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.

I found this book quite charming. It is a fascinating peek not only into language, but also into the cultures that they represent.
I’ve been looking for a collection of these untranslatable words for some time, ever since I heard about the play Ubo Roi which contained an untranslatable profanity that greatly affected the public.

I think this would be a great gift for anyone interested in language or humanities, or even just yourself.
I can’t wait to use it in my lesson plans.