Flowering Fish

Zhiyu You is an illustrator and visual artist born in China and based in New York. Combining painting techniques and digital drawing, You’s artistic vocabulary is developed from her Chinese heritage. Her work depicts the unequal situations of women and minorities, also the relationships between humans, animals and machines.

For her Zócalo Sketchbook, You offers us a psychedelic aquarium of fish that expand and reveal themselves to symbolize her name. “In Chinese, Zhi means wildflower, Yu means fish. So I combined and expanded these two symbols to create this series,” she tells …

Where I Go: The Best Basketball Court in Lisbon

At Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, There’s Only One Shared Language, and Everyone Is Welcome

When I arrived in Lisbon in late 2016, I was in the best basketball shape of my life. I had just finished a master’s degree in Scotland, where I had …

A still from Lupin

Hello (Bonjour) From Your Friendly TV Translator

I Hope You Enjoy My Subtitles and Dubs—Then Forget I Exist

If you don’t notice my work, it means I’m doing my job properly.

I’m an audiovisual translator, which means that I—and others like me—help you understand the languages spoken on screen: …

In Defense of the Untranslatable  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Defense of the Untranslatable 

There's Value in the Mystery When Feelings Exceed the Words We Have to Define Them

As usual, e.e. cummings was on to something. We feel before we think. Words are a process built to describe—to translate—those feelings into thoughts with agreed-upon meanings. So far, so good. But feelings are anything but a …

Is a Secret Ancient Language of Wanderers a Harbinger of Our Future? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is a Secret Ancient Language of Wanderers a Harbinger of Our Future?

The European Travelers’ Tongue Rotwelsch—Which Gave Us the Phrase ‘in a Pickle’—Has United Outcasts for Centuries

Have you ever been “in a pickle”?

Then you have encountered Rotwelsch, an ancient language of the road, spoken by vagrants and refugees, merchants and thieves since the European Middle …