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Feedback from JT markers: ein Bisschen Deutsch

February 20th, 2013

Let’s continue our series of articles on the feedback received from our fellow translators who marked the papers  of the Juvenes translators young translators. Today we have a look at the translations from English into German.

(2012 texts for translation and winning translations are available here).

Heute bieten wir Ihnen eine Liste von guten Lösungen und häufigen Fehlern der Juvenes Translatores-Übersetzungen aus dem Englischen ins Deutsche an. Hoffentlich können Sie sie in Ihrem Unterricht verwenden.

Tremeur

ENGLISCH-DEUTSCH

Gute Lösungen

Titel („Sharing to learn“): Lernen durch Austausch/ Wissen Teilen/ Voneinander lernen

„history nerd“: Geschichtsfreak/ Geschichtefanatiker/ ich entwickle mich zu einem absoluten Streber in Geschichte / einem wirklichen Geschichtsfan

“when they were our age”: als sie in unserem Alter waren/ erzählt von seinem Leben in seiner Jugend

and it’s not just „good-old-days“ nostalgia either: nicht nur Erinnerungen an die „guten alten Zeiten“/ aber sie erinnern nicht nur nostalgisch an die „guten alten Zeiten“/ es gibt keine typischen „früher war alles besser“-Beschwerden/ Nostalgie der guten alten Zeit/ es geht nicht nur um die „guten alten Zeiten“/Gerede über die „guten alten Zeiten”/ nostalgische Geschichten von der „guten alten Zeit”/ nicht nur nostalgische Geschichten über die gute alte Zeit

„What makes it special ist that they all actually lived through these things“: Das Besondere an der Sache ist, dass sie alle echte Zeitzeugen sind/ dass sie das alles selbst erlebt haben/ tatsächlich miterlebt habe / haben all das tatsächlich miterlebt/ … alle diese Sachen mitgemacht haben/ alle auch wirklich diese Dinge erlebt haben

„it´s not all one-way traffic“: aber das bedeutet nicht, dass bei dem Projekt nur wir profitieren/ das Tolle an dem Projekt ist, dass es auf Gegenseitigkeit beruhtes ist jedoch keineswegs einseitig/ beruht trotzdem nicht nur auf Nehmen, dass sie nur geben und wir nur nehmen/ ist nicht nur eine Einbahnstraße

„they´ll just be left behind“: sie verlieren einfach den Anschluss/ bleiben auf der Strecke

„we have each been assigned tutees“: wir bekamen einen Partner zugewiesen/ jedem wurde ein Privatschüler zugeteilt/ ein Nachhilfeschüler zugewiesen

„you get a kick out of“: es macht Riesenspaß/ es macht wirklich Spaß/ es macht einem richtig Spaß/ es ist immer wieder aufregend/ man fühlt sich richtig gut, wenn…/ doch es macht Riesenfreude…

„our whole class are getting into history“: unsere ganze Klasse hat das Geschichtsfieber gepackt

„an amazing idea“: eine geniale Idee

„rationing and austerity in the forties and fifties“: die Rationierungen und Entbehrungen während der Vierziger- und Fünfzigerjahre

„the social changes in the sixties“: die sozialen Umbrüche in den Sechzigerjahren

„for many older people using a computer is as alien as, say, playing football in the street would be for us“: Für viele ältere Menschen ist der Umgang mit einem Computer so abwegig wie für uns das „Kicken“ im Hinterhof

„Even on telly everyone is always talking about going online, and some of them just feel lost“: Manche Rentner fühlen sich einfach überfordert, da selbst im Fernsehen alle über das Internet reden

„teaching them to overcome their fear“: ihnen beizubringen, über ihren Schatten zu springen

„the only downside“: die einzige Schattenseite / der einzige Haken an der Sache

„we are eating an inordinate amount of cakes and biscuits“: dass wir eine gewaltige Menge an Gebäck verdrücken

I even showed someone how to use Skype to talk to her granddaughter in Australia the other day.: Einer Dame habe ich vor kurzer Zeit sogar damit geholfen, sich via Skype mit ihrer Enkelin in Australien zu unterhalten. Ich habe letztens einer Rentnerin sogar gezeigt, wie man Skype benutzt, um mit ihrer Enkelin in Australien zu reden.

So we’re learning about the past and doing something really worthwhile at the same time.: … können gleichzeitig etwas tun, von dem wir wissen, dass es gut und richtig ist/… etwas wirklich Sinnvolles getan

Häufige Fehler

„austerity“: häufig mit „Strenge“, „Ernst“ oder „Kargheit“ übersetzt

„once a fortnight“: häufige Übersetzung: nach vierzehn Tage kam ein Rentner…/vor vierzehn Tagen kam ein Rentner/ jeden zweiten Tag/ einmal am Vorabend/ für 2 Wochen/ 14 Tage lang/ vor 14 Tagen/ von Zeit zu Zeit

„the other day“: häufige Übersetzung: „am nächsten Tag“

history nerd: Geschichtsvernaticker

our teacher (she): wird oft „der Lehrer”

lived through these things: durchlebt, überlebten, schon einmal durchlebt, mitgelebt

birth of the green movement: Entstehung der grünen Welle

as alien as, say, playing football in the street would be for us: fussballspielende Außerirdische auf der Straße für einen Teenager, ein auf der Straße Fußball spielender Außerirdischer, Außerirdische auf der Straße Fußball spielen

Feedback from JT markers: translations from ES into FR

February 15th, 2013

With this first article, we would like to initiate a series of posts devoted to the feedback we got from the translators of the DG Translation who marked the Juvenes Translatores translations.

Every year, some of our colleagues from the different language departments in DG Translation (see our organisation chart) provide us with interesting data about the  common mistakes and the good solutions they have found in the translations written by JT participants.

We believe this information can be useful for you and your students, and we hope you will post your comments below.

Don’t forget that the Juvenes Translatores 2012 texts for translation and the winning translations are available on our website.

Today, I propose that we start with the feedback from our colleagues in the French Department who marked the translations from Spanish into French. Enjoy the reading!

Tremeur

Erreurs et bonnes idées: traductions ES/FR

Erreurs récurrentes

Texte original Traductions erronées Traductions correctes
Mañana, […]. Demain matin, […].

Ce matin, […].

Demain, […].
no será mi caso Je ne serai pas dans ma maison

Quand tu ne seras pas chez moi

las cartas les cartes postales

les cartes

les lettres
[…] su letra elegante. […] sa lettre élégante. […] son écriture élégante.
Por cierto […] Certainement […] D’ailleurs […]

À propos […]

Algunas [son verdaderamente tronchantes]. Quelques-unes Certaines
Ya sé Je sais déjà Je sais bien
Aficionarse S’attacher à, s’habituer, Se passionner pour, prendre goût à,
Enterarse Se rassurer, se rendre compte Savoir,
Esperar SELON LE CONTEXTE, attendre OU espérer

Bonnes idées

Texte original Traductions proposées
Querido Carlitos Mon petit Charles

Carlounet

¡cosas de tu abuela! Les vieilles habitudes de ta grand-mère !

Une idée fixe de ta grand-mère !

Ce sont les fantaisies de ta grand-mère !

apúntala prends-en note

note-la bien

n’oublie pas de la noter

para mayores pour seniors
ya no estás a un tiro de piedra ce n’est plus la porte à côté

tu n’es plus à deux pas de chez moi

Creo que terminaré aficionándome al ordenador […]. Je crois que je vais finir par prendre goût à l’ordinateur […].
las cartas de toda la vida les lettres de toujours, les bonnes vieilles lettres, les lettres d’antan
si viviera s’il était encore parmi nous
tronchantes à se tordre de rire
pesada pénible

embêtante

¡vaya melena que llevas! Quelle tignasse tu as !
La verdad es que En vérité, …

Teaching translation in London

February 6th, 2013

Enjoy this video interview with Robin Edmundson from the City of London School.  He is the teacher of Angus Russell who won the Juvenes Translatores contest for the UK this year. Robin Edmundson gives us some interesting thoughts about translation. Your comments are more than welcome!

JT recipe for teachers

January 30th, 2013

At the European Commission translation department we are always curious to know how the winning schools teach languages, what they do to coach the pupils. We are eagerly awaiting the teachers that we will meet in April, but we have already had some clues.

The Czech teacher got hooked on Juvenes Translatores when she went on a study trip to Brussels in 2011 and met translators. She got so enthusiastic that she inspired students from different classes to take part in JT.

For the Italian school it is the second time they win. Their success in the contest has encouraged the school to offer extra courses in translation and add Spanish as a foreign language on top of English, French and German. Last time they won with a translation from French, and this time for German. And next time…?

And now for the most impressive feat – the German school has won for the third time, and that in competition with 90 other schools. The school was founded in 1784, and is specialised in languages. They use CLIL as a method and offer history in English in the higher classes. The teacher responsible for JT chooses her pupils not necessarily among those with the highest grades, but among those who have a good sense of languages and can express themselves well in their mother tongue.

So, take equal measures of teaching experience, modern methods as well as wide choice of foreign languages, mix until well blended. Add the mother tongue and a cup of translation classes. Finally, season generously with enthusiasm and you have a JT cake. Bon appétit!

2012 Juvenes Translatores list of Winners!

January 28th, 2013
Bravo to the 27 top translators, to all the students who took part in the contest, and to the teachers who helped us organise it!
We hope you enjoyed participating in this contest as much as we enjoyed organising it.
The main figures of the contest are quite impressive: this year, 1744 schools registered, 746 participated, we received 3119 translations and there were 138 language combinations!
We are confident that the trend will remain positive and that more and more students and teachers will be won over to the translation cause!
Tremeur and all the colleagues of the European Commission translation department (DG Translation)

Traineeship abroad

January 14th, 2013

First of all, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for this coming year.  I hope it will bring you and your students great learning opportunities!

Maybe this French proverb could inspire you: “les voyages forment la jeunesse“, which could be translated into English as “travel broadens the mind“.

This is particularly true for our languages skills, since going abroad broadens your horizons, opens your mind, but also puts you in a situation where you have to speak the language of the host country. No escape!

Language teachers know this. They see how their students are progressing when they have the chance to participate in international academic exchanges, don’t they?

When you are travelling simply as a tourist you might get away with just speaking a few words, or using English even though you are in, say Paris or Berlin. But  there are 3 main situations where you are forced to improve your linguistic skills when abroad: when you have to study, work, or love.

There are no European programmes that can apply to the third situation I’m afraid.

But what about traineeship, in the EU? That could be an  interesting experience for your students, once they have finished university. This could give them a chance to live abroad and learn from this experience, not just about the professional field work in which they will work, but also about the language they will have to use.

At European Commission, we offer such traineeships. If you want to learn about the eligibility criteria, have a look at this page (specific rules for translation traineeships under Who can apply?).

At the end of last year, Helga joined us as a trainee, here, at the DG Translation of the European Commission. And I’m pleased to be able to give you today her feedback about such an interesting experience. I hope this  will inspire you. Enjoy the reading.

Tremeur

“Hello Everybody,

I’m Helga and I come from a nice university town, the ‘city of the sunshine’, Szeged, in Hungary. I’m interested in language learning since my early childhood. I started to learn English when I was eight years old and French when I was nine. I continued language learning in a bilingual French-Hungarian high school where we learned History, Maths and Geography in French. After high school I enrolled in law school. I spent one year in Marseille, France as a European volunteer with the main purpose of developing my language skills and also discovering a new culture, living and working in a multicultural environment. My dream was to live and work abroad, specially for an institution of the European Union. This year I spent five months as a trainee of the legal unit of the Directorate General for Translation of the European Commission and now I’m helping the work of the Juvenes Translatores team. My experience at the Commission strengthened my wish to pass the competitions and become an official of the European institutions. I really think that language learning is a lifelong process and it the knowledge of foreign languages helped me a lot during my life.

I wish a very happy new year to everybody!

Nagyon boldog új évet kívánok mindenkinek!

Helga”

What’s new in language learning and teaching

December 20th, 2012

My colleague Flavia recently attended a very interesting conference about multilingualism. Here she writes about what she learned in particular about CLIL as a method for increasing the receptive skills of language learners. With my past as a CLIL-teacher, I couldn’t agree more. Enjoy the reading!

Now, I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tremeur

The CEL/ELC (Conseil Européen des Langues/European Language Council) held this year’s forum in Brussels on November 30th-December 1st. The European Language Council is a permanent and independent association open to all institutions of higher education and all national and international associations with a special interest in languages. Its main aim is the quantitative and qualitative improvement of knowledge of the languages and cultures of the European Union and beyond.

This year’s forum was devoted to “Rethinking Multilingualism: Challenges and Opportunities” and focussed on hot topics connected to the spreading of multilingualism like the increase of multilingualism in the classroom and a parallel decline in literacy, the reflection on new teaching strategies to help teachers to cope with this new situation, the recognition of informal and non-formal learning and the need to devise parameters to validate these forms of alternative learning.

Particularly stimulating was the debate on how to improve literacy, both in the mother tongue and in foreign languages. Among the specific issues brought up it is worth mentioning: a) the decline in literacy connected, at least partly, to the spreading of English, which is increasingly used as a communication language but often at a basic level; b) the need to concentrate more on receptive skills (rather than on oral skills as was the case with the communicative approach) and to develop methods more adapted to this end.

In this context, CLIL (Content and language integrated learning) – i.e. the use of foreign languages to teach specific subjects – was presented. Prof. Teresa Ting, from the University of Calabria (Italy), presented an extremely interesting experience carried out in a secondary school in her region where science lessons had to be delivered in English; the pupils (and to some extent even the teachers), however, had limited knowledge of this language. To do this, the teachers had to reconsider what and how they were teaching, concentrate on core concepts and devise tasks their pupils could perform. The experience was a great success and even disaffected students were brought back into the learning cycle and obtained good results.

If you are interested in knowing more about this experience and its quite unexpected results, see “CLIL Appeals to How the Brain Likes Its Information and “CLIL … not only not immersion but also more than the sum of its parts“.

No doubt, there is still much room for teachers to further experience and stimulate their creativity to adapt to today’s new reality, but also to share ideas and projects with other teachers and teaching experts, and build on them to provide pupils and students tools to better cope with the world they will have to live and work in.

Text, context, contest and target!

December 14th, 2012

Today, I leave the floor to my colleague Anna, who has many things to tell you about the tricky art of translation and the JT texts of this year.

Tremeur

One big relief among others when the Juvenes Translatores contest has taken place is that the source texts are no longer top secret. The texts as you may know, are composed by translators in DG Translation specifically for the contest. There is one text in each and everyone of the 23 official EU languages. The source texts are therefore different from each other, but of the same length and with a common theme. Normally the theme will be the same as the theme of the European Year, this time “Solidarity between generations“.

It will be very exciting to see how the contestants have solved some of the tricky bits invented by our colleagues. Here are some examples:

The French text features a misspelling, that should be translated by an equally misspelt expression in the target language:

Jeanne est vraiment une mamie exceptionelle. (J. : Attention, «exceptionnelle» prend 2 «n» et 2 «l», Lucas.) L. : Ah, pardon, une «mamie exceptionnelle».

When having a peak at some of the translations we were filing, I could see that most pupils had spotted the problem, and many had dealt with it in nifty ways. Any suggestions from you in the comments or on Facebook?

In the Spanish text you find something which could lead on to a more philosophical discussion about translation, an email address: abuela28740@tucorreo.net. If we translate it word by word it means grandmother@yourmail.net – or why not granny@urmail.net which sounds much more internetty and trendy :-). But should an email address be translated? Now we are going into the murkier parts of this translation contest I am afraid…

As we say on our website, translation is about getting your message across to your target audience. However, in order to do this you must know who your target audience is. In Juvenes Translatores, the sender is in a way the translator him- or herself and the target audience is the markers. And the message is of course “See how well I can translate!”. On the other hand, the texts are written in a specific format – a blog, an article or a letter, and the translator must take that into account as well, and use the same style, e.g. a grandmother writing an email to her grandson as in the Spanish text.

If we see the markers as the target audience, it would well make sense to translate the email address, in order to send the message “I am thorough and spotted even the Spanish word in the email address”. But if we see the text as a literary text about a Spanish grandmother, it would also make sense to keep the address as it is, because email addresses are like names, you don’t translate them. But then again, in some books for children, names ARE translated, so it is all about the context what decision you take here…

As you have guessed by now, I’m not sure what I would have done, and I don’t know how the markers will judge a translated or a not translated ”abuela” in the email address. For some languages, like my  native Swedish there is also the added difficulty that you have to choose between paternal grandmother and maternal grandmother. I’d go for paternal grandmother here, as Carlitos dad is mentioned already in the first paragraph.

Tricky, isn’t it? Translation is also about making choices and living with them!

A message from the wintry North

December 3rd, 2012

We got a letter from Sweden, from Emma Gunnarsson Boiertz, who is teaching languages in the small town of Vetlanda,

in the southern part of the country. Emma organises just the kind of bigger, local translation competition that we like to see, in order to let more pupils have the chance to try their hand at translation. My colleague Anna Holmén and myself particularly like Emma’s comparison between language skills and fitness – you need constant exercise to keep it up. At DG Translation, we are lucky enough to work in a language gym every day, lifting weights in the form of Italian subjunctive, German verbs and English idioms. Now I’d like to meet Emma and her pupils at Njudungsgymnasiet!

Tremeur

November 27th, 2012

All aboard!

When I first heard of the Juvenes Translatores competition back in 2009 I instantly felt that this was something I would like to involve my school in. I got the support I needed from my colleagues and that was where the Juvenes Translatores journey for Njudungsgymnasiet in Vetlanda, Sweden, started. We have taken part in the competition many times since then. We decided from the start that we did not want to limit the number of participating students; all who wanted to take part were welcome to do so. This is the main reason why our school has arranged a local competition in which we provide the prizes for the winners. Our prizes do not measure up to the grand prize in the international competition, but we feel it is important to encourage as many students as possible to let their interest in languages grow. Perhaps some of them will even find a future career that involves this interest? In these hard times of financial difficulty I believe that more and more of our teens find a comfort in knowing that their language skills can be their ticket to a secure future and a steady income.  I want them to have this comforting feeling but at the same time I want to make my students realize that language skills are a bit like staying physically fit; you need to practice regularly to stay in shape. Otherwise you might not have what it takes to run fast enough to catch that train, destined for the future of your dreams.

As I sit here watching these wonderfully motivated students struggling with grammar, semantics and many other aspects that need to be considered when working with translation I find myself being envious of them. The Juvenes Translatores competition is something I really would have liked to take part in myself as a student. Perhaps it is not all that surprising then that I became a language teacher? Or is it? With an interest in languages a person has limitless options for his or her future. Do I want to find a profession in the business world, as an interpreter, a writer or perhaps something completely different? I chose, no a correction is needed here! I did not choose at all, it was always clear to everyone in my surroundings that I was going to focus my future career on helping others find the joy of using and developing another language. Even my dear old grandmother knew this when I was barely three years old.

So here I am in a room in a small town in the south of Sweden. Surrounded by young souls with a passion for expressing themselves, and perhaps even more importantly; a desire to create the best possible future for themselves. My question to them is naturally What do you want for your future? And their answers? Well, they vary quite a bit from biologist, lawyer, doctor, engineer and teacher, to photographer or professions dealing with animals or people in different ways or even professions in the creative arts. The future for these teens does not have a fixed destination; they all have open tickets and are running to catch the train that will take them where they want to go.

Emma Gunnarsson Boiertz

Feedback needed!

November 29th, 2012

As you know, the contest is now over, and we are happy to say that things went extremely well. We want to congratulate again all the participants for their organisation in the field and…participation!

We already received the first copies from  schools nearby. Thousands will follow. They will be sent to our translating colleagues who will mark them as soon as possible. Results should be given early February. So, stay tuned.

Loads of nice pictures have been uploaded on our Facebook page, and even a few very nice videos. Go and have a look here. Well done everyone!

Here is a nice comment we received yesterday morning from a French teacher sharing with us the impressions of her pupils after the contest. As you can see below, the comment is in French.

For those of you who don’t speak Molière’s language, the comment is about how, from the student point of view, it is difficult to translate idioms and find the right word, and how translation is not about translating word by word, but finding the right distance to the original text. Not too far, but not to close either…

“Ce mardi 27/11, 5 élèves de terminale ont participé au concours de traduction JUVENES TRANSLATORES organisé par la Direction Générale de la Traduction à Bruxelles, 3 autres ont profité également de l’occasion pour s’entraîner à cet art difficile !

Au terme des 2h d’efforts, Augustin confiait « ce n’est pas facile de traduire des expressions idiomatiques, il faut parvenir à trouver un équivalent en français… » et Charles de poursuivre « il ne s’agit pas de faire du mot à mot ! » Naïla a conclu « il ne faut pas trop s’éloigner du texte de départ mais essayer de trouver un juste milieu .
Nul doute que ces jeunes apprentis traducteurs ont su tirer parti de cette expérience enrichissante. B.D”

That translation is not about translating word by word is the first thing the young translators find out, and it is a challenge that will always stay with them, if they choose to continue on the rocky path of translation.

So, what did your students tell you ? What did they learn about translation ? In which way did that experience change something for them…or for you ?

Tremeur

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