The Stephen Spender Trust encourages and supports teachers to incorporate creative translation activities into their teaching practices and lessons.

The first stage of planning your own creative translation activity is finding a suitable text to translate. Whilst even the marketing content of a shampoo bottle can present interesting translation challenges, it may not be the best material to engage young people. To help you find the high quality and engaging authentic texts quickly, we have compiled a database of texts that lend themselves particularly well to creative translation activities.

Using our Authentic Texts Database
Each entry to our authentic texts database includes an information sheet. Some entries will have additional resources, such as a video introduction from a translator, a glossary, and a preview of the text. These resources provide the perfect basis for teachers to develop their own creative translation activities.


Portuguese: Menina Bonita do Laço de Fita

Menina Bonita do Laço de Fita (Pretty Girl with the ribbon) tells the story of a black girl and a white rabbit. The rabbit is enchanted…

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Spanish: Arrugas

Set exclusively in a care home for the elderly, Arrugas (Wrinkles) follows Emilio, as he enters the home when he is in the early stages…

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Russian: The Apartment

This large-format historical graphic novel tells the story of Muromtsev family and their six-room Moscow apartment, and how it – and the country they live…

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German: Der Geheimnisvolle Koffer von Herrn Benjamin

This picture book is based on the true-life story of Walter Benjamin. Benjamin was a Jewish German philosopher living around the time of the Second…

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French: Dormir, moi? Jamais!

A war erupts in his kingdom and he is kidnapped by the enemy. Realising that the king is a little child, the enemy leader orders…

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Dutch: Superguppie

The poems in Supperguppie are observant, quirky, often funny and sometimes philosophical. They have simple titles like ‘beach’, ‘glasses’, ‘piano’, ‘cat’, ‘washing up’ and ‘shadow’.…

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German: In mir drin ist’s bunt

In mir drin ist’s bunt  is perfect for use in either a PSHE or MFL setting to encourage emotional literacy. Each double-page spread focuses on one…

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