Universal language

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It is only while living in a place where you can’t read the language
nor speak it, does it really make you understand how important expressions
and visuals are to you.
You got lost and need to find your way ? You might not understand the
Japanese that the person helping you is speaking, but you get the fact
that you need to keep going straight and then turn right.
You want vegetarian food ? The restaurant waiter shakes his head and you
can clearly read that –no way could you ever get completely vegetarian
food in Japan.
Smiles, gestures, body language are at times very important especially
when the language barrier comes in play.

We have somewhat universal signs for “Exit”, “Men’s room” ,
“Ladies room” etc. There are directional arrows to point you towards
the right gate at the airport. But can visuals truly be so
self-explanatory that anyone without any prior knowledge,background or
context about the visual be able to decipher it ?

Japan has fairly good signage system especially in tourist areas like
Kyoto and Tokyo.But how many can you actually decipher without any help
from a Japanese translator ?

During my stay in Japan I will try and study how strong can visual
language alone be and where, when and how could you best use translation.