TRANSART – Southern California

Medical / Judicial Interpreter – Spanish/English Translator

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Theory on why it is so much easier to pass the Spanish portion of written exam

Posted by Legal / Medical Interpreter on 10/24/2009

Well….  after much thought….  I came up with a theory as to the roots of such great discrepancy between Spanish and English scores in the written Interpreter exam. Getting to the point, in a nut-shell, the unbalance has to do primarily with three things:

1. the workings behind romance languages–> Spanish

2. the workings of Germanic Languages —> English

3. the evolved mechanisms behind the standardized format of ‘testing’ the English language

In depth—>

1) Romance languages are more of a ‘what you see is what you get’ type of format. It is either right, or completely off, hence, it is somewhat easier to detect the ‘wrong’ usage from the ‘correct’ usage. I believe there is reason as to why Spanish falls into the ‘Romance’ category. Romance languages are easier to use in connoting emotions, feelings, and those things which elude reason. As such, English then becomes the more ‘elusive’ of the languages, and consequently easier to ‘trick’.

2) Germanic languages derive their strengths from their ‘technology’ sort to speak. They evolved primarily as a means of ‘verbal technology’. With the industrial revolutions and advents of the 1920-1945, Germanic languages’ initiatives to mold themselves to the advancements of humanity created staple characteristics indicative of their overall usage and purpose. If one looks also at the evolution of Western Philosophy, one can see that the German language and its cousin English evolved similarly in the effect that their aims have been in a sense to be able to have many very different ways of saying the same thing, in a very technical and logical format—-> here, is where the standardized testing edge comes in.

3) Testing of these languages, therefore becomes quite easy in that its innate ‘elusiveness’ becomes an advantage to the examiner.


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