Amazing language infographics and illustrations from the 2013 Babel project

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At the 2013 Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Bienale in Shenzen, artists Christiaan Fruneax and Edwin Gardner presented their Babel project in the Value Factory. For all those that had never heard of this project, one need only look at the amazing slideshow for it that they have put up on Flickr. Even without the context it is a fascinating compilation of language facts and interesting bits, compiled as infographics and illustrations. For some context, I recommend reading their article on the Babel project at their website, however.

Let's have a look at the slide deck. I like how they use relatively non-controversial facts with pictures to really get you to think about the multilingual cultures we live in and actually how far we yet have to go in intercultural understanding. Just look at the EU, a massive project of currently 28 countries with almost as many different languages and cultures.

The level of integration varies on certain political, economic or legal levels. There are many cross-border issues still to resolve, and critics would say there is not that much of a common European culture. But consider the resources spent on this project and it becomes clear that decades after those dark days where we went to war with each other, we really try to bridge gaps and collaborate.

Language plays the most essential part in this. One of the research projects the EU spends lots of money on, is one that might eventually allow online dialogues of all citizens among each other and with the EU institutions, irrespective of the language used. Quite ambitious.

Watch the full slideshow at: flickr.com/photos/edwingardner/sets/72157638789696863/