The Linguist

The Linguist 53,1

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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14 The Linguist FEBRUARY/MARCH FEATURES the next day. Try to talk in your second language just before the oral exam to improve your fluency and confidence. I enjoyed the role-play and was glad I had prepared my introductory sentences. The sight translation was much harder; there is very little time to read the background information and then prepare your translation. Two tips for the written exam: take some bookmarks for your dictionary, and practise writing quickly and legibly in your second language. Good luck! Anna Siemaszko was awarded the Follick Award and the Simeon Potter CPD Prize for best CBS candidate in November. The winner of the David Crystal Trophy, journalist and broadcaster Rosie Goldsmith, will write about her life with languages in the next issue. Anna Siemaszko, winner of two CIOL awards for best CBS candidate, offers her advice to future candidates I decided to take the Certificate in Bilingual Skills (CBS) despite having promised myself after my university finals, 30 years previously, that I would never take another exam. It is good to have a goal in mind; not just passing the exam, but what you want to pass it for. Following a course is extremely helpful. It gives you support and encouragement, as well as conveying information. I really enjoyed my course at Manchester College and met people from a wide range of countries. It is also useful to have a mentor in your second language: someone who can correct your mistakes and explain the background of the language – when you use one word rather than another, for example. My main homework was to compile a glossary. This was in two forms: a ring-binder with dividers for subject areas, and an A-Z A4 notebook for more general words. I wrote Polish words in capitals and English in lower case, and included a definition if necessary. Appropriate vocabulary was provided during the course, but you can also buy glossaries on the internet and transcribe from them. Pamphlets and leaflets for speakers of your language in the UK are another valuable source (to be found in libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaux etc). A good dictionary is essential. I used the Oxford dictionaries: a smaller one for the exam and a massive, two-volume one at home. Take every opportunity to practise translating and to deepen your language knowledge. While commuting or shopping you can translate all the notices and signs around you; a small notebook is useful for writing down new words or expressions. If you have not been brought up bilingually, or have not worked as an interpreter, it is important to practise switching between languages, as mental agility is required. Treat the exam as a challenge; it is vital to know exactly what it involves. The CIOL website ( contains lots of information (make sure you use the most recent version of the handbook). Past papers are essential but expensive – you may be able to share with others who speak your language. The oral exam includes the role-play and then two sight translations. You may have to travel some distance for this: I had to travel from Yorkshire to London for 11.30am and then go to Manchester for the written exam Making the grade Fostering the study of languages: Threlford Memorial Cup Lizzie Fane, Founder of David Crystal Trophy Rosie Goldsmith, BBC journalist and Chair of European Literature Night Diploma in Translation: Shlapps Oliver Shield for Best Group Entry Dom Schule Fremdsprachen Richard Lewis Trophy for Best Overall Candidate Irina Stanova Fred Brandeis Trophy for Best English to German Candidate Julia Jira Peter Newmark Award for Best Candidate (Literature) Irina Stanova Diploma in Public Service Interpreting: Nuffield Trophy for Best Group Entry Talking Heads Susan Tolman Award for Best Candidate (Law) Pavel Slama Jaffar Hamid Cup for Best Candidate (Local Government) Aysen McIntosh Corsellis Cup for Best Candidate (Health) Agata Sobieraj THE WINNERS AWARDS CEREMONY (Right) CIOL Vice-President Baroness Coussins (l) and Executive Director IoLET Ann Carlisle (r) present Anna Siemaszko with the Follick Award; (top right) reception drinks in the Barbican conservatory; and (bottom right) a harpist entertains prizewinners and guests

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