Gibberish translator – a nonsense drama exercise


Gibberish translator is a spontaneous drama exercise, which can be used as a silly warm-up to encourage fast-thinking and accepting.

Three people are selected: one to a Visitor from a strange place that speak utter gibberish, one to be an Interviewer (who doesn’t understand gibberish) and one to be the Translator.

The Interviewer should ask the Visitor a series of questions which the Translator should translate into gibberish. The Visitor then replies in gibberish for the Translator to decode for the Interviewer (and audience).

Each member of the group can take charge of the exercise – the Interviewer can ask particular questions, the Visitor can include plenty of non-verbal cues to aid understanding and the Translator can make up whatever reply they wish. Encourage the others to accept whatever is offered to them and to run with it. Also encourage them to stay in character – the Visitor shouldn’t react to the question until it is translated!

The conversation could be a television interview, a job interview, a diplomatic meeting, a doctor’s appointment, a blind date…

Length: just a couple of minutes for each scene

Group size: three at a time, plus audience

Have you used this game with your class?

  • Did they like it?
  • Did you find it useful?
  • Did you change anything?

We'd love to hear what you think!