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Monday, February 17, 2014

Mistranslation Monday: TestDaF

As you know, I took the TestDaF last Thursday. This German fluency test has four components: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The speaking section has seven different prompts, each of which gives you 1-2 minutes to think and then 2-3 minutes to speak. Everything was going great until I got to prompt #6.

Topic: Eheschließung

Okay, I had never seen this word before, but the good thing about German is that they love compound words. So I looked at the word's parts:

Ehe=marriage
Schließung=closing

So, this probably means divorce, right? Alrighty. I then went on to talk about how divorce can hurt families with children, as kids that grow up in single family homes tend to have more behavior problems and don't perform as well in school. At the end of my 3 minutes, I actually felt pretty good about the whole thing.

That is, until I met back up with Marco after the test. As we were discussing the various prompts, I asked, "What does Eheschließung mean, by the way?"

"Marriage," he replies.

I went white. What?! Marriage?! So, I just gave a 3 minute speech about how marriage is bad for children? Great.

You see, I had the parts of the word correct, but I misinterpreted the meaning. Schließung does mean closing, but I should have thought of "marriage closing" as meaning that the marriage is official. Ugh.

Well, at least the TestDaF isn't graded according to your opinions and thoughts, but rather how you formulate them. So, maybe I still have a chance...

Oh, and by the way, you can now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

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