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User originally wondered why s/he wasn't succeeding with IoL exams, but has since edited out text
Thread poster: picko924
picko924
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 5, 2007



[Edited at 2007-05-05 15:11]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-05-05 18:04]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2007-05-05 18:04]


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
I see you offer bilingual services May 5, 2007

Are you taking the papers into English or into Spanish?


And while I hate to say this ... your observation:



picko924 wrote:
... Neither texts was excessively difficult ...


may be the key to your failure.

Perhaps the exams are tougher than you think?

Regards
Angela


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picko924
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Clarification May 5, 2007

I took the exams Spanish>English and what I meant by that comment was that the papers were definitely challenging but not impossible to do. I am very much aware of the fact that the exams are difficult, the marking standards are high and as result the pass rate is low as I attended preparatory classes and this was the 2nd time I sat the exam.
I offer bilingual services becasue I was raised in the U.K by Spanish parents. Although I consider myself bilingual, most of my schooling was in English so I feel slightly more confident itranslating into this language even though I offer interpreting services in both directions.


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Ask whoever runs the preparatory classes May 5, 2007

If you can, have a word. They may know what the hurdle is.

Anyway, don't get discouraged - as your career progresses you will always find negative feedback from various sources (I had a nasty email this week from an Italian professor who told me my English stinks - I was a bit taken aback, but a very rude email back to her made me feel tons better!).

Chin up.
Angela


picko924 wrote:

I took the exams Spanish>English and what I meant by that comment was that the papers were definitely challenging but not impossible to do. I am very much aware of the fact that the exams are difficult, the marking standards are high and as result the pass rate is low as I attended preparatory classes and this was the 2nd time I sat the exam.
I offer bilingual services becasue I was raised in the U.K by Spanish parents. Although I consider myself bilingual, most of my schooling was in English so I feel slightly more confident itranslating into this language even though I offer interpreting services in both directions.


[Edited at 2007-05-05 12:08]


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picko924
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 5, 2007

Thank you for your comment Angela. I have e-mailed my tutor and asked for feedback. Perhaps she can help me out a bit

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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:09
German to English
+ ...
You didn't understand Angela's first answer, Picko May 5, 2007

"Neither texts was excessively difficult" is grammatically incorrect. It should be "neither text... " (singular)

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picko924
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
in a rush May 5, 2007

Yes, sorry, I wrote the post in a rush and I see now there are a few errors. I assure you I am much more careful when I proofread my work under exam conditions

[Edited at 2007-05-05 12:50]


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Angela Arnone  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Actually I meant more what picko924 took it to mean May 5, 2007

... I was presuming it was a typo here, but Trudy is right in underscoring that nothing has to slip through the net!
Ciao
Angela




Trudy Peters wrote:

"Neither texts was excessively difficult" is grammatically incorrect. It should be "neither text... " (singular)


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 17:09
French to English
+ ...
I know nothing about these exams... May 5, 2007

but perhaps they are competitive?
In other words, maybe they only take the top x%, in which case it may be that you are not "bad" but there are too many people better than you?

That said, not everybody can be good or top of the pile.....


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Deschant
Local time: 16:09
Reply May 5, 2007

I have never sat the IoL exams and don't know which criteria are used to mark them, but, right at the beginning of my translation career, I "failed" a translation test from an agency. I was quite surprised, because I was fairly confident that I had understood the text well and all my terminology was correct. I asked for feedback and the answer was that the translation did feel like a translation, i.e. there were some structures, words... which resembled the original too closely, and which were by all means correct but not "idiomatic" in the target language. Of course stylistic matters are always highly subjective but could it be that, under the pressure of understanding the Spanish text, you might have neglected your English writing skills?

Do you have the option of actually asking for feedback to the examining body? That might be very helpful.


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Carole Paquis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:09
Member (2007)
English to French
Pass rate May 5, 2007

I would say the standard is very hight and the pass rate is usually very low.
I took the exam in 2004 and the pass rate was OKish (between 15 and 30% depending on the paper if I remember well), but the year before the pass rate for the third paper had been abysmal (3 - 4 %)...
I would also recommend that you get the examiners reports when they are published to see for yourself what the main pitfalls of the translations were and what the examiners had to say about them.
I did that even after I had passed, just out of curiosity and it was very interesting.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:09
Dutch to English
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Not the case May 5, 2007

CMJ_Trans wrote:

but perhaps they are competitive?
In other words, maybe they only take the top x%, in which case it may be that you are not "bad" but there are too many people better than you?

That said, not everybody can be good or top of the pile.....


You either meet the required standard to pass or you don't.

The criteria as well as what automatically leads to a fail (e.g. omission of 5% of the source text) is set out on their website.


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:09
German to English
+ ...
Automatic fail conditions May 8, 2007

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

You either meet the required standard to pass or you don't.

The criteria as well as what automatically leads to a fail (e.g. omission of 5% of the source text) is set out on their website.



Back when I was taking the exam (DE-->EN, 2002), my tutor from the City University of London told me the following would result in an automatic fail:

- omission of just one sentence from the source text
- messing up one number, like transposing digits to write 450 instead of 540
- mistakes like confusing millions/billions, which is not that hard from German (Millionen/Milliarden) especially when you're under time pressure
- Misspelling someone's name

Who knows if that was/is true or not. Clearly if you submit an absolutely stellar exam, they might overlook a transposed digit. But if the register is slightly off already and you mess up someone's name, I can understand that they fail you.

I'd be curious to know if you had taken practice exams in advance under actual time contraints and then had them graded by your tutor? This was essential for me.


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