Translations

Introduction

Translations is a three-act play by Irish playwright Brian Friel, written in 1980. It is set in Baile Beag (Ballybeg), a Donegal village in 19th century agricultural Ireland. Friel has said that Translations is "a play about language and only about language", but it deals with a wide range of issues, stretching from language and communication to Irish history and cultural imperialism. Friel responds strongly to both political and language questions in modern-day Northern Ireland. He said that his play "should have been written in Irish" but, despite this fact, he crafted carefully the verbal action in English which makes the dynamics of the play come alive, and brings its political questions into true focus.[1]

Baile Beag ("Small Town") is a fictional village, created by Friel as a setting for several of his plays,[2] although there are many real places called Ballybeg throughout Ireland.


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