Thursday, September 06, 2007

Another day, another test


I took a CLEP exam today in Spanish. Y parece que puedo recordar el espanol bastante bien. Ole. (And it seems that I can remember Spanish pretty well)(Ole)

I may seem like a test junkie at this point - hey, I have a free afternoon! why don't I go take some sort of standardized test? what fun! I'm not really (yes I am!) (no I'm not!) (Si! Me encantan los examenes!) (No! No me encantan!).

Excuse me for a moment. (self, stop it.) (stop what?) (you know what.) (nuh-uh.) (ya-huh--wait. *dangles malabrigo*)(ooo! pretty! *swoon, thud*)

There.

I do want to get as many boxes checked off as quickly as possible on required preparation, and there's a foreign language thing to satisfy, so--voila, 12 credits in Spanish, in only and hour and a half. Cut-off score for maximum credit was 63 (out of 80); I got a 76. So I got a few wrong, dang it. As usual, I thought I got a lot more wrong than I (apparently) did.

There was a long-ish listening section, which was just plain weird. I'd hear the Spanish for something like "I am in such pain, what do you advise?", and then hear options (in Spanish) like "Yes, the meat is on special today," or "It is eight o'clock." Very disorienting! Part of my head would try to make sense of it anyway and I'd have to stop myself, and just wait for some other answer to come up. Similar absurdity, which is not directly from the test but captures substantially the bizarre flavor of it: Prompt: "Hey, you won the tournament! Congratulations!" Answers: a) "bummer!" b) "I ate chicken." c) "hurray!" d) "I'm the new lawyer." It was a bit like listening to a conversation between Spanish-speaking people with brain damage.

Aha! Yes! I managed to work in some neuroscience! Go, me!

Well, that, and Spanish is not utterly useless in neuroscience, as I could possibly do some sort of project that would involve translating Cajal. After getting a bit more competent first. Ahem.

Translation is more difficult for me than just understanding things. Ideally, I start listening without mentally translating into English. So to then try and bump back into English--that's difficult, and feels counterproductive. No me gusta. (Ni yo tampoco.) (*waves malabrigo again*) (*swoon, thud*)

Best stop there, before she comes to again. Later, all.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Kat said...

(*waves malabrigo again*) (*swoon, thud*) - what's that in Spanish? ;-)

8:14 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Sounds like that test was written by Samuel Beckett.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

More Ionesco, I think. Or maybe Beckett and Ionesco trying to converse.

Translation is hard, even when you (think you) know what you're talking about. It's that code-switching thing. Trekking back and forth across the corpus callosum, something like that.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

Beckett + Ionesco + Mamet

4:31 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

What Lucia said. Since I'm David's de facto in-house translator, I have to either translate e-mails or interpret for him on phone calls to Peru a few times a year. Trying to parse what I understand in one language and then turn it into something coherent in the other is very challenging, partly because I don't do it as often anymore as I used to. It's also difficult if I don't know the underlying context, not to mention that fact that I never really studied the technical language specific to textiles or to import-export. ¡Vaya!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Lorena said...

Okay, so Liz, you know I'm opening this yarn store? And that we bought a bunch of stock? I totally thought of you today when I spied that box of Malabri--- I can't even say it. I put it to the side, afraid that after entering pounds of Colinette and Cherry Tree Hill, that I wouldn't be able to stand the excitement. But I wished that you were there!

10:37 PM  

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