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).

Tour of Babel: bachaqueo

Emergency commerce and black markets: the Venezuelan economy’s changing face

别忘初心 (Never Forget Why We Started)

It reads as a folksier, almost familial version of the more formally translated, “remain true.”

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The T on Chinese Transmasculinity

In English, T means trans, testosterone, or gossip. In Chinese, it’s a way of life.

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The Faces of Woiye

Woiye really comes into its own during a good gossip session.

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Trasformismo and Immobilismo

The illusion of change and the reality of perpetual stasis.

Hygge Yourself!

Since the 1990s, hygge has become central to any attempt to define an otherwise elusive Danish culture.

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Gidsland

Why was the nation that created the problems the one to solve it?

Tour of Babel: qualunquismo

“I am the one who does not believe in anything or anyone any more. I am the common man.”

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Walalo Citizenship and Kenyan Citizenship are Entirely Different

When people ask if I’m Walalo, I never know what to say because it doesn’t sound like something I should own.