Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lost in Translation

It was mostly a chore-filled weekend, so I'm sure none of you are dying to see photos from my trip to Costco, etc. I'm lesson planning on this Sunday evening, so I thought I'd pop in and nerd out on a little sociology. Bear with me here - I think language is fascinating.

In sociology we teach a concept called the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which suggests that language predisposes us to see the world in a certain way, and that the words we use are symbols that reveal much about our particular cultures, lifestyles, and values. To illustrate this concept, I show my students untranslatable words from other countries. Then we work together to determine what the unique norms and values of these cultures are, considering they use particular words that English can't identify. Artist Ella Frances Sanders illustrates untranslatable words and their meanings, and they are just wonderful...

You can see more of these lovely words here

I hope your weekend was filled with sobremesa, komorebi, waldeinsamkeit, mangata, or something else enchanting and untranslatable. 

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