Fight for your Grades!

If I had to follow the title of this blog and only talk about the perks of being a translator this post wouldn’t exist, because it is about a not that nice subject: exams. There are some horrible, scary exams coming to eat you up if you haven’t studied enough. But then there are the translation exams.

In case you are not a translation student, let me explain what most Translation classes tend to be: the teacher gives you some texts, you translate them at home and then the whole class corrects them together paying attention to all the possibilities the target language offers. Most of the time teachers bring linguistic topics up to discussion and give us advice about the professional world, but it’s mostly translating and correcting.

Translation exams follow the same mechanism, just the other way round: you go to class, translate a text, and then the teacher corrects it at home. This has some positive and negative sides. The positive is very clear: you don’t need to study; you just need to know how to translate. As long as you have a good knowledge of the languages you are translating from and to and you know where to find the information you need to translate the specific text the teacher gives you, you know you will pass the exam.

The negative is, there is no such thing of a translation objectively corrected. There are times when something just doesn’t sound right, and your teacher can’t really tell why. This is why most of the time translation students never get the top mark. You will never get a ten out of ten because the perfect translation doesn’t exist. And I think this is unfair: translation students should be able to get a ten nonetheless.

And this is why I am encouraging you to go and fight for your marks. Go and revise your translation exams, and then talk to the teacher, prove you know what you are doing, tell the teachers they should have marked you better and explain why, give arguments, argue your translations.

This being said, good luck in your exams!



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