ALTA's Translation Practice Test (English)
You have been registered to take ALTA’s Online Translation Test. This test is designed to assess your ability to translate from one language to another language. The evaluation is done online with pre-selected texts.
Here are some important things to remember when taking the test:
- The test contains 2 or 3 texts depending on the test that has been assigned to you.
- Both passages must be translated in the 2- text test. You will type your translation in the box below each passage.
- In the 3-text test, the first passage on the first page is required to translate. You will type your translation in the box below the passage. You must choose only 1 of the remaining 2 texts on the second page to translate. You will type your translation in the box below the passage that you selected.
- The time limit is 120 minutes. A timer in the corner of the screen will inform you how much time you have remaining, and you will be given a warning five minutes before the end of your test.
- It is important to take the test in a quiet area where you can concentrate fully on what you are writing.
- Passages come from a variety of published news sources. Topics are general news, business, science, government, law, and medical. The passage required to translate depends of the type of test that you have been assigned.
- Passage texts are between 200 and 250 words.
- You are able to move backward and forward through the test, if you choose. That is, if you skip a question, you will be able to come back to it later.
- You are allowed to use only non-online reference materials for this test (paper dictionaries).
- Once you have started your test, you may not stop it, start over, or take the test again.
- You must click “Submit Test” when you have finished answering the last question – otherwise, your test will not be scored.
You will be evaluated on the following:
- The accuracy of your translation
- How well your translation maintains the style of the source text
- Grammar, spelling (including accent marks where applicable), punctuation, and vocabulary.
- PC Users: Windows 10
- Mac Users: OSX 10.5 and higher
- Java Script (turned on)
- Flash (downloaded for free)
- Broadband connection
- Supported Browsers, latest version – Chrome (recommended), Safari or Firefox
Also, for languages with non-roman characters, character encoding needs to be set up at Unicode. It’s usually done per default. In case it’s not: in the Firefox task bar, go to “View”, to “Character Encoding” and make sure that “Unicode (UTF-8)” is selected. (If “View” does not appear, go to “Web Developer”.)
It is your responsibility to use the appropriate settings on your keyboard for the language being tested. You will not be able to insert characters with diacritical marks. Note also that the copy and paste functions are disabled within the test. If you do not know how to set up your keyboard to type those marks, please use the character codes (ALT codes). Click here to see those codes and the options based on the device you are using to take the test.