May 24, 2024

Anthea Bell Translation Prize Winners

A huge congratulations to Year 9 student Mariam and Oakley in Year 10 who were both recognised as Midlands Area Winners for the Anthea Bell Translation Prize.

Set up by the University of Oxford in 2020, the competition aims to promote a passion for language learning across the UK.

Participating students are tasked with translating a challenging authentic text from either French or Spanish into English.

They receive no support from teachers or parents and the texts are deliberately chosen so that online translation tools cannot be used. Participants are provided with a glossary of key words and can use a dictionary if they wish.

Going far beyond deciphering the literal meaning, the student’s English translations must read smoothly and fluently whilst retaining the ideas, cultural references and flavour of the original text.

Year 9 students translated the Level Two (Key Stage 2) competition text whilst the Year 10s worked on Level Three (Key Stage 3) ; this proved to be especially difficult, with the competition organisers selecting a complicated Spanish poem Aviso de Correos.

After judging the entries, the submissions from both Mariam and Oakley were selected as winners in the Midlands category. 16,000 students took part in this competition and over 3,600 entries were judged by the organisers, putting into context the scale of this achievement.

As a reward, both students will now receive a certificate and have their names featured on the Queen’s College, Oxford University website for the next year.

On this achievement, MFL Teacher Romy De Lemos said: “We are incredibly proud of our students' dedication, curiosity and creativity!

“It is a huge achievement and one that demonstrates the winners' skill not only in mastering French or Spanish, but in understanding the nuances of language and literature in general. Congratulations to you both!”

Following this success, the school’s MFL team are already planning to incorporate preparation for next year’s competition into their curriculum, so watch this space!