Empires and nation states alike used maps to practically and discursively construct territory. Such maps were often intercultural productions, and thus illustrate the role of translation in diplomacy. This article analyzes border-making between and of the Russian, Qing, and Dzungar Empires in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, thus regionalizing Western Europe. This focus shows, first, how linguistic diplomatic actors could be missionaries and scholars, but also foreign prisoners of war. Second, it shows the role of non-textual translation, and the merging of cosmologies and scientific traditions. Finally, this article argues that intertwined practices of diplomacy, translation, and mapmaking had real and devastating effects on the perception of borders and territorial politics in the Central Asian borderlands.