We are thrilled to announce the participants of the 2018 edition of [Foreign Affairs] Translates!

This year we have another trio of translators who will be working with a team of language and theatre translation experts alongside our team of theatre-makers and actors. The translators will bring the words of Marc-Antoine Cyr (Québec), Franz Xaver Kroetz (Germany) and Martha Márquez (Colombia) from page to stage.

We look forward to sharing these new plays and playwrights from around the world at our translation showcase in January 2019.

Get to know a little bit about this year’s translators in our mini-interviews below!

Charis Ainslie

I’m a translator from French and Italian, usually working on business texts to do with technology or wine. Translating for the theatre has been a dream of mine for many years – in fact, it was seeing a French play in translation that made me become a translator in the first place. I had no idea which doors to knock on until I met the team from [Foreign Affairs]. Then suddenly the door opened and I fell through it!

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How many languages do you speak?
French and Italian, plus some (probably hilarious) Arabic from living in Cairo for a year and some smatterings from holidays abroad. I once went to sleep listening to a ‘Learn Greek’ programme and on my way to work the next day a phrase popped into my head. I had no idea what it meant and I had to wait the whole day to get home and look it up. I was a bit disappointed when it was just ‘half a kilo of fish, please’.

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
The desert. I love the space and the silence. It’s so quiet that all you can hear is the wind and the sound of your own blood rushing through your ears. Sleeping under a desert sky feels like you’re clinging to a single tiny point on the Earth’s curve as it slowly rotates through the stars. The sun goes down to one side of you and comes up on the other – it makes you feel utterly insignificant and full of wonder.

What’s your hidden talent?
Turns out I’m a dab hand at blow darts, as I discovered in the jungle in Borneo!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mother-in-law introduced me to the concept of ‘good enough’. That’s very freeing for a perfectionist.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
It’s small scale, I know (but perhaps that means I’ll do something to make it happen!) but I’d have libraries open on Sundays and make them real centres for people to meet and share ideas and cultures.

Iwona Luszowicz

I’m half-German, half-Polish, and grew up in Reading. I studied Psychology and Philosophy, graduating in 2011. Since then, I’ve combined freelance translation with an unintentionally diverse range of jobs, working for university psychology departments, an awful café and the Quakers (amongst others). I’m currently studying for a Masters in Speech and Language Therapy but am still working out what I want to do when I grow up. I love cycling and cats.

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How many languages do you speak?
English – native speaker; German – mother tongue (literally;) Polish – terrible, especially considering my name; Latin – schoolgirl; French – less competent schoolgirl.

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
My bathroom: mismatched furnishings, guaranteed privacy, and beautiful evening sun.

What’s your hidden talent?
I make an excellent Tirolernusskuchen.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I tend to avoid people who like giving out advice, which I’ve been told isn’t the best strategy.

If you had 5 minutes to teach someone something new, what would you teach?
How to make an origami crane. I learnt how to fold them for my sister’s wedding – my family and I made several hundred as decoration – and it’s turned out to be a very reliable way of keeping children entertained.

Santiago Godoy Giraldo

I am a Colombian theatre maker, a comprising title which I’ve decided to adopt because I’m really good at sticking my nose into everything that a theatre production contains (writing, music, design, etc.), but only at an artistic level. I am completely in love with languages and wish I could live to be a thousand years so I could have time to properly learn to speak all of them.

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How many languages do you speak?
I’m a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English and French.

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
It’s the Tayrona Park on the North Coast of Colombia, a Natural Reserve on the Caribbean where you can go camping or sleep in a hammock. It has the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen and I am sure it’s what heaven looks like.

What’s your hidden talent?
My cursive hand writing is sublime.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
‘Hold on tightly, let go lightly’ applied to art-making. I still find it very difficult to master.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would make governments invest in art subjects at schools because I am a believer in the power of arts to make us better and more conscious human beings.

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