Lost in Translation

The Lost in Translation card brings up the impact of misunderstandings and miscommunications. Diluting or corrupting original intentions and meanings can happen both unintentionally and intentionally. An original message of a work might be overlooked or misunderstood by those who do not understand the context or have not done adequate research, whether because of lacking resources, not understanding or not considering its importance.

The process of translating involves choices about what to include and what to omit, which opens further questions around the power that those who translate carry. You might be in the process of making difficult choices about what and who to translate, carrying the weight that this process of curation carries.

Alternative interpretations can also lead to innovative thinking and the creation of something uniquely valuable. You might be in the process of adapting ideas to fit local contexts and improving the meaning into one that is attuned to the needs of those you are translating for.

This card can also be showing up if you are experiencing benefits from connecting to others through translating. Even when not everything is perfectly understood, the effort to connect across cultural boundaries can foster collaboration and growth. Understanding that translating carries an inherent loss of the original encourages flexibility and adaptability. In the face of communication barriers, individuals and communities learn to be more attentive to non-verbal cues, seek additional context, and not take information at face value.