Our Workshops

All the workshops in the Shadow Heroes series seek to develop the skills students need to become confident and critical translators anywhere in the world. Each workshop offers one of: a baseline training in key translation concepts and approaches; a masterclass in specific professional translation skills; a guided exploration of translation in different contexts, interrogating social and ethical situations. Each one also yields original cross-media work created by the students which they, and students from other schools, may access on our Activities page.


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Introductory Workshop

Where does translation happen? What are the ways in which we can replicate meaning? In this first workshop we look to broaden students’ definitions of translation and to discuss what makes a translation meaningful. Activities include analysing a film sequence, creating dialogue for comic strips and discussing idioms from around the world. Students' own comic strips are available in our Activities section.

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Translating Books

In our second workshop we explore a classic work of literature, tracing it forward and back in time through its different translated iterations, and students try their hand at some of the different kinds of translation they come across in the process. One text we work with is the 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) and its many and various translations into English and other languages including Mandarin, also across periods and genres including various films and a novel in tweets!

Image © www.topchinesemovies.com

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About register: Translating Slang

Why do we speak differently in a classroom to on a playing field? Do we ever use private words or language with friends or colleagues? This workshop focusses on the key concepts of slang and register, alerting students to their pre-existing facility with both and interrogating their purposes in a range of scenarios. The principal activity requires students to translate lyrics by UK grime artist Kano into a more formal and more widely understood standard English.

Subtitling Masterclass

Clémence Sebag, a professional subtitler, leads this masterclass to give students foundational skills in the techniques and software needed to subtitle a variety of media including film, music videos, news, and more.

Image © www.cinephile.ca

It's all Portuguese to us!

In this workshop we uncover students' unrealised talent as translators from Portuguese – despite none of them having studied this language before the session. Building on previous workshops’ breakdown of material to translate into visual and verbal before putting it all together, the workshop uses clips from the popular Brazilian telenovela Avenida Brasil to help students discover that they can understand more than they might think. The workshop principally focuses on finding verbal similarities between Portuguese and languages already known or studied, and finding familiar structures that enable the shapes of sentences to become clear. Students are soon on the way to becoming masters of language not just one or two languages.