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Multilingual publication The Polyglot seeks to showcase linguistic, cultural diversity

Most recent volume focuses on theme of tales

The Polyglot, Brown’s multilingual student publication, is working to showcase cultural and linguistic diversity on campus and create space on campus for underrepresented languages.

Founded by Selena Kiu ’24 and Olivia Howe ’22 in 2022, the publication — which recently released its third volume — is supported by the Center for Language Studies. Its latest issue follows a theme of tales, according to co-editor-in-chief Isabella Collins ’26.

Co-editor-in-chief Markus Joerg ’26 hopes that the most recent volume showcases “worldwide themes of the hero’s journey,” adding that for many readers, the term “fairy tale” may have Eurocentric connotations. 

“Every single culture has their own variation of these stories that have been passed down and cultivated through thousands of years,” Joerg said, describing the current volume of the Polyglot as a “wealth of personal stories.”


Joerg explained that the Polyglot aimed to represent each language possible once in the printed version of the publication, but all submissions to the publication by students were published online.

Submissions that take a more visual approach — rather than using a traditional written format — are accepted as well. Joerg noted that despite a debate concerning the inclusion of visual media in the Polyglot, these submissions were ultimately included after a sign language professor inquired how submissions in a non-written language would be handled. 

The inclusion of visual media also allows the publication to go beyond multilingualism and touch upon multiculturalism, Joerg said.

The current volume of the Polyglot includes two watercolor paintings by Ciprian Buzila PhD’22 titled “Flowers III and IV.” Buzila chose to portray flowers in their artwork because each bouquet conveys emotions and a connection between humankind and nature.

Buzila first came to learn of the Polyglot from a poster in the Writing Center and was drawn to the publication because of their background as an international student from Romania and love for multiple languages. 

“Art is a universal language that … unifies people and speaks to all of us,” Buzila said. “It is still (a) major way of expressing myself.” 

Ilektra Bampicha-Ninou ’26 submitted her work in a more traditional medium: a collection of poems written in Greek, her native language. Her poems explore specific styles of writing, rather than forming a cohesive story. Bampicha-Ninou describes the poems as personal stories and observations that are “a summary of realizations” concerning identity.

Editor Sunny Choi ’24, a former staff writer at The Herald who previously submitted a German essay for the second volume of the Polyglot, was contacted by the publication to edit a translation in the most recent volume. The text, originally written in English, was translated into Korean for the Polyglot, according to Choi. 

During the editing process, Choi said she checked if the translated piece followed the correct conventions and properly conveyed the meaning of the original piece but tried not to “overpower the translation that was originally given to (her).”

Collins said that serving as editor-in-chief of the Polyglot was “a learning curve” for both her and Joerg, as neither of them had prior experience in magazine publishing. Plus, the inflexibility of magazine layout software like Adobe InDesign made it hard to format languages that read right-to-left such as Hebrew and Arabic, Collins added.


“It’s really interesting … just to see how different languages were written” in designing the layout of the volume, Collins said. “In the publication, (there’s) such an interesting variety between all the languages and I think publishing (them) makes it look so gorgeous.”

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Manav Musunuru

Manav is a sophomore from Indiana, concentrating in International and Public Affairs. In his free time, he likes attempting the daily Connections puzzle or falling down Wikipedia rabbit holes.

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