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GEC1: Translation from and into German

The C1 paper requires candidates to translate out of and into German, showing an advanced knowledge of the language.

Aims and objectives: 

In Part II, students can combine the skills they have acquired in their first two years with their linguistic experience during the Year Abroad. The aim of this course is to guarantee that students acquire the ability to move easily between the two languages. Reading and understanding complex German enables students to translate German passages into idiomatic English while they can also demonstrate their proficiency in producing accurate and idiomatic German translations of English passages.

Course materials: 

The department has a bank of material, mostly from previous examinations. Passages are available for students on Moodle.

Teaching and learning: 

Fortnightly classes are organised by the department, alternating between translating into English and into German. Students are given passages to translate as homework in advance of the class. These usually form part of the class discussions. Teachers will go through various different versions of possible translations, discussing their individual merits. Strategies for translating ‘typical’ problems will be addressed. The range of passages allows students to translate literature, essays, academic and newspaper articles, providing them with a wide scope of expressions and constructions.

Learning resources:

The Moodle site for GeC1 can be found here. Students should email the paper coordinator for the enrollment password.


Candidates will be required in this three-hour examination to translate two passages, one from English into German and one from German into English. For a specimen paper, please see here (but note that the length of the examination changed for the Summer 2018 examinations).

The paper carries 70% of a scheduled paper. The C2 paper also carries 70% and the oral examination carries 60%. The three examinations together weigh the same as two scheduled papers.

For all Department of German past papers, see here. Examiners’ Reports can be found here.

Course Contacts: 
Annemarie Künzl-Snodgrass
Silke Mentchen