"Translations" is set in English-occupied rural Ireland, and concerns:
a) a project to create an accurate map of Ireland complete with English place-names (the Ordinance Survey),
b) the soliders here to carry out this task,
c) some inhabitants of a village they've come to rename, and
d) a romance and a family which uneasily span and occupy both aforementioned categories of participation.
It is elegant and quick. While it says nothing hugely world-view changing* if you've already considered the topic in any depth, it might successfully introduce the issues to younger students. With capable grace, this play--in a manner befitting its theme--maps out the unplottable, shifting territory of language/education and colonization, of resistance and collaboration, progress/globalizing loss of identity versus tradition/limitation of opportunity, and of class/gender in that context. It is a readily comprehensible, beautiful play.
The ending is frustratingly ambiguous and feels unfinished--not so much because nothing is resolved, but because it feels abrupt and anti-climactic. Perhaps for that reason I wouldn't specially select it to give to a playwrighting friend. Even so, I would recommend it to anyone with a special interest in Ireland and Irish literature, teacher-friends, or anyone interested in cultural linguistics--not because it would present them with fresh intellectual challenge, but because it is a sound, lovely encapsulation of good ideas on the topics.
* Though perhaps, in 1980 when it was written, it had more immediate theoretical resonance?
Esp. re: then-contemporary Northern Ireland?