Matthew Burns

MFL EU COMPETITION

Sedbergh School pupils have been selected to take part in the European Commision ‘Juvenes Translatores’ competition on 27th November, competing as one of only 78 schools in the UK and 751 schools in the European Union.

The competition, which exists to promote language learning and translation, started in 2007 and supports the ever-growing need for translators in Europe.

Pupils who were born in 1997 can take part, so younger pupils in the Upper Sixth and older ones in Lower Sixth. Sedbergh will enter between two and five candidates who will sit a two-hour exam and translate into their own native language.

The theme this year is ‘European Identity’ and the test, conducted internally, will be sent to Brussels to be marked. One winner from each EU member state is chosen and invited to an awards ceremony in Brussels. 

Head of MFL, Andrew Loughe, said: “This international contest presents a very exciting opportunity for our senior pupils. Their translation skills will be pitted against those of over 3,000 other pupils all sitting the test at the same time on the same day around Europe.

The ability to translate and convey messages between two foreign languages is a hugely important and valuable talent, and one that is sadly overlooked at IGCSE level, and even at AS level. Translation from and into a target language such as French, German or Spanish is only currently examined at A2 level, which is a shame as many learners of a foreign language enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of translating an idea from one language into another successfully.

“It’s no secret that employers all over the UK are crying out for competent linguists these days, and a confident translator must surely be a huge asset to any company or organisation. When you successfully get a message across, you convey thoughts and ideas well, which benefits effective communication.

And it goes without saying that no computer software or application can translate as effectively as a competent human being – which is something that we as MFL teachers are often telling our pupils!

For more information on the competition visit: http://ec.europa.eu/translatores/why/index_en.htm and follow @Sedbergh_MFL Twitter account for updates.

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