Culture Trip’s global network of local content creators has come together to help you explore, understand and enjoy the world through its different languages with these 12 pieces of original writing, photography, filmmaking, illustration and animation.
Plenty smacks you round the chops when you arrive in a new place. The heat, the smells, the tastes in the air, the cut and hue of the buildings, the seemingly random assemblages of characters on signs, screens and billboards, the sounds emanating from the taxi radio and the mouths of strangers. Quickly, our senses adjust to our surroundings but try as our ears might to keep up with the rest of the perceptual faculties, there’s little they can immediately do to overcome that most stubborn of barriers: language.
However, this most profound of differences is the point of entry through which we need to travel to truly understand a place and its people, from the way they perceive the world at the most basic levels to how they express their deepest emotions and loftiest thoughts. And that’s why we’ve created our Explore Your World Through Language campaign: because we want to take you on a trip across the globe with writing, photography, video, illustration and animation so that you can explore our planet’s wondrous diversity of expression and perhaps learn a little about your own relationship with language along the way.
A Polyglot’s Guide to Language Learning
Alex Rawlings tells Culture Trip how his 15 languages afford him just as many perspectives on the world.
Language Affects How We Think Time Is Passing By
Mark Naylor discovers how language has the power to change our most basic
senses and behaviours.
From Sugar to Shawty: The Evolution of U.S. Pop Lyrics
Ryan Kristobak investigates how the vocabulary of American musicians has changed
(or not) with the times.
Meet the Faroese Rapper Spitting Into a Sea of Clichés
Ann Lee talks to Trygvi Danielsen, one of the Faroe Islands’ (unsurprisingly) few rap artists, about forging an identity in his native tongue.
How South African Music Is Spreading Hope in 11 Languages
Andrew Thompson explains the importance of music in helping the country
to embrace its multilingual and multicultural identity.
These 8 Stages of Arabic Romance Will Make You Fall in Love With the Language
Jessica Harn and illustrator Alex Mellon take us through the poetic, painful business
of falling in love in the Arab world.
You’re Guaranteed to Win Every Argument With These 11 Multilingual Insults
Our social media team provide inventive comebacks and biting putdowns from
across Europe, with illustrations from Julia Wytrazek.
These Silent Signals Don’t Always Mean What You Think
Animator Joe Brooks unpacks seven ‘universal’ gestures whose interpretations
actually depend on where you are in the world.
NYC Artist Lawrence Weiner and the Art of Language
Chelsea Baldwin delves into the work of an artist who’s spent five decades stripping language of metaphor in the hopes of making it universal.
Meet the East London Legend Serving Up a Secret Language With His Pie and Mash
Cassie Doney talks to Joe Cooke about a vernacular even more esoteric than
Cockney rhyming slang, while Sophie Knight photographs.
French Expressions That Make No Sense in English
Some things just can’t be translated, so our social media team has done its best
to interpret the French language’s more obscure expressions.
These 6 Languages Were Created Completely From Scratch
James Gates examines the stories behind six constructed languages, some of which even the inventors couldn’t speak.