The Translations Task

When you’re studying Spanish, you do a little bit of translation in your head all the time. For the translation questions, you just need to apply those skills -one sentence at a time- to a couple of short passages.

In any case, do not worry, because we will help you develop your translation skills so that on the day of the exam it will be a piece of cake.

You’ll translate from Spanish to English, in the GCSE Reading Exam

The final questions of the reading papers will ask you to translate a short Spanish passage (about 50 words) into English. The passage will be on a topic you’ve studied, so most of the vocabulary should be familiar. Here you an example for a past paper, but don’t forget how important is to work and increase your vocabulary.

Here are some tips for doing your translation

Tips for doing your translation during the reading exam.

  • Read the whole text before you start. Makes some notes in English to remind you of the main idea.
  • Translate the text one sentence at a time, rather than word by word. This will avoid any of the Spanish word order being carried into the English.
  • Keep an eye out for the different tenses, there will be definitely a variety in the passage. 
  • Read through your translation to make sure it sounds natural. Some words and phrases don’t translate literally, so you will need to make sure that your sentences sound like normal English
  • Make sure you’ve translated everything from the original text, you’ll lose marks if you miss something.

You will translate from English to Spanish, in the GCSE Writing Exam

In the writing paper, you will have to translate a short English passage (about 50 words) into Spanish.  Here are some ideas for how you could approach the translation task, read them carefully, after that practice with our activities flecha animada:

  • Read through the whole text before you get started so you know exactly what the text is about.
  • Tackle the passage one sentence at a time. Work slowly can carefully through each one.
  • Don’t translate literally, think about what each English sentence means and try to write it in the most Spanish way you know. Don’t worry, the translation is likely to include similar sentences to the ones you’ve learned.
  • Work on the word order, remember the most Spanish adjectives follow the noun. If you need a double negative, remember to include both bits.
  • Don’t try to write a perfect translation the first time. Do it roughly first and then write it up.
  • Remember to keep an eye on the time!
  • Once you’ve got something that you’re happy with, go back through and check that you’ve covered everything that was in the English one.
  • Now check your Spanish text thoroughly, you will find very useful the list of points to double-check on the writing exam
Finally, remember to practice all these tips with our English Spanish translation tasks!

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