Mistranslations by sothiira explores the reality of being in an interracial relationship: the cultural and or language barriers, differing perspectives, and beliefs about love.
Idil, a journalist, befriends an athlete named Seol-ha. Idil develops feelings for Seol-ha, although the latter isn’t interested in a relationship (or so she says.) That, and other misunderstandings occur between the two women. However, it’s more than a language barrier. Both hold different beliefs about love and relationships, and things become complicated as they grow closer together.
Mistranslations depicts the issues that two people from different cultures or groups experience. The interracial relationship centered in this webcomic isn’t whitewashed. Their racial and cultural differences are made clear in and out of their interactions. Moments like texting show the challenges of either saying what you want to say or risk a misunderstanding. The characters navigate different types of communication from body language to direct dialogue. How can you tell when someone’s words don’t match with their gestures and or expressions? What happens if a mistake ends without reconciliation?
Seol-ha’s relationship with her now ex-boyfriend Yeong-ho had been turbulent. By the time Yeong-ho meets up with her again, he’s held himself accountable and gotten help since. When he confesses that he still loves her, she rejects him. She wants to clear things with him and move on, but she knows that she will never feel the same way he does. As for Idil, her past experience involves a toxic relationship with a now ex-girlfriend. Like Seol-ha, Idil grapples with forgiveness and making peace.
Overall, Mistranslations is a complex story that explores how gestures and actions transcend verbal communication.
For more great webcomic recommendations, check out our Wednesday Webcomics archives!
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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