You are here

The Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators
The Translation Exchange launched a brand new competition for schools in Autumn Term 2020. The competition is inspired by the life and work of the great translator Anthea Bell. It aims to promote language learning across the UK and to inspire creativity in the classroom. By providing teachers with the tools they need to bring translation to life, we hope to motivate more pupils to study modern foreign languages throughout their time at school and beyond.

Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, 2020-21

We are delighted that as of March 2021, over 450 schools from across the UK have registered for the Prize.

All interested teachers receive teaching packs for the prize, with ready-made resources designed to be used in class, for home learning or for extra-curricular activities.

Register here

You will receive all three resource packs, on translating poetry, fiction and non-fiction, as soon as you register. The competition tasks will take place in the second half of the summer term (June). Entrants will translate a passage from one of the 4 languages into English, and will also have the opportunity to submit more 'imaginative' translations – a passage from a novel might be reimagined as a short film or comic strip, for example. The teaching resources are available and free to all, but places in the competition are limited.

Bringing more international culture into the classroom is a central aim of the prize, and so all passages – fiction and non-fiction – will be rich in cultural content, and creativity in the translation will be rewarded. 

Information for Teachers

We are now inviting registration for the competition via this form. All those who complete the form will receive the first sets of teaching packs on translating poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Please note that places in the final phase - the competition tasks - are limited. Entry is free for all. 

All participating teachers receive teaching packs with videos, PowerPoint presentations and worksheets. 

Example slides from the first teaching pack, on translating poetry:



Anthea Bell

Anthea Bell OBE (1936–2018) ranked among the leading literary translators of the 20th and 21st centuries. Her work from German, French and Danish into English encompassed the writings of Kafka, Freud, E.T.A. Hoffmann, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Georges Simenon, W.G. Sebald, René Goscinny, Cornelia Funke and many others.  

She won numerous literary awards, some of them several times, and was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015.

We are delighted to be able to honour Anthea's great work, and her commitment to encouraging young language-learners and translators, with this prize.


The competition has been established in partnership with the Stephen Spender Trust. It is generously supported by The Queen's College and St Hugh's College, Oxford, the Independent Schools' Modern Languages Association, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London, the Institut français in London, the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK, the Swire Chinese Language Foundation, the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the Instituto Cervantes London, the Association for Language Learning and Oxford University Press. Prizes for the summer 2020 mini competition were kindly donated by Penguin Classics and the Goethe-Institut London.

This competition is inspired by the 'Juvenes Translatores' competition run by the European Commission, for which UK students are no longer eligible. We are grateful for the advice & support of our colleagues at the former European Commission Representation in the UK, which closed in December 2019. 



Mini Competition - Summer 2020 

We were delighted to receive 295 entries for our inaugural schools competition in summer 2020. All the winners and commendees are listed here.

Well done to everybody for taking part, and thank you to all the teachers who submitted their students' entries! We hope that this has whetted appetites for creative translation, and for our brand new nationwide competition for French, German, Mandarin and Spanish. 

We are grateful to the Goethe-Institut and Penguin Classics for donating book prizes for the competition.