read in the morning, bright, colourful and easy to dip into and out of. I found it was a good way to wake up if language is your thing too because it is thought provoking. I might add another for this prompt later.
A representative gif: