For most students coming straight from school, translating – in a formalised setting at least – is a new type of linguistic activity. At this point in the course translating from German to English has proved to be a highly effective exercise for honing a variety of sub-skills and enhancing general proficiency. This is one place where students have to grapple with nuances of meaning and lexical choice; with more complex syntax – including sentence structure and rearrangement; with style (appropriateness) and idiomatic expression; with the problems of mediating between different cultures; with the formalities of writing in English – spelling, punctuation, text layout, etc. Translation is a challenging and “holistic” activity; it should be stimulating, and, in the context of advanced-level language teaching, it certainly calls for curiosity and precision.
Translation courses involve both graded assignments and an examination.