Translation Games brings literary translators, artists, designers and academics together to explore translation in a ludic programme of workshops, symposia, public exhibitions, performances and publications.

We are interested in the various layers, levels and facets of communication – visual, tactile, acoustic, vocal, gestural, olfactory, and so on…
That’s why we don’t only translate from English to French, but also from film to choreography or from Spanish to silk painting.

The project is driven by the following questions (in no particular order):

TG collage big

  1. How can we make foreign languages exciting/interesting to a general audience?
  2. What does translation mean in an artistic context? How can one define translation so that it works within the arts? How is translation different from adaptation, interpretation, illustration or response?
  3. Is there an ‘essence’ of the original that can be grasped and rendered? Is this essence the same for different art forms/ languages? Is the gaze of the literary translator different from that of the artistic translator? And if so, how?
  4. How can we use Translation Games in galleries and museums? Could it introduce a new way of looking and approaching/ appropriating/ understanding artworks?Could we stimulate interest in foreign languages via the arts?

Translation Games is one big experiment – in particular in the beginning we had no idea whether it would work, whether one can really translate between art genres or from text to textile, but so far we have been astonished by the results. And with every Game we’re getting a bit closer to answering our initial questions – while also encountering numerous new ones to add to the list…

We have been playing Translation Games since May 2013 with various rules, various players and various outcomes. Browse through our website to see the results. And please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to play with us!

Translation Games was co-founded by Ricarda Vidal and Jenny Chamarette in 2013. It was launched with the support of the Department of German and the Cultural Institute at King’s College London. Jenny regrettably left the project in March 2014. The Games are now led by Ricarda in collaboration with changing players and contributors.