22 April 2022

#AntarcticLog: Watch Your Language

Posted by Olivia Ambrogio

#AntarcticLog is a series of comics by Karen Romano Young. You can find the originals here.

Last week I posted about how I try to find the best visual image to convey the main point of a comic or visual story.  This week I’m sharing just one image — an introduction to the JOIDES Resolution and Expedition #379, in which I took part three years ago, in 2019. I continue to work with the International Ocean Drilling Program, which uses this ship to drill sediment cores from the seafloor. The JR works all over the world, with a science crew of researchers from all over the world, and a ship crew that is mostly from the Philippines. 

Drawing of a ship with a deep-sea drill and a penguin asking, What's a Deep Sea Drill Ship doing in an ice continent like this?" and some explanation of the JOIDES Resolution 2019 research.

By Karen Romano Young.

During my two months aboard as communications officer, I worked with ten other expeditioners, as well as a future communications officer who spoke Spanish, to translate this comic into ten other languages besides English that were spoken aboard, as well as Spanish, because — well, how could we not include Spanish? 

Same illustration of drill ship as above, but all text is in Japanese.

Same as initial drawing but in Hindi

Same as initial drawing but in German

Same as initial drawing but in Filipino

What do they have in common? Our common goal of investigating the deep history of the Amundsen Sea and the Antarctic glaciers that flow into it.  One common image that hits your eye no matter what language you use, communicating our mission with no need for translation. 

Happy Earth Day to you, whatever your mother tongue is. Happy Earth Day to all of us! 

P.S. Thank you to the translators of these four comics: Karstel Gohl (German), Charly Apostodero (Filipino), Waliur Rahaman (Hindi), and Masao Iwai (Japanese

Karen Romano Young is a writer, artist, deep-sea diver, and polar explorer. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram