Sounds in translation are no snoring matter

What sound do you make when you snore? Or when you kiss? What about your eggs frying in the pan?

When drafting or designing a document that will be translated, it’s a given that your text will look (and sound) different once translated. But the same applies to our attempts to represent other noises we all make (yes, even snoring).

A cartoon featuring a line of Zzzzzs to suggest a topic is boring or that someone is asleep on the job works fine in English. But in another language it might well need to be re-created with a different representation of the sound.

snore sounds in different lanaguages

Illustrator James Chapman has created a tumblr full of fun cartoons collating some of these linguistic variations. He not only tackles human noises but the noises we ascribe to animals (and Halloween ghosts!) around the world. A serious point for multilingual designers to consider, but also a fun browse over a coffee. You can even buy posters of your favourites.