Celebrate the world’s languages and cultures at Exeter’s Translation Festival

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Posted Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 8:38pm

The beauty of the thousands of languages around the globe will be marked at events across Exeter this week

Linguistic diversity will be celebrated at the University of Exeter’s Translation Festival, held at the Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter Central Library and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum on Friday, 27 September.

The aim of the one-day event, funded by the British Academy and the College of Humanities, is to highlight the richness different languages and cultures bring to our lives. Workshops, film screenings and discussions will be run by translators and researchers and artists and are suitable for all ages.

Eliana Maestri, who is organising the event along with translation MA students and Professor Michelle Bolduc from the University of Exeter, said: “These events will help people explore what it means to migrate ideas, texts, people and objects across borders, and translate words into other languages. There are fun activities for all ages, and there will be fascinating discussions with some of the world’s leading translation experts. We hope to see as many members of the community as possible.”

University of Exeter translation students, who have been trained by the RAMM’s curators, will give guided tours of the museum’s textile collection in Arabic, Chinese and English.

As part of events people can find out about the impact of translation on politics, identity, food and migration. They can help bring a French and an Italian graphic novel alive in English with the “Spectacular Translation Machine” and work with professional translators in the “Transcreation” workshop.

At Exeter Central Library events include a workshop with literary translator Rosalind Harvey featuring poems from Mexican-Scottish Poet Juana Adcock. There will also be interviews with translation theory expert Emily Apter and translator Mark Mellor. People can also test their translation skills with professional translators from the Institute of Translation and Interpreting South West Network. There will be a multilingual version of the library’s Bounce and Rhyme sessions for toddlers, as well as multilingual translation performances for adults, including by the French poet Hervé Éléouet (with Professor Michelle Bolduc), performance artist Sara Zaltash and Kate Adam. Visitors to the library can also play “Wordkeys: The 4D Translation Game,” which will lead them on a translation treasure hunt around Rougemont Gardens and beyond.

At the Phoenix Arts Centre events include the screening of the documentary Africa is You, which examines the Somali-Dutch Community in Birmingham and a question and answer session with filmmaker Linde Luijnenburg. There will also be a screening of the Spanish classic film, El mundo sigue (Life Goes On), which has been newly-subtitled by University of Exeter students. There will also be a discussion about the links between migration, food and translation with University of Exeter anthropologist Harry West and translation expert Andrea Ciribuco. People can also learn about the Kurdish language during a creative workshop and there will be interviews with award-winning Kurdish writer Nazand Begikhani. The Italian visual artist Valeria Brancaforte will be exhibiting and speaking about her work. Attendees can learn about how women in Greek literature can be explored through re-translation with author and University of Exeter academics Helena Taylor and Emily Hauser.

For details of all the events see https://www.facebook.com/translationfestivalexeter and https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/modernlanguages/translationfestival/