Tour of Babel

Tour of Babel

Tour of Babel is a regular Popula column, in which we translate the world’s words that can’t be translated, the phrases and expressions that don’t travel (but that also, it turns out, do).

Throwing in the Trowel

The art of punditry is not too far from masonry.

Tour of Babel Primary category in which blog post is published

Thank You for Your Service

It’s a phrase you will only find in this country, because the sentiment is so distinctly American.

On Translating al-mu‘allaqāt, The Hanging Poems

"Endless night, won't you clear off/with the coming dawn?"

Tour of Babel Primary category in which blog post is published

America is a Caliphate

All is not well in the realm, however.

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Une Fronde

The idea that a nation is congenitally disposed to rebellion or freedom can easily provide cover for servility and subjugation.

Tour of Babel Primary category in which blog post is published

In Search of the Verandah Boys

The capital WE of the hungry and disenfranchised

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The Requirement to Integrate

A few years ago, these words were openly reviled in Sweden as racist dog-whistling

“Libtard” in the Chinese style

Activists in China concerned with social justice issues are derided for their "baizuo" mentality.

Tour of Babel Primary category in which blog post is published

Our Own Private Cacique

I will cross my arms and Comala will starve.