UN Examination, Spanish - September 2009
Thread poster: javitxu
English to Spanish
Aug 3, 2009

Hi all,

A couple of months ago, I registered to take the UN examination for Spanish-language translators which is gonna take place in September. I read that the exam consists of:

1) Translation into Spanish of a general text in English and completion of a multiple-choice exercise on English to Spanish translation and Spanish usage (three and a half hours).

2) Translation into Spanish of one text chosen by the examinee from a total of four texts

3) One of the following:
(i) Translation into Spanish of one English text, to be chosen by the examinee from a total of four specialized texts (economic, legal, social/political or scientific/technical)
(ii) Translation into Spanish of one text chosen by the examinee from a total of four texts (not the language used in 2)

So, I was wondering if anybody has taken this examination before and knows what kind of material I should prepare for the exam.

Is there any reference material for the multiple choice exercise? Also, should I prepare any special type of text in particular which maybe appears commonly in these exams? (or specialized terminology of a subfield in particular). Any help or hint would be welcome.

I also would like to know: how often do these examinations take place? I have some doubts as to whether I should try to take it this time or maybe wait for a future examination, with more time to prepare it.

Thank you so much for your help,

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:04
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quizá aquí... Aug 4, 2009

Creo que esto es lo que buscas:

¡Saludos! No sabía que se podía hacer este examen. ¿Dónde prevés hacerlo? ¿Se puede hacer en España?

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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:04
English to Spanish
. Aug 4, 2009

Hi, Javi:

I haven't taken these exams, but have been following them for a couple of years.

How often do they take place? About every 2 or 3 years for the past years (I'm talking about Spanish translators only), and the age limit for application (for the language positions only, as far as I know) is 56 yrs. old.

Hi, Tomás:

Generally speaking, the exams can be taken in a UN center near your location; however not all of them are open for all examinations.

From what I've seen, Santiago and New York are permanent exam centers for the Americas, but I can't remember which are the permanent centers in Europe (besides Geneva), sorry. I'd venture to guess that Madrid and/or Barcelona would probably act as examination centers, though, since they also have UN offices AFAIK.

Anyhow, that information is always given in the specific exam notice.


[Edited at 2009-08-04 15:03 GMT]

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English to Spanish
Thaks!! Aug 4, 2009

Thanks to both of you!!!!

Tomás, sí, ¡esto es justamente lo que estaba buscando!

Andrea, thank you so much, it's good to know that exams are called quite often... In this exam notice, it only talks about NY and Geneva, although it does refer to the possibility of using "other locations" according to the number and location of candidates... If Madrid or Barcelona acted as exam centers, that would just be great for me, though.

Thanks again!!!!


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ferrer23  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:04
English to Spanish
+ ...
updated OHRM site with location information Aug 14, 2009

Hello javitxu,

I'm also taking this exam in September. I'll do it in Geneva, but it also takes places in Salamanca and in other places. Go to the website:


and you'll see that they have updated the information. There's a list in which you can find the center assigned to you with your application number (you should have got this number in the confirmation email).

I cannot recommend anything for the preparation because it's going to be my first time, but in their website they have some samples from previous years. Tha's what I'm using to prepare.

If you get any other information, please write it in here so that I can know it too!

Mucha suerte,

[Editado a las 2009-08-17 10:29 GMT]

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English to Spanish
Thanx Eva! Aug 23, 2009


Eva, thanks for all your useful info, I was finally assigned to Salamanca, which was a relief because I am currently living in Madrid...

I was taking a look at the sample documents posted on the UN web page, and found that the sample questions for the multiple choice test were very few. In addition, I did not find the solution with the correct answers for these. I wonder if anybody has additional sets of questions for this part. It would be really helpful for me, in order to have a more accurate idea of the questions we are going to be asked.

Thanks a lot and good luck to those of you who are taking the exam too,

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UN Examination, Spanish - September 2009

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