I’ve lived and worked in four different countries in the past 15 years. As a dutch person, I don’t have a choice but to speak the language of the locals; I my case English and German. It’s an experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss in the world. What’s interesting about speaking a different language over a long period of time is that you at some point you start thinking in the language.
What strikes me about that is that different languages have a very different way of describing the world, and as a result you look at the world in a different way. I’m a different person when I think and speak dutch then when I think and speak english. What I’m interested in exploring in the project are the words that exist in other languages that English doesn’t really have a translation for?
Culture is about how people interact and think, and as a result languages describe situations that other languages don’t have a word for, just descriptions.
Sometimes you try to express something, but the word just isn’t there. It’s not because you lack in knowledge of the English language, but the word just doesn’t exist. Is there a word in your language that doesn’t have a direct translation in English?
We want to highlight the fun side of diversity. Show english speakers that there’s a whole world of culture that is worth checking out; it’s about appreciation of diversity. Different cultures bring different perspectives, which is enriching for all of us. To make the video connect to the audience, we’d like to take a light hearted, humorous approach. If you have any word in your language that’s funny or unexpected; brilliant! It’s also important that the work tells us something about your culture; so our audience gains appreciation for what your culture is about.
A series of short, funny clips where people of various cultures share a word with us. We put them in a setting that visualised the culture and the situation the word applies to.
We’d love to take this content beyond this project; we’re working on a site around the theme that will go open source so others can get involved so we can grow this together. Drop us a line!