Translation as a career
Translation as a career

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Translation as a career

3.2 Specific CEFR descriptors

As well as the global descriptors you’ve just looked at, the CEFR also has specific level descriptors for the different areas of ‘Understanding’ (i.e. listening and reading), ‘Speaking’ (both spoken interaction and spoken production) and ‘Writing’. You can read the detailed descriptors for the different skills in the CEFR document, but as a translator, you will need to focus in particular in developing your reading and writing skills and, for audiovisual translation, you will also need excellent listening skills. Here are the overall descriptors for those skills:

Table 2 CEFR descriptors

 Overall reading comprehension

Can understand and interpret critically virtually all forms of the written language including abstract, structurally complex, or highly colloquial literary and non-literary writings.

Can understand a wide range of long and complex texts, appreciating subtle distinctions of style and implicit as well as explicit meaning.

C1Can understand in detail lengthy, complex texts, whether or not they relate to his/her own area of speciality, provided he/she can reread difficult sections.
 Overall written interaction
C2As C1
C1Can express him/herself with clarity and precision, relating to the addressee flexibly and effectively.
 Overall listening comprehension
C2Has no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, delivered at fast native speed.

Can understand enough to follow extended speech on abstract and complex topics beyond his/her own field, though he/she may need to confirm occasional details, especially if the accent is unfamiliar.

Can recognise a wide range of idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms, appreciating register shifts. Can follow extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly.

(CEFR, 2002, pp. 66, 69, 83)

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