Lost in Translation

An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World

by Ella Frances Sanders

An artistic collection of more than 50 drawings featuring unique, funny, and poignant foreign words that have no direct translation into English.

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? 

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.


Recent Reviews

Words to say the seemingly unsayable!

Faith Farrell

5 Stars

If you've ever felt like you were at a loss for words, then this volume may help. It's 52 words from other languages that capture in a couple syllables emotions and moments that whole English sentences can't grapple…

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Lost in Translation

Gina DeRyke

4.5 Stars

What a funny, interesting book! I received it in the mail this afternoon, and finished it the same afternoon. I love language, and loved learning about different meanings for untranslatable words.I received a copy of this book for…

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Little Book of Words

Blossom Barden

5 Stars

Cute little book! Lately we've been focusing a lot on words of other languages as we attempt to learn a second language (in the mix are German, Spanish, and Japanese). This little book is right up our alley.Here are a few pages/words…

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Lost in Translation

Sydni Jackson

5 Stars

I love finding intriguing things via Pinterest - intricate patio landscaping, a useful trick for hanging portraits more easily, a cute ring with your sweetheart's initials, and even new words. Petrichor is the smell of the earth after…

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Untranslatable Words & Charming Illustrations

Sarah Fisher

4.5 Stars

What I Loved: This book is the perfect hand-held sized art book, and the front cover copy isn't too shabby either. What lies nestled just in between this book's beautiful pages? Stunning untranslatable…

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