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Overview of the LS Translation Testing Program
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  1. Overview of the LS Translation Testing Program Translating Division Office of Language Services U.S. Department of State

  2. Excellence in Human Resources

  3. Testing Standards and Principles • Evaluative standards directly linked to job requirements • Clearly defined standards and evaluation criteria • Equitable testing environment • Non-discriminatory

  4. Evaluative Process • Review of résumé • Sample translation • Invitation to test • Waiver of candidate’s right to challenge results • Testing • Evaluation • Clearance

  5. 2001 Translation Testing Reform 1. Evaluative standards directly linked tojob requirements • Contractors: work may not always be reviewed – may work in isolation • Staff: translate at highest level of difficulty and sensitivity • Staff and contractors are called upon to certify translations of U.S. treaties

  6. 2001 Translation Testing Reform 2. Clearly defined standards and evaluationcriteria • Error categories (defined) • Major/minor errors (defined) • Documentation and justification • Comprehensive reform charter

  7. 2001 Translation Testing Reform 3. Equitable testing environment • Proctored testing on LS premises, in most cases • State-of-the-art equipment • No CD-ROM or Internet access • Uniform test passages: 3 texts / 300 words • Uniform time: 4 hours

  8. 2001 Translation Testing Reform 4. Non-discriminatory • Test grading is double blind • Grading done by staff wherever possible • Test taking open to all qualified candidates • Pre-screening is based on documentary evidence • Uniform notification before and after testing

  9. 2001 Translation Testing Reform 5. Other concerns • Security/integrity of test passages • Special tests: graduate-level interns • Replenishment of test passages • Cooperation with Interpreter testing program • Training for test graders

  10. How to Prepare for an LSTranslating Test • Read current foreign-language texts as much as possible • Keep abreast of current events, especially on the international level • Translate as much as possible, especially texts dealing with international affairs • Find a mentor • Review rules of style and usage in your target language

  11. Top Twelve Topics inLS Translation Work Conflict resolution Drug control International security Environment Agriculture International business and trade Democracy, human rights, and labor International finance and development Maritime/fisheries issues Legal issues S&T Transportation

  12. COMMON MISTAKES • Either slavish adherence to original, or over-interpretive renditions • Following punctuation of source text, rather than following rules of target language • Omissions • Outright mistranslation: use the plausibility test • Failure to read over translation to check for errors