Documentaries in translation – I’d be very interested to know what IFC people think

By: Hugh Levinson,
Open Ear, BBC World Service – With best wishes,

schermafbeelding-2016-12-14-om-14-48-56I just wanted to alert the IFC community to a project we are running on BBC World Service English called Open Ear.
We are rebroadcasting four brilliant programmes from around the world from non-BBC outlets:
Two are English-language programmes, one from ABC in Australia and one from the US podcast Arrvls.
The really interesting bit is that we are broadcasting two documentaries in translation.
One is
from Sweden – Woman Found Dead by the Lake Shore – and one is
from Austria – Life’s Holiday.

It’s been a new challenge to translate the documentaries while keeping as close as possible to the original spirit of the programme makers.
As far as I know, this is the first time we have done this at the BBC, although no doubt there are countless other instances which I am not aware of. The first episode airs this Thursday, then they go out on the subsequent three weeks.
I’d be very interested to know what other IFC people think.

Let Hugh Levinson know what you think. Below this: ‘Write a comment…’


4 thoughts on “Documentaries in translation – I’d be very interested to know what IFC people think

  1. Great idea – I wonder if you are aware of Radio Atlas? Based in London -Eleanor Macdowal has made some great texted versions of -among other things- some of our stuff from Denmark( Third Ear) . Including our Third Coast winner ‘The Double’ – I’d love to hear if your pieces get good reactions?!

  2. Hi Hugh, fabulous initiative! You might like to look at RadioDoc Review for ideas re more great audio features, in English and other languages, selected by our international board, who are renowned audio feature producers and/or academics/professionals in the field. See

    We commission in-depth critiques of the chosen audio works – links to audio in the review. We’ve also collaborated with the excellent Radio Atlas: see their subtitled screening of Still Glowing Strong, by Norwegian Sindre Leganger. A translation of the compelling Qui A Connu Lolita from Arte France is underway – see Chris Brookes’ review, Issue 3.

    And a question: would you be interested in reviewing for us?? Simon Elmes did one, but we’d love another UK perspective.

    Best wishes,
    Siobhan McHugh
    (Founding Editor, RadioDoc Review and IFC selection 2014 for Crime and Punishment in Jakarta, ABC RN)

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