This project is in collaboration with Tato, a linguist. We are both language nerds, fascinated by the (etymological) journey of words. Words are central to everyday human communication, but they are also very mysterious. Where do they come from? How do they travel in time and space? And which stories do they carry with them?
In our project Word Wanders, Tato and I want to share our love for etymology. We combine linguistic science with visual, animated storytelling to make it accessible for everyone, not just complete nerds (like we are).
Below you see screenshots from our first presentation, focused on the theme of 'the other'. For instance, did you know that the words 'hospital', 'hostile', 'hotel', 'guest', 'host' and 'xenophobia' all come from one ancient word that originally meant 'table companion'? This table companion could be friend or foe, which explains all the different meanings that these words hold nowadays!
Our presentations have been held at the Read My World Festival in 2020 and online via Zoom.

The different language groups that are part of the Proto-Indo-European language family, shortened to PIE in academic studies.

A table with different everyday objects. All words you see here originally come from other languages and actually meant something different... you can see here!