Marking Criteria

This information is intended to provide you with clear goals in your written work and warnings of what you should avoid.

Criteria for marking translations

These criteria apply to language work in ‘Classical Language and Texts’ modules, and any MA modules involving language.

Unprepared translation from Greek/Latin into English

Upper First Class (80%+)

A perfect translation.

First Class (70%+)

A translation that shows a full understanding of the overall meaning of the original. A translation that shows a full understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original. A translation that either shows a full understanding of all the vocabulary of the original or shows an understanding of most of the vocabulary and a systematic ability to work out the remainder by considered guesswork. A single, unified translation with no gaps or indecision between alternatives. A translation into clear and grammatical English of a type appropriate to the passage.

Upper Second Class (60-69%)

A translation that shows an understanding of the overall meaning of the passage and of the meaning of most of the sentences. A translation that shows a generally good understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original. A translation that shows knowledge of a good proportion of the vocabulary and an ability to work out the remainder by considered guesswork. A single, unified translation with no gaps or indecision between alternatives. A translation into clear and grammatical English.

Lower Second Class (50-59%)

A translation that shows an understanding of at least half of the overall meaning of the passage and the meaning of at least half the sentences. A translation that shows a reasonable understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original. A translation that shows knowledge of some vocabulary and an attempt to work out the remainder by considered guesswork. A translation with a few gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into intelligible English.

Third Class (40-49%)

A translation that shows an understanding of some but less than half of the overall meaning of the passage and the meaning of some but less than half of the sentences or their component clauses and phrases. A translation that shows some understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original but represents less than half of it correctly. A translation that shows knowledge of some vocabulary and/or the use of considered guesswork. A translation with some gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into generally intelligible but vague, unclear, and/or ungrammatical English.

Fail (39%-)

A translation that shows little grasp of the overall meaning of the passage or of the meaning of particular sentences, clauses or phrases. A translation that shows little understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original. A translation that shows neither an appreciable knowledge of vocabulary nor appreciable use of considered guesswork to work out unfamiliar words. A translation with frequent gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into unintelligible and/or seriously ungrammatical English.

Prepared translation from Greek/Latin into English

Upper First Class (80%+)

A perfect translation.

First Class (70%+)

A translation that shows a full understanding of the overall meaning of the passage, the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original, and the meanings of all the words used, with no more than a few minor slips. A single, unified translation with no gaps or indecision between alternatives. A translation into clear and grammatical English of a type appropriate to the passage.

Upper Second Class (60-69%)

A translation that shows a good understanding of the overall meaning of the passage, the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original, and the meanings of the words used, with no more than a few real errors. A single, unified translation with no gaps or indecision between alternatives. A translation into clear and grammatical English.

Lower Second Class (50-59%)

A translation that shows a reasonable understanding of the overall meaning of the passage, the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original, and the meanings of the words used, with some major errors. A translation with a few gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into intelligible English.

Third Class (40-49%)

A translation that shows a reasonable understanding of the overall meaning of the passage, at least half the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original, and at least half the vocabulary. A translation with some gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into generally intelligible but vague, unclear, and/or ungrammatical English.

Fail (39%-)

A translation that fails to show a reasonable understanding of the overall meaning of the passage. A translation that shows an understanding of less than half the grammatical and syntactic structure of the original and/or less than half the vocabulary. A translation with frequent gaps and/or indecisions between alternatives. A translation into unintelligible and/or seriously ungrammatical English.

Translation from English into Greek/Latin

These criteria apply primarily to the translation of whole passages but most of them also apply to the translation of individual sentences.

First Class (70%+)

A translation which translates accurately the meaning of the whole passage and of the component sentences. A translation which shows a good grasp of the grammar and syntax of Greek/Latin. One which produces Greek/Latin which reads well, recasting the precise form of the original if this makes the translation more idiomatic. A translation which produces Greek/Latin which is appropriate to the original English.

Upper Second Class (60-69%)

A translation which is largely accurate in expressing the meaning of the whole passage and of the component sentences. A translation in which most of the passage shows a good grasp of the grammar and syntax of Greek/Latin. A translation which produces Greek/Latin which is reasonably typical of that language.

Lower Second Class (50-59%)

A translation in which a fair amount (a half or more) of the original is translated accurately, and in which a similar amount of the translation shows a sound grasp of Greek/Latin grammar and syntax. A translation in which some of the Greek/Latin produced is reasonably typical of that language.

Third Class (40-49%)

A translation in which only a small amount of the original is translated accurately. A translation which shows only a weak grasp of the grammar and syntax of Greek/Latin. One in which the Greek/Latin produced is only vaguely typical of that language.

Fail (39%-)

A translation in which hardly any of the passage is correctly translated and which shows very little knowledge of the grammar and syntax of Greek/Latin. One which produces Greek/Latin which is not typical of that language.