Check Out These Illustrations of Untranslatable Words

published Jan 12, 2018
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New to me, old to the internet, these illustrations of untranslatable words are an absolute delight. New Zealand based designer, Anja Iyer, found a series of words that don’t have a direct English translation and illustrated them in simple, clever ways.

(Image credit: Anja Iyer )

Iyer calls the project “Found in Translation”. Some of the words may be familiar (wabi-sabi, schadenfreude) and some of them were completely brand new to me. They cover a good swath of experiences with phrases for people, emotions, physical phenomena. The illustrations cleverly demonstrate the underlying meaning or feeling, often with a little bit of humor.

(Image credit: Anja Iyer )

Iyer started the series during the 100 day project, where artists and designer commit to practicing their art for 100 days, and is “intended to awaken, nurture and sustain your creative spirit though the cultivation of small daily acts for 100 days!” FYI the next one starts up on the 21st, if you’re interested in flexing those creative muscles, and if you’re not it’s always a fun hashtag to follow on Instagram.

You can see more illustrations at deMilked and purchase prints of the illustrations at Iyer’s Society6 shop.

More translation fun: