Mediation – Sprachmittlung

When dealing with mediation tasks in exams you normally get a German text. The target text you have to write will be in English. Very often it will be an email in which you summarize the German text adding general or specific information and knowledge for a reader to understand your text.

Steps to mediation:

  1. Task Analysis
  • Who is the addressee?
  • What is the target text (email, letter, summary, speech)
  • What does that mean for the register, style of target text
  • What is the purpose / reason of writing the text
  1. Skimming the text for a gist
  2. Scanning for important information
  • underline / highlight
  • English keywords or phrases in the margin or piece of paper
  1. Writing the target text
  1. Proof-Reading of your text

Important points when dealing with mediation tasks:

  • Do NOT translate. Summarise the important points. Only give the gist of the text.(sinngemäß)
  • Only give the most important information. Mention only the facts that are important for the understanding of the text.
  • Be aware that your text is very subjective. That is okay.
  • You need to have cultural background knowledge. You might have to explain something to the recipient that he/she cannot know.
  • Do NOT state your opinion unless you are asked to or it is important.
  • Use rather short sentences.
  • Use the correct tense. If you report something that happened in the past the Simple Past is okay. Otherwise use rather the Present or Present Perfect.
  • Paraphrase unknown words. Do NOT use the dictionary too much. You do NOT have the time.