Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2020

Suah Kim
Sok-dam

Untranslatability is the property of text or speech for where no equivalent can be found when translated into another language. Many of these words derive from the specific culture, so the meaning is harder to put into words in another language. Because of that there’s this miscommunication that happens between languages, just like plugging something into Google Translate and still not knowing what it means. Sok-dam is a Korean word for expression of wisdom that has been passed down from ancestors. In English, these phrases are called idioms or proverbs; phrases that have figurative meanings. Every language has its own collection of wise words with underlying ideas, principles, and values that are very unique to that culture. In response to this idea of untranslatability and thinking about how we can communicate between cultures, I designed tools to encourage learning and finding connection between Korean and English culture. I try to communicate the layers of translation from Korean to romanization, to English translation to English idiom in equivalent meaning to show how each culture interprets the same meaning differently. With the illustration and voice to help visualize in the user’s mind almost like reading a short storybook. We live in a world where people from different cultures are constantly communicating. We can’t fully understand other cultures like our own. Sok-dam is a beginning of a bigger question, how can design educate and help the communication between cultures?

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Nia Acosta

Kamal Adisa

Sakshi Agarwal

Sejal Aggarwal

Lily Saeli

K.C. Amable

Sulamita Javier Balanutsa

Emily Baro

Emily Bergerson

Xiujie Bi

Sonja Briney

Kayla Van der Byl

Dahee Byun

Kimberly Chan

Krish Chandiramani

Militza A. Rodríguez Charr

Julie Yu Chen

Xingman Cheng

Habin Cheong

Kristen Chik

Paloma Corrigan

Misha Dhanoolal

Vicky Fan

Vincent Garcia

Cyril Gordon

Yangchen Maya Gruben

Maria Guardazzi

Gideon Gulko

Esra Gumrukculer

Aanya Gupta

Arani Halder

Bobby Hill

Jinghan Hu

Olivia Hunter

Sejung Hwang

Geddes Alexander II

Jyudeh Maximilian Russ Jarrett

Madison Jennings

Won Kyung Jung

Inga Kan

Suji Kang

Ayse Yaren Kaya

Prithi Khalique

Shanjida Kibria

Celine Kim

Seowon Kim

Suah Kim

Youjong Kim

Rasheka Krishan

Eli Lederberg

Grace Ledoux

Alicia Lee

Hyunseo Suzy Lee

Natashia Lee

Rachel J. Lee

Yoo An Lee

Tiffany Leung

Emily Li

Sinong Li

Qiyao Lin

Jiayi Liu

Sichao Liu

Morella Tovar M

Ares Maia

Sophia Marinelli

Julia McGillicuddy

Sanika Mehta

Eleni Mentis

Anthony Muchai Muiruri

Daniel Mullins

Meredith Nelson

Ruowen Niu

Catalina O'Connor

Hyun sun Ohm

Carolyn Olaguivel

Lorna Oppenheim

Kyle Palma

Anastasia Contos Papakonstantinou

Brendon Park

Jimin Park

LeeJun Park

Sanha Park

Tommy Park

Tunchanok Patana-anake

Sean Phan

Delaney Poitras

Vincent Privitera

Jhoenny Ramirez

Taylor Sade Raschillo

Zhen (Yoomi) Ren

Elizabeth Richards

Rachel Rudolph

Leoder Sanchez

Maria Sanchez

Simon Sciacovelli

Shreya Shah

Seth Sharbono

Cindy Shi

Mimi Shih

Avni Shivkumar

Arunima Sinha

Shivam Sinha

Jason Decker Sloves

Bailey Storms

Tingyu Su

Yuchen Su

Kelt Tobunluepop

Kiana Toossi

Shivani Toshniwal

Jeanette Tran

Valerie Trisnadi

Yi-Chieh Tsai

Manasi Vashi

Emil Waldron

Isabella Wang

Jingyi Wang

Yuzheng Wang

Sophie Westfall

Ellie Wolfond

Jiapei Wu

Andy Yang

Xinchen Zhang

Yujing Zhang

Evelin Susan Fung Zhong

Evgeniya Zykova