Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is a delightful dabbling in the untranslatable (into English) words of the world. I’ve always felt that foreign languages are important to learn simply because English cannot always express everything there is to say. Artist Ella Frances Sanders brings some of these words to life with explanations an illustrations.

Two-page spreads capture each selected foreign word. One page has a description of why the word is important to the culture that created it. The next page illustrates the word, providing an as-close-as-possible translation into English.

For example, I never knew that there was a Norwegian word for everything you can put on a slice of bread. That is, meat, cheese, jam, peanut butter. I’d say “condiments” but it sounds like the Norwegian word includes so much more!

My favorite word was the Italian word cummuovere, which means, essentially, reading something that moves you to tears. I love it when that happens.

Lost in Translation is a fun look at words of the world, and I imagine it would be a delightful coffee table book, given the great conversation starters the untranslatable words could create.

Note: I received a digital review copy of this book for review consideration.

Reviewed on October 15, 2014

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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