EDL2014, or “Wordkeys: The 4D Translation Game!”

Dear readers, we are in that complicated time of year enclosed between European Day of Languages, and International Translation Day, and London is offering several activities. For ITD, I signed up for the webinars scheduled by Proz. This year they will be divided in two days, so I will keep you updated on that as well. For now, what has happened to celebrate EDL? The European Commission, together with the literary translator Rosalind Harvey, and the collaboration of several language institutes, has organised the 4D Translation Games. What was that? Pure fun for linguistic geeks who are not afraid to go out and about, so guess who signed up for it?

The game was a treasure hunt, and the two teams had a little safe with the final clue, an envelope with the first one, and a book with some hints to understand the clues if needed. The meeting point was Belgrave Square, and the beautiful Knightsbridge has been the scenario of the game. I was part of the Red Team, and the first clue, in Portuguese, took us to the Portuguese embassy. I have to be honest, as soon as I walked in I felt trapped in one of Sherlock Holmes’s adventures, with some memories of Poe’s Rue Morgue when I had to collect the envelop from behind the logs in the elegant fireplace topped with a wooden lion head.

The clue, this time in Spanish, dared us to ask for directions in Portuguese before heading for the Instituto Cervantes. There, a red carpet took us to the library to find the following envelop, which was in Italian. This one sent us back to Belgrave Square, to the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, where we found our last envelope, with the key to open the safe.

The last clue was half of a message. The other half, in the hands of the Blue Team, led us to the nice ending of the game, a group challenge that you can see in this video:

Both teams won, both teams learnt something about languages and had fun, all celebrated with a glass of wine offered by the IIC. It was a nice experience, and an amusing way of celebrating multiculturalism and language diversity, the pillars of the European Union.

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