translator: sarah griffin-mason
In 2013 Translation Nation spread its wings and arrived at Corpus Christi RC Primary School in Portsmouth. Translator Sarah Griffin-Mason, assisted by two able Eastside volunteers, excited the children with an opening assembly in Spanish and encouraged them to explore languages and translation together.
Although there weren’t many children in the core group who were fluent in other languages, they were joined on Day Two by bi-lingual staff members and stories were shared in Tagalog, Konkani, Polish, Shona and Malayalam.
The class were excellent listeners and enthusiastic to work together to develop their favourite five intriguing tales. They demonstrated excellent concentration and attention to detail and produced thoughtful written work to be turned into plays and performed.
With a strong drama department, acting and costumes proved a real forte for the group and the 200-strong audience on Day 3 (which included fifteen parents and many members of teaching staff) were in for a real treat as the children took to the stage to perform ‘Little White Goose’, ‘Firewood’, ‘The Dragon’, ‘Monkey and Hare’ and ‘The Three Axes’.
The children were buzzing with excitement when they reflected on their Translation Nation experience. Wiktoria said “I like being allowed to use Polish in school” and Thomas received praise for his expressive delivery as narrator of the winning story ‘The Three Axes’. He responded “I was not acting, that is how it is”.
The Headteacher was extremely impressed by the outcome and spoke of how children who are often overlooked were given a chance to shine. She is now planning a similar experience to become an annual event for the school to celebrate the children’s languages.