On the partnertrans mailing list, a Yahoo group, there was mention of a site at Erlangen University where suggestions for translating Abitur certificates into English, and to a lesser extent into French, can be downloaded. As this is my nearest university, I am curious as to who prepared these materials.
There is scarcely anything I would change in the Abiturzeugnis itself. One problem is the grades: sehr gut, gut, befriedigend, ausreichend, mangelhaft, ungenügend are rendered as very good, good, satisfactory, sufficient, deficient, insufficientFor the last three, I usually use adequate, poor (fail) and very poor (fail). I think at least the last two need to be distinguished more clearly, but insufficient and very insufficient would be a bit wordy.For einfache Wertung and doppelte Wertung, I use single weighting, and they have times one and times two. This is fine, but once, in another document, the incomprehensible single valuation is used.
The documents come from the U.S. Information Service, Germany, and are intended to be used by students applying to study in the U.S.A., in place of the transcript a U.S. university expects. So presumably they are not unique to Erlangen. But I haven’t yet traced them elsewhere. They must come from the German embassy in the U.S.A., I suspect.
In the file on translation help, they even include the extra mark that law students may get, vollbefriedigend (lower than gut and higher than befriedigend).
bq. Grades for State Examinations in Law (Staatsexamen)
14.00 – 18.00 points: very good (outstanding)
11.50 – 13.99 points: good (well above average)
9.00 – 11.49 points: fully satisfactory (above average)
6,50 – 8.99 points: satisfactory (meets all normal requirements)
4.00 – 6.49 points: sufficient (meets requirements, some weakness)
1.50 – 3.99 points: deficient (considerable weakness, unacceptable)
0 – 1.49 points: inadequate (wholly unacceptable)
One point about the translation of the Bavarian Abitur certificate: at the bottom of the first page there is a list of legislation on which the certificate is based, and this translation simply omits that. Moreover, it doesn’t indicate how much is missing, but simply states ‘Not translated’. As a sworn translator for the Bavarian courts I am actually supposed to translate everything except the printer’s information, or to present an abridged translation with a clear indication of how much is omitted. Of course, these aren’t certified translations, and since every German Abitur certificate has this legal information, and the U.S. university presumably sees the original, it is no great loss in the circumstances.