I had the privilege of joining the Queen’s Translation Exchange (QTE) during my third year of studying Spanish and Russian at the University of Oxford. I took part in the Creative Translation in Schools project, and shortly after, I joined the QTE committee and volunteered to write articles for its budding blog page. This unique experience of working for an organisation that was purely focused on celebrating and encouraging the study of languages helped me to realise that I wanted to pursue a similar goal in my own career. The experience was particularly influential because it showed me that there was both a need and a desire for language-focused organisations, despite the constant messaging in society that the study of languages in the UK is in decline and gradually becoming less relevant in an AI-driven world.
The events that the Queen’s Translation Exchange hosted – translation workshops, an international book club, writers’ residencies, and even a ‘translation slam’ – showed me that establishing an organisation solely dedicated towards raising awareness of translation and language studies was neither a futile nor an unachievable goal. In short, being part of the Queen’s Translation Exchange inspired me to establish my own language-focused business, LinguaTute. LinguaTute is an online hub for language education, which offers private language tutoring, Oxbridge admissions mentoring for language applicants, a language-themed blog, and online courses on language-related topics.
Another reason why I founded LinguaTute was to raise awareness of the breadth and range of language studies. Many people don’t realise just how diverse translation, and approaches to translation, can be; many don’t view international literature in the same way, nor as analytically, as they view English literature; many have never even heard of ‘linguistics’; and most don’t realise that the study of languages can be so much more than simply learning textbook phrases such as ‘where is the library?’ and ‘I like to play football.’
What I loved about working with the Queen’s Translation Exchange was that it filled a gap in education that has existed for far too long: the language gap.
What I loved about working with the Queen’s Translation Exchange was that it filled a gap in education that has existed for far too long: the language gap. We don’t celebrate languages in the same way as we do STEM subjects – but we should – and in order to do this, we need to provide accessible resources for everyone to learn just how much the study of languages has to offer, and how important it is – not just in our day-to-day lives, but in the lives of all those who have come before us.
LinguaTute, following in the footsteps of the Queen’s Translation Exchange, aims to provide these resources and opportunities, encouraging students to explore the study of language beyond the classroom and beyond the curriculum.
My ambition for LinguaTute is for it to become an accessible network of support, platform for events, and database of resources for anyone interested in learning more about the study of languages. I am proud to say that our very first online course is now available to book; this is a French literature course taking place in Summer 2023. More information about this course can be found here.