Flawless! Saran’s translation of German poem wins prize

Flawless! Saran’s translation of German poem wins prize

A Year 7 QE boy has won the Greater London prize for German for his age group in a prestigious translation competition.

Saran Anderson took the award for his translation of Grashüpfer (Grasshopper), a poem by the 19th-century poet, writer and engineer, Heinrich Seidel.

Saran was among a group of QE linguists who entered the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators – a competition run from The Queen’s College, Oxford, which attracted 16,000 participants from 300 schools nationally.  It challenges children to translate a text with precision, creativity and cultural sensitivity.

Head of Languages Helen Shephard congratulated Saran: “He impressed the judges with his flawless rendition of a German poem into English.”

She added: “Our students embraced the challenge wholeheartedly, demonstrating their passion for languages and their commitment to excellence. Their success inspires us to continue to nurture language enthusiasts and celebrate the beauty of words across borders.”

The competition is organised by The Queen’s College Translation Exchange and named in honour of renowned translator Anthea Bell, who specialised in translating children’s literature and is perhaps best known for translating the Asterix comic books from French. She died in 2018, aged 82.

Saran said: “I think everyone should have entered; the benefit is learning the language in a different way – not just translating it. It gives you a little taste of ‘more than the basics’ and, most importantly, is super fun!”

Two other Year 7 entrants, Hardit Gulati and Rachit Banker, also reflected on their experience of taking part.

“It was an exciting competition,” said Hardit, “testing not only our language interpretation skills, but also our creativity and comprehension skills on how to keep the feel of the poem in a different language!”

Rachit added: “Participating in the competition was an absolute thrill; you get to enhance your translation skills, while it also assesses your imagination, creativity and vocabulary skills. It was really exciting to keep the essence and meaning of the poem when translating from one language to another!”

QE boys have enjoyed repeated success in the competition since it was first held in 2020: like Saran, last year, Jason Tao (then in Year 11) and Olly Salter (then in Year 13) were Greater London German winners for their age groups.

  • Saran is pictured with other QE entrants in the 2024 competition.