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Tackling the translation Higher Modern Languages
What would you like to learn? Translation The translation is worth 10 marks That is 10% of your Higher! It is worth taking time to do it well Reckon on ten minutes When you have finished, use a highlighter or ticks on the exam paper to check you have not missed anything out in your answer. • Finally, read it through. If it makes sense, it could be right. If it doesn’t, it will be wrong • • •
What would you like to learn? Translation • Successful translation means knowing the context of the piece to be translated • Make sure you answer the questions on the passage first, so you will have a better knowledge of the context. That means your translation will be easier, and better • Don’t be tempted to ‘get it over at the start’ • However, you might tackle the translation before the overall purpose question
What would you like to learn? Translation • The translation should be as close as possible to the original, giving every detail • However, that does not mean word for word • For instance ‘ma perception de la vie’ is ‘my perception of life’ (miss out la, or the) • ‘tout ce qu’on fait’ becomes ‘everything one does’, but would be better as ‘everything we do’
What would you like to learn? Translation • The text you have to deal with at Higher will be marked in five ‘sense units’ • Each unit gets 2 possible marks, good (2), satisfactory (1), or unsatisfactory (0) • Satisfactory gets the meaning, but there are inaccuracies, imprecision, or weak English • Unsatisfactory might just be missing out a single word
What would you like to learn? 2012 Higher French translation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Donc, chaque mois, elle part avec l’un d’eux pour lui offrir un petit moment de bonheur. «Ils ne demandent pas la lune, » nous dit-elle. «Ils sont réalistes et, en règle générale, ont les mêmes passions que tous les enfants!» Let’s look at the ‘good’ mark, and possible answers for sense unit 1.
What would you like to learn? Donc, chaque mois, elle part avec l’un d’eux Therefore, each month, she leaves with one of them ØTherefore/So Øeach/every month Øshe leaves/goes (away/off) Øwith one of them Øshe takes one of them away with her You can see there a number of ways of translating the text well. What about satisfactory?
What would you like to learn? Donc, chaque mois, elle part avec l’un d’eux Ø Ø Ø Then/But omission of Donc this month goes out went/left is leaving with them with some/some of them with someone with each of them with a/one child she takes one of them out (with her) So, lots of what are described as ‘inaccuracies’ or imprecision, or bad English which pupils produced last year. We will look at a German and a Spanish translation, then you will get a chance to try your hand!
What would you like to learn? Higher German 2013 • Im Haus landen Rucksäcke, Mützen und Schals auf dem Boden. • Bei acht Kindern ist der Geräuschpegel meistens sehr hoch. • Das kann natu rlich auch nerven, • aber die Mutter sieht es positiv: „Es ist Leben im Haus. • Ohne die Kinder würde mir etwas fehlen. “
What would you like to learn? Higher Spanish 2013 • “El fútbol es vital para aumentar la asistencia a clase. • Además, consigue que los chicos se porten mejor, • porque si no, se les excluirá del equipo. • Hasta hemos visto • que mejoran las notas de los alumnos.
2 What would you like to learn? • Donc, chaque mois, elle part avec l’un d’eux • pour lui offrir un petit moment de bonheur. • Im Haus landen Rucksäcke, Mützen und Schals auf dem Boden. • “El fútbol es vital para aumentar la asistencia a clase.
3 What would you like to learn? • «Ils ne demandent pas la lune, » nous dit-elle. • Bei acht Kindern ist der Geräuschpegel meistens sehr hoch. • Además, consigue que los chicos se porten mejor,
4 What would you like to learn? • «Ils sont réalistes et, en règle générale, ont les mêmes passions que tous les enfants!» • Das kann natürlich auch nerven, aber die Mutter sieht es positiv: „Es ist Leben im Haus. Ohne die Kinder würde mir etwas fehlen. “ • porque si no, se les excluirá del equipo. Hasta hemos visto que mejoran las notas de los alumnos.
What would you like to learn? Correct version: French • to offer/give him/her/them a little moment of happiness. • “They don’t ask (for) the moon/ earth, ” she tells us. • “They are realists/realistic and, as a general rule, • (they) have the same passions as all children. ”
What would you like to learn? Correct version: German • In the house, rucksacks, hats and gloves land on the floor. • With eight children, the noise level is usually very high, • that can of course also be annoying. • But the mother sees it positively • “There is life in the house. Without the children something would be missing for me. ”
What would you like to learn? Correct version: Spanish • Football is vital for increasing/ boosting/improving attendance in class/school. • Moreover, it makes the children behave better • because if they don’t/if not, they will be dropped from the team. • We have even seen • that the pupils’ marks/grades are improving.
What would you like to learn? Translation You can download past papers and marking schemes from the SQA website, in Qualifications go to French, German or Spanish Higher in NQ. Trying the translations and then looking at the mark schemes will give you lots of insight into how to do a good translation. Here is what the examiners had to say about the French translation we looked at. ‘Most candidates performed well in the Translation section of Paper 1, but many continue to lose marks through a basic lack of accuracy in translating articles (tous les enfants), subject pronouns (elle/ils), singular/plural nouns (les mêmes passions) and verb tenses. The first sense unit (Donc, chaque mois, elle part avec l’un d’eux) was the most demanding, with many candidates translating the verb as ‘partager’ to share. Only the more able candidates translated successfully the following combination of pronouns: ‘l’un d’eux’; ‘pour lui offrir’; ‘nous dit-elle’. ’
What would you like to learn? Translation French Candidates should have the opportunity to practise translation as much as possible in class. There should be a focus on tense recognition and attention to detail to ensure that the final translation is an accurate reflection of the French sentence. German The translation (Question 8) turned out to be quite challenging with very few candidates getting full marks. Knowledge of plural (nouns and verbs) as well as using Standard English accurately seemed to be the barriers to accessing all available marks. Spanish In the translation, overall, candidates performed well, but it is important to keep in mind that full marks in the translation are only available if there is a very good rendering of the text into English. Candidates should allow enough time to complete the translation where accuracy plays a very important role.
What would you like to learn? Translation: German At the end of the translation candidates should also carry out these checks on their work: • Have I included every word? • Have I translated correctly pronouns, especially personal pronouns? • Have I kept to the structure of the German text? • Have I kept to the tense used in the original? • Does what I have written make sense in English?
What would you like to learn? Spanish More time on translation and checking over work would have helped. On the other hand, there were candidates who seemed to be aware they were going to struggle with time and therefore tackled the translation before doing any comprehension questions at all. Quite often, these candidates did not manage to get the gist of the text and this worked against them when doing the translation. It is important to strike a balance, so candidates are aware that, for example, the overall purpose question is only worth 2 marks and therefore, they can attain 2 marks without writing a page (and running out of time for the translation). All they need is a sharp answer/statement and justification from the text. In comparison with previous years’ evidence, candidates are better at getting those 2 marks with 'sharper' answers, and credit needs to be given to teachers/lecturers who are giving good advice to their candidates. However, coming back to the issue of the translation, there were candidates who, once they had tackled three quarters of the paper, moved on to the translation. It has to be noted that, very often, this 'exam timing management technique', chosen by those candidates who may have struggled with time, seems to be a better choice rather than doing the translation before anything else.
What would you like to learn? Dictionary skills • • • It will take you around 45 seconds on average to look up a word in the dictionary: try the test later on to see how long you take! That means looking up 20 words in a passage will take you 15 minutes. You only have 50 minutes to answer all the questions! Get faster at using the dictionary, practise using the one you will take into an exam Use a dictionary which is right for the task Much of the meaning in a sentence is conveyed by the verb: get used to identifying where the verbs are, by highlighting them
What would you like to learn? Dictionary skills • There will be five sentences, each with a word highlighted we are looking for the translation of • Once you have the five words, put them up in the discussion area • You can put just the word or the whole phrase up • After five minutes, we will look at the answers • You can see what other people are posting, but there might will be no comment on whether these are right or not until the five minutes are up!
What would you like to learn? Mû par le sentiment, il a souri. Il a fallu accepter son jugement. Sa mère lui cousait tous ses vêtements. Ce n’est pas de son genre de ne pas répondre. Si tu déroges aux règles, tu risques ta place. El gobierno aguëra problemas. Los niños riegan su ropa por todas partes. No se si me cojan con ellos. En último caso, lo hará. Se lo dije por jugar. Er trug abgegriffene Sportschuhe. Mit einer Frage wandte sich zu ihm. Es wuchs sehr langsam. Das ist mir nicht ganz geheuer. Er litt sehr darunter.
French Google Mine French dictionary answers Mû par le sentiment, il a souri. Driven by the Moved by the sentiment, feeling, he smiled. Il a fallu accepter son jugement. He had to accept his judgment. We/I/he/she/they/ you had to. . . Sa mère lui cousait Her mother was tous ses vêtements. sewing all his clothes. (or her) Ce n’est pas de son It is not of his genre de ne pas kind not to répondre. He isn’t the type not to reply. answer. Si tu déroges aux règles, tu risques ta If you derogate from the rules, If you break the rules you risk your place/job.
German Google Mine German dictionary answers Er trug abgegriffene Sportschuhe. He worn sports shoes. He had on worn trainers 25 Mit einer Frage wandte sich zu ihm. With a question, she turned to him OK Es wuchs sehr langsam. It grew very slowly. Das ist mir nicht ganz geheuer. I'm not very happy. This seems a bit strange to me. Er litt sehr darunter. He suffered greatly. He suffered a lot from that. 25
Spanish El gobierno agüera problemas. Google The government agüera problems. 26 Mine The government expects problems. Los niños riegan su ropa por Children water their clothes todos partes. everywhere. The children spread their clothes everywhere. No sé si me cojan con ellos. I do not know if I caught them. I don’t know if they’ll take me with them. En último caso, lo hará. Ultimately, it will do it. If that happens (is the case) he’ll do it. Se lo dije por jugar. I told him to play. I was only joking 26
What would you like to learn? SQA past papers • http: //www. sqa. org. uk/pastpapers/findpastpaper. htm • Subject: from menu choose French, German, Spanish or Italian • Qualification: from menu choose Higher • You can also access ‘Discontinued Higher’ papers from 2013/14/15, which will work just as well • Go! • Choose the pdf of the paper you want, soundfile as an mp 3 if you want to try the listening, then scroll down to the pdfs for the marking instructions and tapescripts