Translation 101: Prepare for GCSE and A-levels in MFL

Resources team
21st February 2020
Practicing translation in a classroom

Workbooks, games and other tasks to help students tackle translation exercises

Being able to translate sentences from one language to another is a skill students need to have developed when they sit their GCSEs and A-levels. This can often be hard, as learners need to understand the meaning of tricky expressions such as collocations and idioms. Here's a collection of new and popular resources to help your pupils practice translation in French, Spanish and German.

French

Check out the most popular resources to work on translation in French. You can also find a large collection of GCSE revision resources in our French GCSE collection.

French (Adv) - translation practice with answers

The first part of a series of passages for English to French translation designed to practise structures students have often issues with at this level. (thanks to my student Shaneel Shah for the amendments to the original version).
By Gianfranco Conti

How to tackle French A Levels translations

This is a guide I wrote for my students to use in the translation part of the 'A Levels&'. It contains different strategies to tackle the difficulties of such activities.
By charlinebaude

A2 Year 13 French Translation Practise

This resource provides a worksheet of thirty questions to practise essential grammar items in preparation for the summer exams. It focuses on translation skills which students who will have to translate in their exams will be likely to benefit from. Many different tenses and prepositions are tested in this task so it would be prudent to inform students that the sentences will usually include a specific grammar point (tense, prepositions etc) which are different in French to what they are in English. An answer guide has also been prepared for tutors/ students as appropriate.

By adamlolly

French A level Translation Workbook

A workbook (with an answerbook included as a separate document) for A level students doing French and needing translation practice. There are exercises on each theme from English to French and from French to English.

The themes include:

family structures, modern values, friendships, relationships
youth trends, personality and identity
educational and employment opportunities
regional culture and identity in France and French speaking countries
media, art, film and music in the French speaking world
migration and integration
cultural identity and marginalisation
cultural enrichment and celebrating difference
June1940-May 1945
the cultural dimensions in occupied France
1945-1950

Suitable for any exam board

By laprofdelangues

Short translation tasks with mark scheme

Practice translation activities in the style of the new GCSE.
Worksheet includes a short version of the AQA mark scheme.
I go through the correct translation on the board then get pupils to make corrections and peer assess before I mark their work.

Using these every 2-3 weeks as a 10-15 minute activity, to assess pupils regularly and keep exam skills ticking over, rather than doing a massive exam at the end of each topic.
By -myrtille-

Translation Booklet New GCSE Spec. French into English Higher Level

> Prepare your students for the new GCSEs with this 17 page translation booklet.
> Each page has two passages to translate.
> Each page is dedicated to one of the new GCSE sub-topics.
> The back of the booklet has suggested answers.
> Extension work can easily be set, asking students to highlight different tenses in different colours, find negatives, identify adjectives etc
> The pages can be printed off one at a time at the end of each topic or saddle stapled to make a nice booklet.
By RS C

German

Browse through the most sought-after German translation activities. Have a look at our German GCSE collection for more revision resources.

German translation at A2

Two worksheets on translation. 1) Things to watch out for when translating into German ('spot the trick') with explanations, examples and answers. 2) Exercises to practise use of adjectival or adverbial form when translating into English.
By FrauSue

German GCSE 9 - 1 Specifications Translation Exercises.

This document is in the format of worksheets/ a booklet that can be given to all GCSE students. It is broken down into themes and then into the topics within each theme. For each topic there are 10 translation exercises, as on the Reading Exam. It is contains in total 120 translations of varying lengths and levels of challenge. The translations have been created carefully and are in line with exam board exemplar materials. This could be used by pupils at the end of teaching each topic/ sub-theme in order to test/ check understanding and to practise translation skills or used for wider translation purposes.

By cgazzal

A-Level Exam Practice Translation

This powerpoint is designed to help students understand the system underlying the translation section in their A-level exam paper. It features example sentences from past exams and introduces students to a step by step approach to tackle those often tricky translations. Includes answers and explanations (by animation).
By suhop

GCSE German - Authentic Reading Materials / Translation Exercises

In this document, you will find a range of reading materials (no exercises, but the reading materials are there for you to do with what you please!) aimed at the new GCSE Specification (tailored slightly towards Edexcel, but will likely work well for all exam boards).
There are works by Bertolt Brecht, Max Frisch, Siegfried Lenz, Friedrich Dürrenmatt, Heinrich Böll, Patrick Suskind and Wolfgang Borchert; as well as blogs, adverts from Deutsche Bahn and Telekom; tannoy announcements in train stations; holiday brochures; blogs; news stories; website screenshots; magazine articles; and some past exam paper material from pre-2009 in order that you may still use 2010-2016 papers as past paper materials in lessons.
Towards the end, there is a section of materials from GCSE papers which are entirely foundation or foundation/higher level.

Please note: No copyright infringement intended. If you own any of the material, or would like it to be taken out of the booklet, please get in touch!
Where possible, I have inserted links to the page where the source was found.
By cajarvis31

German perfect tense translation game

This is a fast paced activity reviewing the perfect tense conjugation of German verbs. There are over 100 slides and five games to play. Slides give the English and pupils have ten seconds to find the German translation. The presentation is easily adaptable and can be used either as a whole lesson or as several short activities within a lesson. You can come back to it as often as you like. It helps pupils to perfect their translation of verbs in preparation for exams and helps boost confidence when speaking.
By Maryjane Bennett

Spanish

Choose from these frequently-downloaded workbooks and improve learners' translation skills in Spanish. Our Spanish GCSE collection also has a range of revision lesson ideas.

GCSE Spanish translation booklet

I’ve made this Spanish translation booklet (also one on here that I made for French) to comprise all areas of the AQA Spanish GCSE spec.

I’ve included sentence level translation and paragraphs for each topic and in both languages.

Hope that they can be of use - any feedback greatly appreciated!

thanks

By Kloereese

Spanish GCSE writing booster: complex language revision booklet & translation practice

A four page revision booklet of key complex phrases & structures that pupils should include in their speaking & writing to achieve Grade 9.

This is a definitive list of complex and higher structures that I encourage my pupils to use in their work. The phrases are split into 22 sub-groups across four A4 pages, each with some translation practice too, so as pupils can see how easy it is to manipulate these themselves in a variety of topics. Suggested answers are included and the document can be downloaded in .doc and .pdf.

**The structures are grouped in 22 mini-sections: **
Shiny phrases + infinitives
Opinion phrases
Structures of obligation
Conditional sentences
Imperfect constructions
Before/ after
Past tense phrases
Key past tense verbs
Pasar + gerund
Future tense constructions
Conditional constructions
Past conditional constructions
Subjunctive constructions
Acabo de + infinitive
Soñar con + infintive
Desde hace + present tense
Lo (adjective) es que constructions
Introducing someone else’s opinion
Interesting adjectives
Conjunctions
Adverbs
Opinions

A similar resource is available here in French too: https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/french-gcse-complex-and-idiomatic-phrases-full-revision-list-with-translation-practice-12173311

By SecondaryMFLresources

Spanish A level Translation Workbook

A workbook (with an answerbook included as a separate document) for A level students doing Spanish and needing translation practice. There are exercises on each theme from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English.

The themes include:

  • family structures, modern values, friendships, relationships
  • youth trends, personality and identity
  • educational and employment opportunities
  • regional culture and identity in Spain and Spanish speaking countries
  • media, art, film and music in the Spanish speaking world
  • migration and integration
  • cultural identity and marginalisation
  • cultural enrichment and celebrating difference
  • el franquismo
  • post civil-war Spain, historical and political repercussions
  • coming to terms with the past

Suitable for any exam board

By laprofdelangues

A2 Spanish Translation phrases

List of phases based on the AQA Spanish syllabus translation English > Spanish. Use for games, quizes, etc. You will find this file in Quizlet, where your students can compete against each other. If you find this resource useful, please consider contribute to the Spanish post 16 TES bank, as we have so little. PLEASE NOTE THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN EDITED SINCE FIRST PUBLISHED. Enjoy!
By Blanca1

AQA A2 TRANSLATION (ENGLISH TO SPANISH)

This resource contains a handful of sentences to practise translation from English to Spanish. These sentences are all taken from AQA past papers from the 2003-2009 specification. Although topics are different to those in the current specification, these sentences are still good to revise English grammatical structures and how to translate them to Spanish. Answers are provided and have been taken from the mark schemes.
By myspanishexam

New Spanish GCSE - Theme 1 (Identity and culture): Translations - UPDATED

A very comprehensive set of sentences (suitable for all abilities) and paragraphs (mainly higher) to translate from Spanish into English. The resource includes 95 sentences and six long paragraphs and they cover the following aspects of Theme 1 (Identity and Culture):
1.a. Me, my family and friends (35 sentences)
1.b. Technology in everyday life (20 sentences)
1.c. Free time activities (20 sentences)
1d. Customs and Festivals in Spain (10 sentences)
Finally, the six longer paragraphs include language related to all four categories.
The sentences include references to a variety of tenses (present, preterite, imperfect, present perfect, conditional, future), as well as a wide range of complex structures (negatives, comparatives, conditional clauses…).

By corcuera

More translation resources

Triumphant Translations Worksheet - Module 1 - Holidays

A translation challenge worksheet to support revision.
This includes 5 sets of translations varying from full paragraphs in the style of higher tier to short sentences like the foundation exam.
As well as the translations themselves, there is also additional support in the form of individual word and verb translations.

By meg014840

AQA A Level French year 2 Translation booklet

In this booklet you will find practice for all the topics of year 2.
The answer booklet is also provided.

By btaverna

German GCSE translation practice (translation pitfalls)

These are two revision lessons for Y11 to practise the main difficulties with translations: difference between mag/gern, using connectives and the correct word order, comparative, impersonable phrases, infinitive phrases, using seit. The lesson assumes that the students have learned these grammar topics previously, and this is just revision.

The lessons are designed as carousel activities, where students translate sentences in pairs.
I did it with my Y11 set 2 this year and they enjoyed it and found it helpful.

By Gertrud

Translation skills builder GCSE topics

This booklet covers the different GCSE topics for French (AQA). There are activities to practise accurate translation, and they are designed to encourage students not to just Googletranslate! There are activities of different difficulties.

By meakihi

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