A-level Languages students from Cornwall College are demonstrating their ‘way with words’ as they embark on a collaboration with a local children’s book author.
The students, all currently studying A-levels in Modern Foreign Languages at the College’s St Austell campus, have been providing their linguistics skills to children’s author and illustrator Sally Burley.
Alongside their teacher Lea Kenton, the students have been working with Sally to translate her book ‘Mr Wolf Lives Next Door’ into French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Sally Burley said she was “really honoured” to be asked for her book to be used as a translation project by the students at Cornwall College.
“They approached me about the book to see whether it might be a suitable translation project for the students and I had the most inspiring day working with them on the start of the translations,” she continued.
“The energy and enthusiasm of the students was amazing and we talked through some of the issues that you might come across in translating the story into another language technically but also to fit with different cultural aspects.”
Sally said that as a rhyming children’s book, she thought it might be a difficult task for the students, but her fears were unfounded.
“They have done an amazing job taking the story into the different languages while keeping the rhyming style,” she said.
“My intention is to produce either dual language or just straight translated copies with the students fully acknowledged as the translators. I’m really looking forward to being able to present the A-level students back published copies of the book with their names included.”
‘Mr Wolf Lives Next Door’ has grown into a much larger project than Sally expected as she wrote, illustrated and self-published the book as a personal project for her own child.
“I’m currently looking for an agent to take me on with the book as it has grown way beyond my initial intentions to show my then seven year old how a book could be made,” she explained.
“The book is selling well so getting something a bit more formal in place and getting it into book shops would be great. As for the future- I’ve also got a couple of other children’s books in the pipeline at the moment.”
Sally’s intention is to take the translations to print, possibly as a dual language book that can be presented to a group of primary school students who are beginning their languages journey.
A-level Modern Foreign Languages teacher Lea Kenton has been “immensely proud of my students’ efforts so far”.
“I’m always keen to promote local talent and my passion for foreign languages, so I offered Sally our services as translators,” he said.
“Translation forms part of the assessed material for GCSE and A-level languages so what better than to pursue a real translation job with this wonderful local author. The students have done a spectacular job so far and are not only motivated but are also displaying confidence in their methods of translating the book. I am really looking forward to the next developments with Sally.”
18 year old James Strickland from St Austell was one of the students involved in the translation.
James said: “I am enjoying working on the translation of the book, because it is useful to learn how to apply the things we learn in the classroom to real scenarios and activities. I am enhancing my knowledge of Modern Foreign Languages by working with others to create a translation that is accurate, and true to Sally’s original story.”
To find out about studying A-levels at Cornwall College St Austell, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.