Word from the Head 19 November 2021

Translation Workshop and Meet the Author – Dr. Clémentine Beauvais

Year 11 Translation Workshop

Last Friday for Languages Week, we were very lucky to have Dr. Clémentine Beauvais come to Channing to deliver an excellent translation workshop to Year 11 French pupils. Dr. Beauvais is a French author of popular children and young adult fiction as well as a translator and professor at the University of York. She is the author of more than a dozen books, of which; ‘Brexit Romance’, ‘Songe à la Douceur’ and ‘Les Petites Reines’. She is the French translator of Carnegie-medal winners Sarah Crossan and Elizabeth Acevedo, and has translated two novels by Meg Rosoff as well as JK Rowling’s most recent novel, ‘The Ickabog’.

Dr. Beauvais led an inspiring and engaging workshop. She asked the pupils to think about what it means exactly to translate and what one needs to consider when translating. She also spoke about how she came to be a translator, which was being too impatient to wait for the French translation of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ to be published so she decided to translate it herself!

Dr. Beauvais then showed the Year 11s an extract from the Belgian poet Lisette Lombé’s slam performance of ‘C’est le temps du vin blanc’.The Year 11s had to translate the poem, not just focusing on the meaning of the words and the message of the poem but also the meter, alliteration and rhymes. The pupils then had the opportunity to recite their translations to the class and to Dr. Beauvais, who was very impressed with the quality of their work.

Meet the Author – Dr. Clémentine Beauvais – A level Pupils

Having read part of Dr. Clémentine Beauvais’ novel, ‘Songe à la Douceur’, French A level pupils had the opportunity to meet her for a Q&A session conducted entirely in French. Each A level pupil asked her a set of questions which they had prepared in advance. They asked all about the novel which is written in verse and loosely based on Pushkin’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ and Tchaikovsky’s opera version. They also asked about her other novels as well as her career as a writer, translator and professor. Meeting Dr. Beauvais enabled the pupils to practise their speaking and listening skills in an authentic way. Not only did she give a greater insight into ‘Songe à la Douceur’, which was fascinating, but she also explained how she got into writing in the first place, what her day to day looks like, as well as her greatest culture shocks living in England. Dr. Clémentine Beauvais really engaged with the pupils, leading a most interesting discussion.