Oxford University Translation Competition

26 May 2022

Jasmine Translation Sq

Jasmine in Year 12 (pictured) and Sruthika in Year 9 have both been selected as winners in the Oxford University Anthea Bell translation competition.

The Queen’s College Oxford launched its annual competition last term in which many of our senior pupils, across all age groups, competed. Jasmine has won for French Level 4 and Sruthika for Italian level 1.

The competition is inspired by the life and work of the great translator Anthea Bell. It aims to promote language learning across the UK and inspire creativity in the classroom. By providing teachers with the tools they need to bring translation to life, we hope to motivate more pupils to study modern foreign languages throughout their time at school and beyond.

We are always looking for opportunities to ensure that our pupils receive every opportunity to develop their language skills. The Anthea Bell competition is an inspiring and challenging way of ensuring our young linguists can prove their mettle and compete nationally if selected as one of the top 5 entries for each level in each foreign language. Students had to consider how best to render the foreign language into English so that they stayed true to the original text, but sometimes had to balance that against whether or not to retain the metre and rhyme scheme: no easy feat! Ms Mardell, Head of Modern Foreign Languages and Spanish

Jasmine, who is planning to study French and Spanish at University, chose, from a selection of competition texts, to translate a passage taken from the french novel L’ Art de perdre by Alice Zeniter. The novel tells the story of a family who moved to France following the Algerian War of Independence. In this extract, the family are moving from temporary accommodation in rural southern France (the Logis d’ Anne) to a permanent home. You can read Jasmine’s translation here.

I entered the Anthea Bell Translation Competition, as I found that the translations offered were based on fascinating topics, which I wanted to learn more about and doing this translation was not only a great way to practice my skills, but also to enrich myself. I approached the translation by reading it first, and then breaking it up phrase by phrase to help me. I then translated it word for word, and at the end I looked back over it and changed it to make it feel more fluent in English. I am very pleased to have been selected, as I enjoy translation very much, and I had fun taking part. Jasmine, Year 12