National and international competitions for learners of German
A number of organisations run competitions for learners of German. Here is a selection:
This prestigious competition run by the European Union invites pupils from all over Europe to compete in a translation competition.The competition takes place in late November in schools across Europe. Watch this space to find out when the next competition will take place!
The prize for the UK's best young translator is a three-day trip to Brussels, accompanied by a parent and a teacher, to receive an award at a ceremony for all the national winners, meet the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth and visit the Commission's translation headquarters for an insight into the work of professional translators.
In 2014, 2012, and 2011 the UK winners translated from German! You can read 2011 winner Theodora Bradbury’s account of the competition here, and 2012 winner Angus Russell's translation here, and 2014 winner Jonah Cowen's translation here.
UK Linguistics Olympiad
This competition is open to all secondary school students, and requires entrants to solve linguistic data problems.
The first round of the competition is held in schools, and more information for teachers is available here.
Every two years, the Goethe Institute runs the German Olympics (Internationale Deutsch-Olympiade, or IDO for short). It's the biggest competition for the German language. Every two years over 100 students from all around the world meet to compete in their most beloved foreign language. To read all about the 2018 competition, click here.
Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Competition
British writer Stephen Spender was a prolific translator of poetry, and an annual poetry translation competition is now run by the Stephen Spender Trust. The competition is open to everyone and sponsored by The Times. The deadline for entries is in May every year. More information can be found here.
John Dryden Translation Competition
A competition run jointly by the British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation (University of East Anglia). Entries must be original, unpublished translations of extracts from literary works from any language into English. The competition is open to all, subject to a small entry fee. Click here for more information.