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Tell the World: Storytelling Across Language Barriers

Tell the World: Storytelling Across Language Barriers

Author: Margaret Read MacDonald

Working with or without a native speaker, a storyteller can touch the minds and hearts of all listeners-even those with little or no English language skills. Here a group of expert storytellers share a variety of tips and techniques that help bridge the language gap; along with sample stories that librarians, teachers, and professional storytellers can easily incorporate into their repertoires. Four basic techniques for bilingual telling are explored: summarizing, line-by-line translation, tandem telling, and inserted phrases. In addition, contributors discuss such topics as the translator's role, using story in language instruction, presenting tellers of other languages, traveling and giving workshops abroad, and more.


Chapter 1: Telling Through Translation
Chapter 2: Line-by-Line Translation
Chapter 3: Tandem Telling
Chapter 4: More than Words: Storytelling Without Translation
Chapter 5: One Teller, One Story, Two Languages
Chapter 6: On the Translator's Role
Chapter 7: Performing in a Second Language
Chapter 8: Story in Language Instruction
Chapter 9: Presenting Tellers of Other Languages
Chapter 10: Presenting Workshops Abroad
Chapter 11: Translation in a Signed Language
Chapter 12: Cultural Considerations
Chapter 13: A Language of No Words
Chapter 14: Tellers Travel

Type Year Publisher Price Length   ISBN
Paperback  2008  Libraries Unlimited  $35.00  192 pages  9781591583141  

Additional Information and Resources


"This is an indispensable guide for those wanting to share stories with audiences who speak another language. The author's advice, along with that of other experienced tellers, covers myriad facets of this special and relevant method of connecting with members of our greater yet smaller world community"  ...School Library Journal, Jul1, 2008


Storytelling World Award
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Listen to the interview
On the storytellers podcast "The Art of Storytelling with Children" I spoke with host Eric Wolf about "Telling Across Language Barriers"