Marco Polo Project
We bring cultures together

Translation Club

Translation Club

We use collaborative translation as a transformative peer-learning experience

Translation Club is the beating heart of Marco Polo Project: a transformative experience of deep intercultural immersion. Every week in Melbourne and Tokyo, and every month in Mexico we gather a mixed group of  15-25 English/Spanish and Chinese/Japanese speakers to translate a text from Chinese / Japanese to English. Since our first pilot in 2013, we have run over 100 Translation Club events on four continents, from primary schools to universities and public libraries.

Translation Club is an opportunity to practice languages and develop translation skills, but the magic of our event lies elsewhere. Our aim is not to complete a translation or produce a perfect result. It is to reflect on aspects of language and culture that form the fabric of everyday life, yet remain generally unnoticed: from details of family life as expressed in a story to common grammatical structures that reveal surprising underlying value systems.

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The event is designed for intermediate to advanced learners, but we welcome people at all levels, from accredited translators to beginners who come with an open mind and are ready for a challenge. The process of collective translation is intellectually demanding, but there is no pressure to succeed: this is a deeply relaxing experience, and offers a unique opportunity to develop advanced linguistic, cultural, and critical skills while forgetting everyday worries. We presented the Translation Club model at the 2017 Foundation of Australian Studies in China (FASIC) Conference in Xuzhou - you can check out our presentation and underlying learning model here


Run a Translation Club pop-up!

Since 2013, we have run over 100 Translation Club pop-up events around the world with Festivals, schools and universities, from Melbourne to Leeds and Singapore to Nanjing. We are looking for partners to help us scale the model around the world.

If you would like to run a Translation Club pop-up or set up your own regular MeetUp, please contact us at or through out contact form.