Agreeing on the winners and runners-up required some give-and-take among the judges — but if we'd been asked to pick out the top 20, which is about 5 per cent of the entries, we'd probably have found ourselves in complete agreement.
While in the under-18 category some of the contenders had evidently been told by their language teacher which poem to translate and found it hard going, several of them showed a marked talent for poetry translation and clearly regarded their task as something they enjoyed doing rather than as imposed homework, a project, or a chore. One would hope that they would continue to practise their newly discovered skill.
Interestingly enough, both in the under-18s and in the open competition, translations from Latin seemed significantly better than those from modern languages. Even though Latin imposes a number of linguistic and prosodic constraints, the translators seemed to be more comfortable in it than — often — in the modern languages. Needless to say, this is a generalization and there were some outstanding translations from living languages.