This is the first time that the guide to the estate had been translated into other languages. The students presented their translations in Japanese, Portuguese, German and Spanish to the National Trust located at Armstrong College, which is also on the Newcastle University campus. The college was named after Lord Armstrong in 1888.
A trip to the Cragside House by Angela Uribe de Kellett, a languages lecturer, became the start of the translation project. She thought that the visitor experience, particularly those coming from overseas, could be more enhanced if the official guide is available in more languages.
She added that Cragside House always had firm international links and a very captivating history, so she believed that it would be a great chance for their students, some of whom are foreigners as well, to acquire firsthand knowledge about the history of Cragside estate and its founder, Lord Armstrong, as they put their translation skills into practice. The house has gadgets that were well ahead of its time, including a Turkish bath suite, an elevator, telephones and fire alarm buttons. It was also the first building in the world to use hydroelectricity, which Lord Armstrong developed in 1878. He had his house installed with light bulbs in 1880, which also attracted a number of visitors. In September last year, the house is once again powered by hydroelectricity, which would light the 350 bulbs within the entire house, with the installation of a 56-foot Archimedes screw.
The translation work is part of the Real Translation Project, which is a program organized and managed by a group of university language teachers and student volunteers. Together they usually help community and charitable organizations translate various documents into the languages taught at Newcastle such as Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, German, French and Spanish.
The students visited the National Trust property to better understand its history. A language student from Spain, Jaime Frances Martinez said that doing the translation of the guide broadened their language skills and general knowledge as well as gave them the opportunity to learn from an actual translation work. Isabel Gillet, another student who was involved in the project added that it was a very positive experience for her, as her knowledge and awareness of an important piece of history helped in her personal development in terms of doing actual translation work and collaborating with a team. She hopes that visitors would further enjoy their visit to Cragside House and understand its history better in their own language as much as they enjoyed translating the official guide.