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Lighter side of trans/interp

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Thread poster: Hiogui
English to French
Apr 20, 2004

[Edited at 2005-05-08 23:38]

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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:25
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
It is ok to use all the help one can get by Apr 20, 2004

Somehow I did not grasp completely the meaning of your posting. Either your teacher makes you translate from French into her native language English, which is ok during language training, or she lets you translate into French, for what she is not qualified herself.
But for homework it is ok to ask native speakers to correct your translations befor delivery. It's normal even for experienced translators to let a second person check the text, even if it is your native language, and a prerequisite when translating in a second language in all cases.
The use of dictionaries in translation classes is quite normal too, even better allow the use of fast internet connections in class if technically possible.
Hope this puts you at rest and someone will come up and help you out with proofreading.

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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:25
English to Polish
+ ...
Please clarify your post - I'm not quite sure what your complaint is :-( Apr 20, 2004

But I'll say this:
With a few years of teaching experience and my wife a full time teacher, it is very easy to tell if a homework question was done by the student alone, if someone (mother, father, uncle) did it for them or if it was copied from someone 5 minutes before class.

In my view, the ultimate goal is for the student to understand the subject matter. How they achieve this goal is, to a certain degree, unimportant. (Don't interpret this the wrong way, though!!)

Translation is a different animal altogether. It is practically impossible to translate without outside help in whatever form - friends, dictionaries, books, the internet, Proz etc., but the purpose of homework is to test your skills, not your friend's. If this was homework assigned by me, I would make it clear before I assigned it: you may or may not ask for help. Afterwards, assuming I know my students well, believe me, I would be able tell if somebody did the homework alone or with help.
Then there is the question: how much help was given? If one or two sentences out of a 1000 word assignment - fine. If the whole thing was done by somebody else - well, that's cheating.

There is something definitely wrong if the whole class fails a test. This is usually (but not always!!) the teacher's fault in failing to explain something clearly.

Does this clear the air a little? Try to be more specific and brief in describing your problem - that's also a translation skill!

Pawel Skalinski

P.S. As to a teacher making mistakes - it depends how serious they are and how much the teacher is convinced that (s)he is right.
I know an English teacher (she teaches very small kids), whose English pronounciation is terrible, but her teaching methods and the ability to involve those kids are nothing short of incredible.

[Edited at 2004-04-20 07:49]

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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
Spanish to English
Some advice Apr 20, 2004

If I understand your complaint it is that the teacher is too strict.
Whether she speaks good French or not is irrelevant, considering her subject is translation in English.
It does sound unfair, but unfortunately everyone has to deal with unfair teachers at times, and there is not much you can do about it, except for complain to her superiors, preferably as a whole class, and that may not work.
Meanwhile an extremely demanding teacher can be better than a teacher who is too lax.
Good luck.
PS Your English is fine, you just did not present your argument clearly enough

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Local time: 19:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
There will always beall types of teachers May 12, 2004

I studied languages in Germany. I am a German national but I grew up in a spanish speaking country and have therefore spoken spanish all my life. I went back to Germany after graduating High school and decided to study laguages since I already had a fully biilingual education (english spanish) and had been exposed to the German language at home. I took german english and spanish courses in germany to emphasize more directly on learning how to translate. They offered french also but they required a basic knowledge of the language in order to enroll, I did not have that so I did not take the course. Anyway, my spanish teacher, was also a german national, married to a spaniard and accredited as a spanish translator, used to regularly take me by side after class to help her conjugate a few verbs she needed in order to teach the following course. Needless to say, this made me doubt about her capabilities to teach the laguage properly. I did not worry so much about myself but I did worry about my fellow students whose knowledge of spanish was not as good as mine. I do not think she was very well qualified for the job. But there was basically not much I could do. She had the job and I was the student under her and I had to stick with her for the duration. I learned there that in school as well as in life you will always meet the one or the other person that is not qualified for what he or she is doing. It is just a fact of life that we have to learn to deal with. And the only thing I can say is that, since I learned how bad it looks to be in a situation like the one my teacher was in, it gives me all the more reason to try not to land in a situation like that myself, because I know how others might see it. Basically I learned to know where my limits are and if I try something new, start small and prepare for it the best I can before venturing completely into it.

Try not to be so strict about it. There is always something you can learn. I have also worked as a teacher and the conclusion I have come to there is that teachers only present you with tools, the actual learning process takes place when you leave the classroom and start learning to use those tools. If you find that one tool does ot work, search for another one that works for you. Resourcefulness is one of the main keys to learning, and translating well.

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