Lost in Translation – Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words was a book that I wanted to read for a long time but could not get my hands on. You can imagine how surprised I was when I saw it in the library in the underground station where I live. It is a library where people leave their books after reading, and passers-by take the books that interest them. We can say that it is a kind of neighbourhood book exchange place; I come across such beautiful books from time to time.


Lost in Translation - Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in TranslationAn Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words is a book containing many words from various languages. These words do not have a literal equivalent and are usually translated into other languages with more than one word. Although the author Ella Sanders tried to include as many languages ​​as she could, unfortunately, I could not find a Turkish word in the book. But when I saw words such as Naz, I saw what we added to our language from other languages. The book includes adorable illustrations, and the meaning of each word is embellished with relevant images.

Thanks to Lost in TranslationAn Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words, I again witnessed how people perceive the world according to their languages. The words that impressed me the most were, of course, from Japanese and German. The Japanese word Wabi-Sabi: the state of finding beauty in unperfect things and accepting the sense of life and death. The German word is Waldeinsamkeit: the state of being alone in the forest and a kind of connection with nature. If you come across Lost in TranslationAn Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words somewhere, I would say that you should definitely check it out. Enjoy!

Lost in Translation - Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation: 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 by readingLost in Translation. 

Ella Frances Sanders

Ella Frances Sanders is a New York Times and internationally-bestselling author and illustrator of three books. She lives near a windswept coastline in Ireland.

Her first book, ‘Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words’ was published in September 2014 by Ten Speed Press and became an international bestseller. It sat on the New York Times bestseller list for 4 consecutive months, was an Amazon Best Book of 2014, and has had multiple printings in multiple countries, including Japan where over 100,000 copies have been sold.

It was featured in places such as The New York Times Book Review, The New York Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Brain Pickings, Design*Sponge, Conde Nast Traveler, and Buzzfeed. In 2018, Lost in Translation was announced as the No.1 book for the biggest bookseller in Japan, Kinokuniya, which is only the second time a non-fiction title has ever been chosen for the award in the bookseller’s history.

Lost in Translation - Ella Frances Sanders

‘The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World’ was published in September 2016 by Ten Speed Press and has also been printed in over eight languages. The Illustrated Book of Sayings made the San Francisco Chronicle, Fathom, and LA Times gift guides. It was Mental Floss’ 10 Must Read Books For Fall and featured by websites like It’s Nice That, The Telegraph, CityLab, and The Times of India.

Her third book, ‘Eating the Sun: Small Musings on a Vast Universe’, was published by Penguin on April 16th 2019 to a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and another good one from Kirkus. It was the recipient of the 2019 Whirling Prize for prose, and has been translated into languages including German, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian, with a UK edition published under the title ‘A Small Illustrated Guide to the Universe’ by Blink Publishing.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.