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French-language fierté at Concordia

The Département d’études françaises celebrates La Francofête — and a winning translation team
March 25, 2015
By Sara DuBreuil

Concordia's intrepid team of translators is the first in the 10-year history of the Jeux de la Traduction to win all of the competition's individual and team prizes. | Photos by Concordia University

March has been an exciting time for the Département d’études françaises.

The department hosted its annual Francofête and celebrated Concordia’s success at the 10th Jeux de la Traduction (Translation Games).

Jeux de la traduction

This year's Translation Games were held from March 13 to March 15 at the Université de Montréal. Ten teams from universities across Canada came together to network, socialize and test their language abilities.

Over the course of the weekend, students competed individually or in groups of three, translating songs, texts, audiovisual clips, advertisements, and comics.

“It’s really demanding,” says Sébastien D’Auteuil, a co-op student in his last year, who won first prize for individual translation to French. “You don’t have much time and there are a lot of categories crammed in.”

Concordia’s winning team was made up of six students: D’Auteuil, Aurélie Burelle, Briana Farrell, Jane Gatensby, Julie Houle and Jean-Philippe Thériault — accompanied by a supervising professor, Christine York, and student volunteer and coach, Alex Gauthier.

The team not only won the Jeux de la Traduction Cup for the third time but also took home every individual and team prize, making Concordia the first university to ever do so.

“It was an amazing experience,” says Thériault, a second-year student who won the individual prize for translation to English. “I met a lot of people from all around Quebec and Ontario, and people working for translation companies.”

On top of their success in the academic challenges, Concordia also won the Gerry Award, which is given to the school with the most team spirit. To win, teams need to be social and participate in activities beyond the competition events.

“You meet a lot of amazing people who share the same passion as you,” says Aurélie Burelle, a second-year student specializing in translation from English to French.

The annual foire du terroir is a food market showcasing the province’s traditional food and beverages, such as wine, chocolate and maple products. The annual Foire du terroir showcases a vast selection of food, beverages and products made in Quebec.


Francofête is a global event promoting French language and culture on campus through a variety of activities. Concordia’s celebration included the third edition of La foire du terroir québecois, a mini-jeux de la traduction, movies and public readings.

“The event allows us to connect with our students and show them the richness and depth of the various French cultures,” says Philippe Caignon, the director of the Département d'études françaises.

“It is also the perfect way to present our students, faculty, personnel and all Montrealers with the very best that Quebec has to offer.”

One of the main ways the event highlights Quebec is through the foire du terroir, a food market showcasing the province’s traditional food and beverages, such as wine, chocolate and maple products.

The event also includes activities for students, such as the mini-jeux de la traduction — where teams translate songs, sayings and advertisements.

This year’s mini games were particularly exciting because they gave Concordia and the Département d’études françaises an opportunity to recognize the recent success of its translation games team.

“Usually there are no stars in translation,” says Thériault. “Our work happens in the background, so I’ll enjoy the moment.”

D’Auteuil says, “The mini games were like a victory lap. You get to see your team one last time and pass the torch to the next generation of contestants.”

Learn more about the Département d’études françaises

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