“Untranslatables” Media Projects

Students will be invited to share either short essays or digital media projects exploring “Untranslatables”. These short essays and media projects will thematize how some words aren’t easily translated into other languages and retain their distinct meaning and purpose only in their original form, exploring what one word or a group of words means through creative means. Options include a 350-500-word definition; a 750-1000-word personal essay, literary text, or screenplay; a short comic; a short film, podcast, vlog, or series of TikToks; a short digital game or interactive narrative using a platform such as Twine; a series of GIFS, memes, or Instagram posts; or a larger creative project using traditional or mixed media formats. A selection of these short essays and digital media projects will be put on display in the Asian Studies Auditorium on Thursday, November 3rd.


Projects should be uploaded to this folder by Friday, October 28th at midnight. Students may submit either directly to the folder or through their instructor if this activity is part of a course assignment. The submission package should include the following items and must be a single PDF no larger than 10MB:

  • artist name, title, media format, and year of production
  • a brief artist’s statement describing the intention of the work (250 words maximum)
  • the submission itself (either as text or a high-quality image embedded in the PDF or as a link(s) to a high-quality file(s), online platform, or online video)



First Place Prizes ($100 UBC Bookstore Gift Certificate):

Mylvaganam’s Interactive Narrative “amor traducido (translated love)”

Emerson Castaneda’s Short Film “Lost in Translation”


Second Place Prizes ($50 UBC Bookstore Gift Certificate):

Prabhneet Johal’s “The Art of Sacred Words: An A-Z of Untranslatables”

Tomila Sahbaei’s “Love and Eshgh”

Natasha Najy’s “The Power of Persian Expressions: A series of Instagram posts”


Third Place Prizes ($20 UBC Bookstore Gift Certificate):

Matton Xia’s “Untranslatables: A Biased Definition of Yeet Hay”

Pavittar Johal “Untranslatables Give Valence to Languages”

Saiqah Ghafoor’s “The Intricacies of ‘Acha’”

Kara Deane’s “A Bear’s Service

Jiyeon Min’s “The Untranslatable”

Seunghan (Eric) Kim’s “The Colour of Emotion”

Eva Cowley’s “Many Faces of the Heart”