TG in Schools

developed by Ricarda Vidal in collaboration with Katrina Barnes, Maria-José Blanco and Sarah Steenhorst

We are currently working on an adaption of Translation Games for use in secondary schools and are looking for teachers and schools who would like to participate. If you’re interested, please email us.

Taster Workshops in spring/summer 2015

 Tying the knot


In spring and summer 2015 we will organise a number of workshops in selected schools, which will function both as a taster for what TG can offer and a forum for interested teachers and students.

A typical taster workshop will last 60-90 minutes and will consist of a presentation of the project and its aims, a demonstration of work created in the course of Translation Games since 2013, as well as a practical element, where participants will be challenged to produce a translation of their own. Workshops will be followed by an opportunity to discuss how  TG in Schools can be developed/adapted to answer particular needs within individual schools.

Dates and locations will be announced here.

TG in Schools: Academic Year 2015/16

How it works

This is a suggestion and can be changed, widened, or narrowed – we’re open to suggestions and would love to discuss these with you.

1) Workshop for everyone: artists, translators, students and teachers will explore what translation means, how the concept can be adapted from literary translation to the arts, and how art can be seen as a language; this will be an opportunity for students to discuss fine arts and languages as well as to learn about the work of professional translators and artists

2) Creation of source text: To start with, a group of students will work with a professional writer or poet (in collaboration with their English teacher) and produce a short narrative text of 250 words (or a poem).

3) Translation Chains

Foreign Languages: The source text will be translated through a chain of languages (e.g. From English to German to French to Spanish to Urdu to Hindi – and back to English at every stage, or with English as intermediary language between the foreign languages) – each group of students works with a professional translator and their language teacher; the source text will only be available to the first group in the language chain; all subsequent groups will only have access to the translation that comes before them

 Art Genres: The source text will be translated through a chain of different media (e.g. From English to painting to dance to multimedia); students will produce their translations in workshops led by a professional artist and their art teacher; again only the first group will have access to the source text

Translation of all translations produced: This final group of students will have access to all translations (but not to the source text) and will translate these into a computer game, a film or a theatre performance. Students will be working with a game designer/film or theatre director and their media teacher.

4) Final Workshop for everyone: All translations and the source text will be revealed and discussed. We will also decide how we can best organise all the work into a final exhibition

5) Exhibition

Timing and Time Expenditure for Students and Teachers

All students will have to take part in the two workshops which frame the Translation Game (ca. 90 minutes each), in one of the Translation groups (times vary from 2 hours for Creative Writing and the Language Chain to 4-5 hours for the Art Chain and 5-6 hours for Translating Everything) as well as in the exhibition (1 day).
Teachers are expected to offer the same amount of time, plus some extra to help us prepare and run the project in their school.
If possible, then the whole project should take place over the autumn and winter terms with the exhibition opening in the last week of March 2016.

Targets and Aims

  1. To stimulate and inspire students to think out of the box and tap into their creative potential with the guidance of professional artists and translators
  2. To make foreign languages exciting/interesting to secondary school students in a playful manner
  3. To find links between the arts and other school subjects (e.g. foreign languages, media studies, PE) and weave a web of translations between them in order to find a new way of looking and approaching/ appropriating/ understanding new material.


The Team 

Katrina Barnes is a freelance translator and tutor, working between French, Spanish and English. She is particularly interested in the intersection between translation and education, and is currently researching ways in which professional translator training techniques can be applied to modern foreign language learning. Katrina is a Fellow of the Atlantis Project, which delivers intensive English teaching in the Azores and the Canary Islands, and spends much of her time promoting language and cultural exchange in the Thames Valley area through public lectures and conversation circles.

Maria-José Blanco teaches 20th-century Spanish literature, language and translation at King’s College London. Her research interests lie in contemporary Spanish writers, with a special focus on women writers and life-writing. She has published Life-writing in Carmen Martín Gaite’s Cuadernos de todo and her Novels of the 1990s  (2013), has coedited a special issue of the Journal of Romance Studies : ‘Airing the private: women’s diaries in the Luso-Hispanic World’ (2009) and has also coedited The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society (2014) and Feminine singular: women growing up through life-writing in the luso-hispanic world (2015).

Sarah Steenhorst is a freelance art manager. She holds a master’s degree in Arts Management from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge as well as a BA in Fine arts, for which she researched the importance of engagement/ community art. She was born and raised in the Netherlands and has lived in the UK for the last 2.5 years. Sarah has set up and has been involved with several Community Art Projects. At the moment she holds a voluntary position as Arts Ambassador at the Cambridge Art Salon advising and helping the team with their fundraising scheme. ( As a non-native English-speaker with a passion for the arts Sarah is interested in using different art forms to teach and experience languages as she believes those two subjects are influential in connecting and better understanding the diversity of subjects taught in school.

Ricarda Vidal is founder and director of Translation Games. She has worked as a German-English translator since 1998 and taught translation into German at King’s College London for several years. Besides her translation practice, she is a lecturer of visual culture and teaches in the Department of Culture, Media & Creative Industries at King’s College. She has published numerous articles and book chapters and is the author of Death and Desire in Car Crash Culture: A Century of Romantic Futurisms (Peter Lang, 2013) and co-editor of The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society (Berghahn, 2014) and Alternative Worlds: Blue-Sky Thinking since 1900 (Peter Lang, 2014). Together with the artist Sam Treadaway she also runs the bookwork project Revolve:R, an exploration of visual communication in collaboration with 24 international artists.