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Someone ask you translate to check your English level

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Have you ever been asked by some one to translate a short movie, music video, or newspaper to check you English level? :frozen:

I get used to it so many times, and i have no reason why they want to do that. In my situation, my friends ask me to translate a movie which they are watching without watching subtitle. They ask me to look at somewhere and translate what people say in the Television. I understand 100% what people say on TV but i could not translate very well cause i have to listening what they are saying on Tv while translate to my friends. They checked what i tranlated with the subtitle wether it is correct or not correct!. I feel very disapointed cause its not easy to do it, and they do not understand what I explain.

It really makes me stressful. :cry:

How's about you guys? have you ever been on that case?

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Yeah, I actually hate it when we are watching a movie and for some reason the subtites don't show up in some parts of the movies, I'm automatically asked to translate what the people are saying!  But it's so fast!!  Trying to translate as the characters speak... and keep up with that speed is hard!  Sometimes I'm translating, and they're already saying something else.  I'm not very fast :(  I feel your pain!

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How can you put jokes and idioms to different language on the spot?? That's challenging  :amazed:

Once I translated the whole film for my friend, she wanted to watch some niche movie in English and couldn't find subtitles anywhere. It took me few days to get it all transcribed and put into a text file!

It was fun but god, I'm not doing it again.

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We are taught English at a very early age, and some of the classes in high school required us to translate a bunch of texts. I personally didn't find it too hard, except for a handful of native phrases that don't carry over well when translated. Otherwise, I actually found it fun. :)

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I try to watch French TV sometimes (which is easy since I'm in Canada) -- things like the news, and, if I'm lucky, the Simpsons. I find that they speak so incredibly fast that I can only pick up on numbers, dates, and other basic toddler level information. It makes me feel like an idiot, but, it is a good way to see how well you'd fit into an all foreign-language environment. It's a great test.

The other thing to remember is that in a true to life situation, most people will be sensitive to the fact that you do not speak their language natively, and will slow down to help you out.

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No, that hasn't happened to me yet, but a classmate of mine way back in high school would test your English proficiency by writing misleading English words that are pronounced differently, like "saute". She asked me to read it while showing me the paper, and when I pronounced it correctly, she and my other classmate looked at each other and said, "That's correct". Okaay, so that's how teenagers gauge your English proficiency, lol.

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Yeah it has happened to me several times. It is some sort of a game that we play in my family, we ask each other to translate parts of a movie in English or French without watching. It is pretty fun :)

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People will do that sometimes.

But there is a difference between knowing a language and being able to translate a language into another.

Translating is an  additional and different skill.

It is very well possible that a native speaker is not able to translate and certainly not on the spot like your friends are asking you to do.

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It's really impressive when people can translate on the fly during a conversation, being a full translator requires some skillsets beyond just knowing 2 languages. Translating on the fly during a film sounds almost impossible. It depends on the movie I suppose, if there aren't many scenes with tons of dialogue then you might be able to keep pace with the movie. And for comedies, and play on words, some things just don't translate well so then you have spend time explaining. Sounds like an exhausting way to watch the movie, for all parties involved.

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I would have to say that translating on the spot is really not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of things that get lost in translation. As well as there is a lot to do with context that you can easily miss by going for direct translation. I usually shun away from such experiences and occasions and find better means to check and challenge my english levels.

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I had a friend forward me the snippet she had to translate, into English, for a job interview. I am 99% sure she used Google translate and, I had to tell her that her translation, wasn't right at all. It was a real estate listing and Google did not pick up on that, at all. It was funny because her conversational English isn't that bad but, trying to describe a house in English doesn't translate over properly. She never got the job so I guess her level of English wasn't what they were looking for. 

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Well I have never had this experience before. If someone asked you to translate to check your English, then it is for your own good. At the end of the day, it is to help you perfect your English especially if it is to help correct your English.

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Not to check my English level but my cousin asked to me to translate a love story, it was sweet because she had to tell the story to her English audience.

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It also happens to me. My friends frequently ask me to translate a song or perhaps a dialogue in a movie just to see if I know English. I do it at first but if they want me to continue, I say something like: The first time is free but for the next one I am going to charge you. I say this as a way of changing the subject. I believe they do this because they are envious of me being able to speak another language other than spanish.

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Actually out of my entire life, this only happened once. My sister wanted to test my Mandarin skills and asked me to translate while watching a Taiwanese drama. Of course, I had no problem and managed but I do understand the feeling. It's annoying as though I'm really incompetent.

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It's not always possible to translate the exact words of a movie, as they wouldn't make sense in another language. Also, if you translated it word by word, the actual essence or punch line might be lost.

For example, I find it quite difficult to explain German humour to my English friends. All I get is blank faces. They simply don't get it. So, imagine trying to translate a black comedy to them.

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I have. I did it for a job opening in this company who did translations and subtitles for film. It was part of an exam before they interviewed me. It was a very long exam though because if I remember it correctly it's a 1-hour exam. I didn't get the job though because there are just words that I couldn't express correctly in English because of the different figures of speech used.  :laugh:

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I think testing someone's language skills by having them translate a text from their native language to the language in question is a great method and quite accurate as well. The text can be of different levels in terms of complexity, so it can determine one's limit in terms as language skills as well. Of course, not to say it is the only way, plenty other ways.

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Why would they ask you to translate something so big with words that would mean completely different things if you translate directly? Shame it is so hard and complicated to translate those big things but it helps with learning and understanding the meanings of sentences.

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It's really impressive when people can translate on the fly during a conversation, being a full translator requires some skillsets beyond just knowing 2 languages. Translating on the fly during a film sounds almost impossible. It depends on the movie I suppose, if there aren't many scenes with tons of dialogue then you might be able to keep pace with the movie. And for comedies, and play on words, some things just don't translate well so then you have spend time explaining. Sounds like an exhausting way to watch the movie, for all parties involved.

I agree completely. Interpreting is a totally different set of skills to speaking another language. Think about it this way: when you speak another language, you only have to think in that language, but when you interpret something you need to think in two languages at once!

Thankfully my friends don't ask me to translate things as a test, but I have helped them out with things they needed the meaning of (like a friend travelling to Japan asking me to help with some Japanese web pages meant).

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My friends have not asked me translate a movie or something to English since they can understand the language as well.

When I was in high school, a teacher asked us to translate a poem and an article in English from Filipino to test how well we understood the meaning or context of those written work.

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I usually have to listen to a movie multiple times before I can translate

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Jeez, yes, way too often. My parents like to do this to me. My dad will put on the Spanish channel and try to make me translate what the actors are saying. I can't translate that fast! I can translate texts and readings better, but even with reading I probably won't translate everything perfectly. One time someone tried to get me to do her Spanish homework for her, to which I said no. She then accused me of not being 'that good' at Spanish. What annoys me is everyone expects me to be fluent in Spanish, and people don't realize that it can take years to learn a language. Ugh. :/

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Have you ever been asked by some one to translate a short movie, music video, or newspaper to check you English level? :frozen:

I get used to it so many times, and i have no reason why they want to do that. In my situation, my friends ask me to translate a movie which they are watching without watching subtitle. They ask me to look at somewhere and translate what people say in the Television. I understand 100% what people say on TV but i could not translate very well cause i have to listening what they are saying on Tv while translate to my friends. They checked what i tranlated with the subtitle wether it is correct or not correct!. I feel very disapointed cause its not easy to do it, and they do not understand what I explain.

It really makes me stressful. :cry:

How's about you guys? have you ever been on that case?

I do for my daughter, but not to check my English level. She really does not understand what was said in our native tongue. Although she understands some of the words, she cannot understand everything that's being said. Thus, she has to ask me or her dad what it meant in English. Sometimes though, she tries to do it on her own which is a good thing to do because she's trying to learn our native language. So I encourage her to do that.

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That's not right.

What do they get out of it by making you feel stressed about translations? If they wish to know what's being said, they should learn the language.

Now, if you're watching the movie and you say: "That's not what they said." Or "This translation is wrong, they said such and such." Or if you're trying to challenge yourself to see if you know the language, as well as you think you do, then sure. It's alright. However, they shouldn't be making you feel that way. Talk to them about that.

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