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Translations as language tests. Gianfranco Porcelli Pavia, March 6, 2009. Out of the blue…. Il postiglione del duca è stato colpito dal fulmine. A paragon of perfection (for French)?. I cammelli hanno i calli alle ginocchia.

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translations as language tests

Translations as language tests

Gianfranco Porcelli

Pavia, March 6, 2009

out of the blue
Out of the blue…
  • Il postiglione del duca è stato colpito dal fulmine
a paragon of perfection for french
A paragon of perfection (for French)?
  • I cammelli hanno i calli alle ginocchia
robert lado 1964 on the limitations of translations as tests 1
Robert Lado (1964) on the limitations of translations as tests / 1
  • Translation As a test of ability in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, we notice the following limitations in the use of translation:
  • 1. The most proficient students do not translate when they use the language.
robert lado 1964 on the limitations of translations as tests 2
Robert Lado (1964) on the limitations of translations as tests / 2
  • 2. There are various ways to translate and to judge a translation:
    • For artistic purposes, for accuracy of information, for grammatical exactness, or for vocabulary equivalence. A translation can be judged from these and other points of view. If the student is forced to translate for vocabulary or grammar, his literary appreciation may suffer.
robert lado 1964 on the limitations of translations as tests 3
Robert Lado (1964) on the limitations of translations as tests / 3
  • 3. The grading of translations tends to be unreliable because of the various ways to translate and the variations that the scorer may or may not allow.
  • 4. Translation is a special skill different from listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
robert lado 1964 on the limitations of translations as tests 4
Robert Lado (1964) on the limitations of translations as tests / 4
  • 5. Translation is slow as a test. Unless he has had special training, a good student takes longer to translate a letter than to write one. In the time that it takes him to translate a passage, he can cover more material using other techniques.
  • 6. Translation is slow to grade, since the examiner has to weigh each response to see if it is allowable.
robert lado 1964 on the limitations of translations as tests 5
Robert Lado (1964) on the limitations of translations as tests / 5
  • 7. The use of translation in tests encourages the abuse of translation in the classroom.
  • Perhaps the only favorable things to be said for translation as a test of language proficiency are that translation questions are easy to set and are compact. The price paid for these is high.
distance and proximity
Distance and proximity
  • bag brag crag drag flag fag gag hag lag nag quag rag sag shag slag snag stag swag tag wag
  • fraction fractionate fragility fragmentary fragrance fragrant fraternity fratricide fraudulent frequent frequentative friability fricative frigidity frivolity frontispiece fructification frugality frustration
see you soon
See you soon…
  • March 30th and 31st
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