Language learning in schools across the UK has been in major decline for years, and this is having a significant impact on numbers applying to study languages at university. Despite a wonderful community of motivated and committed teachers, an increasingly limited school curriculum has put languages in crisis. 

In 2018 we set out to address this crisis by founding the Queen’s Translation Exchange (QTE), an ambitious project that inspires young language-learners to continue with their studies through their schooling and beyond, by making culture intrinsic to language-learning and building a community of linguists. 

We were met with an explosion of interest and enthusiasm from Modern Languages teachers and pupils right across the UK. Thousands of teachers have registered to involve their pupils in our programmes, and last year over 15,000 young people aged 11-18 took part in our Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators. 

Our work

The Translation Exchange focuses on energising public support for languages and international culture as well as working directly with schools. Our public-facing work includes regular events both online and in Oxford, often involving international writers and translators, alongside our termly International Book Club. We regularly offer a Residency to a translator, based at The Queen’s College.  

QTE offers numerous Opportunities for Schools, which you can browse here. In addition to the national Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, QTE partners with literary charity the Stephen Spender Trust to run a unique training programme for students, Creative Translation Ambassadors. Our undergraduate ambassadors design and deliver creative translation workshops in local schools. 

The Translation Exchange was founded at The Queen’s College, as a collaboration between the Faculties of Medieval and Modern Languages, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classics, and English at the University of Oxford. 

The Translation Exchange’s Director, Charlotte Ryland, presents the project. 

Meet the Translation Exchange team and explore our blog by clicking on the tiles below. 

Working with the Translation Exchange ended up being the main reason why I decided to apply to Queen’s. After participating in the International Book Club and the Anthea Bell Prize, I became sure that the Queen’s community would be for me. They were incredibly enriching, inclusive and welcoming projects. I would encourage any potential applicants to get involved.

Eva, current Queen’s undergraduate