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When Words Aren’t Enough

When Words Aren't Enough. Read Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders and a Creative Challenge to go with it. Click to read more.

I haven’t shared a book that I love in a long time, and I so hope you enjoy this one. This book is a work of art – it is just beautiful. Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders can be read in just a couple of minutes, but I think it is one you will return to over and over again.

I came across this blog post on Pinterest a couple of years ago and pinned in because I thought it was so interesting and just nice to look at. I actually thought the illustrations would make great prints to frame and hang in my home. As a result of such a phenomenal response to the blog post, Sanders created a book with 52 words and illustrations of untranslatable words.

The basic idea of the book is that sometimes words are not enough. I can’t explain the book more than just to say it is interesting and engaging. It is just so nice to look at that I can’t help but feel inspired just by flipping through the pages. Inspired to do what? No idea. But, it makes me want to do something.

Actually, I do know. This book makes me want to be able to speak more than just English. Learning other languages (specifically German and Spanish) are just one of many on my long list of things I want to learn to next. I know I will get around to it eventually 🙂 In addition, it makes me wish I could draw better, not just so I could be some amazing artist, but to draw well enough to better communicate my ideas. (Also on my list.)

In the meantime, here is a creative challenge for you. If you don’t feel like buying the book or checking it out from your library, just take a look at the blog post as it has 11 of the 52 illustrations from the book.

Challenge #1

Choose one of the words and its definition as your prompt.  Write a fictional story based on that prompt.

Challenge #2

If you are feeling especially daring, choose 5 of the words at random and write a fictional story using them correctly.

Challenge #3

Choose one word. Draw your own interpretation of the word and and its meaning.

Challenge #4

Choose a word from this list of untranslatable words. Illustrate the meaning.


If you like this book and these challenges, click to enroll in my free course: Challenge Your Creativity. This course has ten other books I have chosen to inspire you and challenge your creativity. Click to enroll now.

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