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Upper education in china

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Finals Week



Last week were just final exams, with a total of 6 exams this week (the week before I took my Spanish exam, and handed in my 2 papers for two separate classes, the last paper is due at the end of the month) but it's basically all done now. 


Interesting takeaways:

1) The examination papers are not exactly 'user friend'. For every exam that had a writing component, we were given these huge pieces of paper that were printed in landscape mode that took up the entire desk. I ended up having to rip off the papers and fold them so that they could be comfortably written on. 

2) No electronic devices allowed at all, which I guess makes sense but is quite frustrating. We were allowed to bring dictionaries though. 

3) Final exams seem more of a formality than a grade component. At the end of exams most of our professors told us "don't worry, no one will fail", well.. That’s reassuring. 

4) Some teachers are really distant but others are really warm and sweet. We took pictures and exchanged wechat with our Wednesday teachers, but not with Thursdays. Friday’s teacher rejected a request for a group picture stating “I’m never going to eat lunch with you or be super close with you and have conversations outside of class with you so there’s no point in having something to remember me” lol. The other Friday teacher was sweet and we exchanged wechat with her.



The Exams:


Consecutive Translation Chinese-English: Topic on climate change, The professor took a segment of the speech and cut it up into segments for us to interpret within the pauses. He was really nice, and gave us a short glossary before the exam and about 5-10 minutes to review it before beginning. Love this guy, he’s going to teach in Wales though for the next year.

Theory & Skills of Interpretation: Just general principles of interpretation, and theory. The professor gave us a review sheet that was about 11 pages long and let us bring it to the test which helped a lot. The test wasn’t very long.

Wednesday left me feeling good. We took pictures with both teachers and our teacher gave us homework over the break, he’ll be our travel/tourism interpreting teacher in the Spring. He gave us three foreign students our own homework, which is mostly comprised on chinese culture. I'm guessing the chinese students homework will be focused on 'western' culture, i'll let you know when the banzhang sends it to us. 


Written Translation English-Chinese: 600 word text on the European economic model, looked like something from The Economist, it took me the entire test period to complete the exam. Heavily paraphrased and flipped through my dictionary. Kept forgetting how to write Chinese words.

Written Translation Chinese-English: Extremely short text on a company’s briefing report. Didn’t take me long at all.

Felt horrible after Thursday but the worst was done with. I think our written translation teacher (E-C) was surprised we finished the exam. Last week she asked us if we were taking the exam and we were like of course professor!


Sight Translation: Interpret 3 sections, the first E-C, second C-E, third just a passage in English to read out loud. The topics were on Food Security, Ali Baba Company, and the last part was on the Donald Trump & Steven Banon feud. The professor gave us about 5 minutes to gloss over the text, then 12 minutes for recording, most of us finished in 8-9 minutes. It’s really easy to get caught up in the speed of the class when you hear everyone talking loudly at the same time. I wish I had spent a bit more time to have a clearer and better interpretation but it’s done with already.

Consecutive Translation English-Chinese: Two parts. First part on just memory practice and retelling, the professor picked a passage from one minute Science America or whatever its called, no note taking, just memory practice. The second part was on a speech about the trade partnership between Australia and China. It went okay. I really need to work on my Chinese more hahaha, I literally cringe when I hear myself speaking in Chinese which unfortunately happened when at the start of the recording all of our headphones were echoing what we said.

I’m not sure how the grades will be or whatever but I think I feel okay. It seems like the professors don’t seem to be failing anyone, at least that’s the impression I get for now…

Our new schedules are out as well. Next semester we have 8 classes, and just two classes in the afternoon *yaaay*


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Very impressive, congratulations! I hope you get top marks.


I never had to do long translations into Chinese in my college courses (in the UK). In 90% of the homework and exams the translations' target language was English. It was good for me because my primary aims were always reading, listening comprehension and translation into English, so I got good marks. However, the end result is a rather passive Chinese The knowledge to make Chinese the target is there, and a lot of it seems to seep into the brain by reading and listening Chinese - but it takes masses of time and determination to reverse the C-E trend and make Chinese one's active language. I suspect one starts dreaming in Chinese when that happens.

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