Child’s Play

14 October 2016, 13.00-14.00, 16.00-17.00, 18.30-19.30, King’s College London, Strand Campus

The event is free, but please reserve a place here.

led by Ricarda Vidal, Maria-José Blanco and Carolin Huth 

Hopscotch at Somerset House, photo by Maria-José Blanco

Hopscotch at Somerset House, photo by Maria-José Blanco

Is there a difference between Hopscotch, ‘Rayuela’ and ‘Himmel und Hölle’? Do Chinese children play Cops and Robbers? Do English children know a ball game that involves eating cherries? What do ‘Statues’ have to do with ‘Grandmother’s Footsteps’? When Venezuelan children play ‘Pollito Inglés’ (little English chick), Spanish children play ‘Escondite inglés’ (English Hide and Seek) and children in the Dominican Republic play  ‘Mariposita es’ (It’s Little Butterfly), do they all play the same game?

Children play games across the world. Often those games follow similar rules across different cultures, but not always and when they do, there are often subtle but not insignificant differences.
While we usually use games to explore translation, we decided to turn things around on this occasion and use translation to play. Between April and July 2016 we collected memories of games played by British and international students and staff of King’s College London when they were children. We ended up with the names and rules of games from 19 countries, which we translated into English, both literally and by finding equivalent games. We also conducted a series of ‘game sessions’. Maria-José used our joint research as the basis for a short film which also includes interviews and additional research. 

Based on our collection of favourite childhood games, we have devised a series of new multilingual games, which we presented alongside the short film at the Arts and Humanities Festival at King’s College on 14th October. 

Programme for the day :

13.00-14.00: Jump & run games in the Quad, Strand Campus 

—> Please meet at the archway at the south end of the Quad; that which leads on to the terrace overlooking Embankment.

16.00-17.00: Games with words and rhymes, River Room, King’s Building, Strand Campus

18.30-19.30: Introductory talk, film screening, and clapping games, River Room, King’s Building, Strand Campus