The action takes place in late August 1833 at a hedge-school in the townland of Baile Beag, an Irish-speaking community in County Donegal. In a nearby field camps a recently arrived detachment of the Royal Engineers, making the first Ordnance Survey. For the purposes of cartography, the local Gaelic place names have to be recorded and rendered into English. In examining the effects of this operation on the lives of a small group, Brian Friel skillfully reveals the far-reaching personal and cultural effects of an action which is at first sight purely administrative.
About the Author
Brian Friel was born in Omagh, County Tyrone (Northern Ireland) in 1929. He received his college education in Derry, Maynooth and Belfast and taught at various schools in and around Derry from 1950 to 1960. He is the author of many plays that have taken their place in the canon of Irish Literature, including Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), Lovers (1967), Translations (1980), The Communication Cord (1982), and Dancing at Lughnasa (1990). In 1980 he founded the touring theatre company, Field Day, with Stephen Rea.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brian Friel 's play is certainly a masterpiece that all students of English, native or foreign, who are interested in languages must read. However, it is most strange that in this day and age when most published works have their audio versions accompanying them there isn't apparently one for 'Translations'. I, for one who am French, would certainly appreciate listening to the play simply because of all the Gaelic names whose pronounciation must be known for the play to be enjoyed thoroughly; it'd certainly make sense. Bernard