My life circles around translations of various kinds, it is almost like a repetitive theme that frames every phase. When I was studying architecture, life revolved around the translation of abstract concepts to spatial environments. When I dabbled into urban design, much of it was translation of social issues into spatial solutions. Then I worked in urban planning where much of my time was spent in China. Finally, a common meaning of translation – I translate documents from Chinese to English and English to Chinese, and at the same in time, in my head, I had to translate between these two languages while presenting and getting my ideas across.
And then I moved to China. Translation then was again, the actual language. But it goes way beyond, it traverses language and into culture. Translating to their language does not work if they do not understand the premise of these things called words. Guess this is what we call cultural barriers, which we can only overcome by understanding both sides. It was a challenging but enlightening experience. I now understand why some people can get so frustrated – one cannot stand on one side, trying to build a bridge, when you do not know how it is like on the other side.
I guess that is the same with #walls.