“Lost in translation” is an idiomatic phrase that you may encounter frequently in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information about its origin. You will also see some examples that use the phrase properly in conversations/statements and learn some alternative ways you can say this phrase and still convey the same meaning.
Lost In Translation
Lost In Translation Meaning
The phrase “lost in translation” means that during the translating process of converting one language to another, some of the original meaning of the content is lost or becomes less significant. The phrase can also be used to describe the translation of media, such as a book into a movie. Finally, the phrase can mean that the meaning of an original direction or statement was not fully understood upon delivery which resulted in confusion.
Origin of this idiom
No information about the origin of the phrase “lost in translation” could be located.
“Lost In Translation” Examples
Examples in Statements
A statement made in the local paper by a citizen who was interviewed after an accident.
- “I tried to tell him to stop before he approached the sunken roadway, but somehow my hand signals were lost in translations.”
A statement made by a celebrity in an interview with a well-known entertainment magazine.
- “Make sure to quote me accurately. I know what it feels like it to say something and have it become lost in translation.”
Examples in Conversations
A conversation between a husband and wife.
- Wife: You’re late.
- Husband: I am so sorry.
- Wife: Are you?
- Husband: Yes! Of course! I thought I was supposed to go home first and get you is all. I guess in my clouded mind this morning, your directions got lost in translation.
A conversation between two friends.
- Friend 1: Hey did you see that there is another new Harry Potter movie coming out soon?
- Friend 2: Yeah, but I don’t think I am going to go see it.
- Friend 1: What? Why not? You are a huge fan of Harry Potter, or so I thought.
- Friend 2: I am. I just think the books are so much better. So much of the book gets lost in translation once they put it on the big screen.
More interesting examples:
- Much of the book’s humour has been lost in translation.
- Some of the subtleties of the language are lost in translation.
- Much of the humour of the book was unfortunately lost in translation.
Other Ways to Say “Lost In Translation”
There are several alternative ways to say the phrase “lost in translation” and convey the same meaning. Some of the alternative things you could say instead include:
- Lost in the shuffle
- Created confusion
- Translation error
- Translation problem
- Matter of translation