Translation Festival

Day Out at the Translation Festival in Exeter for 9 Year 12 students. Report by Mrs Armour:

Today, our junior linguists May, Hannah, Steffan, Immy, Milly, Alex, Marie, Pearl and Eliza rolled up their sleeves and experienced the joy of translating short texts from French to English and from Italian to English at the Exeter Translation Festival. They were faced with various challenges : idiomatic expressions, choice of tenses, denotation and connotation, culture and context.

They then had fun taking part in the 4D translation game, mixing with other language learners to find hidden clues around Exeter city centre and solve the puzzle. Messages were written in a variety of languages. They were remarkably astute to find out what these messages meant in the time available.

Finally they enjoyed the thought-provoking talks from experts on the topic of untranslatability, for example the Dutch word "gezellig" is untranslatable due to the fact that it is so entrenched into the Dutch culture. They also learnt that a simple sentence such as "let's go and have a coffee" is very difficult to translate as the French would experience going out for a coffee very differently to, say, an Italian, a Spaniard, a German etc...

Translation is a creative skill, and knowing the culture of the target language is key. Language and culture blends together, making it so unique. This is what our junior linguists appreciated today in Exeter. What an inspiring day.


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