Workshops and seminars

Creative translation workshops: schools

Ruth has curated and hosted lots of fun, practical workshops at secondary and middle schools, aimed at encouraging students to see the enjoyment and practical application of languages, helping to broaden students horizons and career possibilities.

In primary and secondary schools, Ruth offers creative translation and language discovery workshops, which combine code-breaking and creative writing with a taster of a new language, a new culture, and a new perspective on history and geography. See here for more details of the schools workshops Ruth offers

  • Reading in Translation Book Club, Colmore Junior School, Birmingham, 2021: as part of a research project at the University of Newcastle, Ruth gave a workshop on translating children’s literature and writing book reviews of translated junior fiction. The Year 6 pupils’ book reviews were published at World Kid Lit
  • Festival of Education, Wellington College, 2021: Ruth spoke about the principles and benefits of creative translation in the primary classroom at the panel event Creative Translation for All: Bringing authentic and inclusive texts into MFL and English classes, with Katrina Barnes and Charlotte Ryland, Director of the Stephen Spender Trust
  • Gŵyl Haf Festival of Translated Literature and Arts, June 2021: introduction to creative translation from Arabic. Hour-long online workshop for Year 5 pupils at a primary school in Monmouthshire
  • Stephen Spender Trust, 2019-2021: Ruth collaborated with primary school teachers as part of the Creative Translation in the Classroom project, a new iteration of the Translators in Schools programme. Working closely with teachers at three primary schools in Buckinghamshire, we have designed and delivered various workshops and lesson plans which introduce pupils to creative translation as an exercise in code-breaking, global cultural awareness and creative writing all in one. The aim of this project is to embed translation as a creative classroom practice that can fulfil various aspects of the curriculum including literacy, MFL, art, coding, history, geography, RE and PSHE, all within an inclusive environment that celebrates the school’s multilingual landscape. See here for more details of the schools workshops Ruth offers
  • Shadow Heroes: series of Arabic taster workshops under the title It’s All Arabic To Me! in October 2019. These workshops gave secondary school students an insight into creative translation, considering the ethical and cultural dimensions of the translation process; full glossary and support materials provided so no prior knowledge necessary of Arabic needed.
  • Cambridge Russian School: translation workshop on Yulia Yakovleva’s The Raven’s Children, February 2019

Creative translation workshops: adults

Ruth offers literary translation workshops, exploring the craft and practice of translating prose and poetry, including writing for children and young adults. Ruth also run practical workshops helping graduates and emerging translators develop their business and networking skills.

Reading in translation and diverse literature for young people

Ruth has read and reviewed children’s books from dozens of countries, many of which were translated into English from other languages. She writes about global reading for young people at World Kid LitWords Without Borders, and World Literature Today, among others, and has endless tips for anyone wanting to #ReadtheWorld and explore translated literature for young readers.

Seminars and panels on literary translation and publishing

Ruth has taken part in many panel discussions about international literature, publishing and translation.

  • University of Bath, 2021: What is literary translation? A one-hour interactive workshop exploring the role of a literary translator against the publishing landscape
  • Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing, University of Reading, 2020: Around the World in 18 Books: An introduction to literary translation in children’s and YA publishing – my seminar is now available online with notes
  • Starling forum at the University of Glasgow: Children’s Literature Translation, with a focus on Russian literature for young people
  • London Book Fair, 2019: Ruth spoke about World Kid Lit, translation and diversity in children’s publishing at this panel on Diversity in Publishing Children’s Books 
  • Anthology Extended, a literary festival at independent bookshop The Suffolk Anthology, 2019: Ruth chaired Translation as Collaboration, a panel discussion with literary translators Nashwa Gowanlock and Jessica West
  • London Book Fair, 2018: participated in a panel on the challenges of translating nonfiction
  • London Book Fair, 2016: spoke on a panel about children’s literature in translation, focussing on the three Arabic picture books Ruth translated for Outside in World’s Reading the Way project
  • British Library, 2017: Ruth spoke about queer literature in translation from Arabic and Russian, on a panel event, Translating Gay Identities, chaired by translator-in-residence Jen Calleja

Professional training and CPD for translators

She speaks regularly at careers events for students, early-career translators and publishing professionals.

  • Stephen Spender Trust, Multilingual Creators training, 2021: together with Rahul Bery, Ruth planned and delivered a 15-hour course training translators and writers to design and deliver creative translation and multilingual creative workshops in secondary schools in Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich. Multilingual Creators: Me and My City is a partnership between the Stephen Spender Trust, National Centre for Writing, New Writing North and Comma Press
  • University of Bath, University of Bristol, 2019: Took part in ITI WRG careers event for early-career freelance translators and postgraduates studying translation and interpreting
  • Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2018: postgraduate seminar on routes into freelance translation and maintaining a successful portfolio career as a linguist
  • ITI Western Regional Group, 2016: Seminar about the practicalities of a career as a literary translator (if you are a member of ITI, please see the ITI Bulletin winter 2016 issue for a detailed write-up of this event)

Language careers events: secondary and higher education

Ruth also regularly participates in careers events for high school students, undergraduates and postgraduate linguists about careers in languages, translation and publishing.

  • Various events relating to careers in languages at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the University of Bath, and the University of Edinburgh, 2009-2021
  • Ruth condensed 15+ years of experience at a language careers speed-dating event at Cheltenham College and a careers seminar at Oundle School, both 2016
  • Introductory Arabic taster sessions (including role play activities for total beginners) for European Day of Languages at various schools including Cheltenham Ladies College and Bredon Hill Academy, 2009-2013
  • Practical introduction to interpreting with UN interpreter Helen Reynolds-Brown for AS students at The Cotswold School, 2009