Sixth Form pupils become North West Winners for Languages

Posted on: September 8th 2023School News

Sixth Form North West Winners for Languages 1

Congratulations to year 12 pupil James who was awarded Level 3 North West Winner for Chinese and to year 13 pupil Raphi who was awarded Level 4 North West Runner-up for Italian, both for the Anthea Bell Prize.

James spoke about his experiences: “This was my second time participating in the Anthea Bell Translation Competition, and the third translation competition that I have competed in overall, having also competed in the Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Competition last year, of which I was a national winner, and I enjoyed doing the translation a great deal. I was informed of the Anthea Bell competition by my Chinese teacher, Mrs. Lan, and initially did not intend to take part in it as I did not I would have time as GCSEs were coming up. Mrs. Lan, however, was very eager for me to take part, and we had a cover lesson in Chinese that week, which she said I should use to spend time on my translation. Having started my translation, I finished it at home, and, despite rushing it slightly, I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, especially as it was something other than revising or thinking about exams – immersing yourself in another language can be very relaxing.

“Given that this was my third translation competition, and the fourth piece of translation I had done for a competition (I had done two for the Stephen Spender Prize), I had some experience doing translation, though this was only the second piece of Chinese Translation I had done for a competition. Thankfully, none of the vocab or grammar was too complex! The poetry translation which I had previously done proved especially helpful, as I felt that it had given me the tools to be confident in how liberal I should be with my translation and how much I should stick to the original. Translation is fundamentally an art, and any translation which does not include a degree of creativity from the translator will therefore be flawed and incomplete, so one does have to be flexible and let one’s own interpretations be an important part of the translation, especially when it comes to aspects such as word order and punctuation, all while remaining faithful to the original. It’s this balancing act that makes translation so special, and for this reason I find myself increasingly enjoying doing translation”.

Well done to both pupils!