Spoken word & Live literature

The Big Translate

Part of

Join children from local primary schools as they translate strikingly illustrated books from around the world into English.

The Big Translate is led by 20 budding translators from King’s College London, who have been trained by the Translators in Schools programme.

Under their guidance, the 60 participating children discover that everything – story, pictures and tone alike – needs translating. They become code-cracking language detectives, using glossaries to make first a literal translation, then a polished, nuanced version.

Along the way they learn what translation involves, what happens to books when they make the journey from one language (and culture) to another, and how different languages and translated literature can enrich our lives. The children then take to the stage to talk about what they have learned.

We are especially keen to invite children for whom English is not their first language.

Dates & times

21 Jun 2017
Approximate run time: 120 mins
  • 10:00 am


The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall

need to know

Age recommendation
Years 5 and 6

School bookings only. Teacher tickets are free (1:5 ratio of teachers to children). Student tickets are £4 each. Schools can book up to 30 places. Group bookings can be made by phone on 020 7960 4225.

before & after

Exterior view of Wagamama, Southbank Centre
Inspired by canteen-style Japanese noodle bars, Wagamama delivers lively pan-Asian food
Food from Las Iguanas at the Southbank Centre
Las Iguanas brings you Latin cool, mouth-watering ingredients and South American culture