Graduate thesis (2020),
MFA Communications Design,
Pratt Institute

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How can shifts in context and form enlarge the scope of communication?


This study addresses the extension of translation, focusing on multilingual communication within and beyond linguistic frameworks. While the research begins from verbal and written language, it expands into visual imagery and artifacts. First and foremost, all of the research mostly starts from either English or Japanese, and continues to other languages; Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi, etc. The participants’ age range is also limited to 20s to 30s. As already noted previously, a particular language shapes abstract concepts into a specific form, eliminating other meanings and possibilities; the language itself is a container which impacts the idea it conveys, also shaped by social and cultural structure, and the environment, including one’s age and personal background.

Secondly, some of the projects use already existing translating tools such as Google translate. This is because this online service covers many languages compared to other tools such as DeepL Translator (https://www.deepl.com/translator) or Babel Fish (https://www.babelfish.com).

Thirdly, this thesis use “Power Ranger '' and “Godzilla” and other pop cultural icons as cultural or social artifacts. This is because commercial success supports the spread of multilingual translation and stimulates the publishing of merchandise, giving out many case studies. Also, they  exist for a long time period as a series, showing how cultural structure, linguistic structure, and environment affected them in a long time scope, allowing many researches to be published.


How can physical and non-physical context and form enlarge the scope of communication?

This thesis succeeded in revealing how people decode and learn the concept not only by verbal and written language, but also through interacting with imagery and physical objects, or with another person’s behavior. Personal memories and background often plays a principle role to fill the gap of understanding those generated in the translation process, by associating and reflecting each references that the receiver has, providing slightly different meanings with different nuances associated with each audience.

The limit of this thesis is that it is written and discussed in English, generating a particular bias, and shapes the deliverable path.

In order to continue the research,  the attempt to create further dialogue in a different language, including  the usage of different languages and tools are encouraged.