isleworth and syon school for boys


translator: grace hetherington

Top sets learning French in Years 8 and 9 at Isleworth and Syon School for Boys were participants in a Translation Nation workshop in the summer term of 2013.

The boys already had a good grasp on the professional pathways available to people with languages, but were able to learn more about the role of translators and interpreters through conversation with French linguist Grace Hetherington.

The boys were avid translators when it came to creating their own subtitles for clips from the French film ‘Entre Les Murs’ or ‘The Class’. Their teacher remarked that the pre-prepared glossary was a powerful motivator as it disposed of the need for dictionaries. Teaching staff also felt that the challenge of finding English equivalents for the informal French language used in the film was excellent at stretching the boys and giving them aspirations to take their language learning even further.

Many boys remarked that they would like to have a career in languages and translator Grace was extremely impressed with their commitment throughout the sessions. She said: “I feel that students came away realising that to be a successful translator you need to have a lot of cultural awareness in the languages you are translating, and a creative side when it comes to finding innovative solutions to difficult translations.”