International Translation Day 2020

Attendants of the French language lesson held at the St Helena Community College

International Translation Day 2020 – a day used to highlight the important work of translators, interpreters, and others in the language service industry – was recognised on 30 September 2020.

In recent years on St Helena a language service has been offered through Schools, the Community College and to different Island organisations.

French is currently being taught to students and adults from beginner level all the way up to GCSE and A-Level. In addition to the classes at Prince Andrew School, there are also nine weekly classes in the three Island Primary Schools – St Paul’s, Pilling and Harford.

French Teacher, Jennifer Ratcliffe, commented:

“In addition to teaching French, I also help Primary School pupils to understand where words come from and support them with their grammar and spelling in both English and French. I have been very impressed with the attitude, enthusiasm and progress made, especially with my Primary and adult classes.”

A French language course is currently ongoing at the St Helena Community College.

Attendant of the French lesson, Linda, said:

“I attended French classes some years back but wasn’t able to complete the course for a number of reasons, so I was pleased to learn that the course was being offered at the St Helena Community College again and decided to give it another shot. Learning French is fun and challenging and I hope, at the end of the course, I’ll be sufficiently competent and confident to at least have a basic conversation in French.”

French is also being taught to staff of St Helena Tourism, Biosecurity, Immigration and St Helena Airport Ltd teams to allow frontline staff to greet visitors.

CEO of St Helena Airport Ltd, Gwyneth Howell, said:

“It is important that Airport staff learn other languages so that they can communicate with travellers who do not speak English.”

Immigration Officer, Carol Youde, concluded:

“In Immigration we often meet people of varying nationalities who speak little or no English, which requires us to find alternative ways of communicating. Basic greetings in French, learnt from sessions with French Teacher, Jennifer Ratcliffe, proved to be really beneficial to me when dealing with a recent French visitor who spoke no English at all.”


2 October 2020

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470