| Contents of CCB/BCEA 9.9 (2003 05 22)
Return to CCB Archive / BCÉA Archives
1. Editor's Note
2. Association Announcements
|1. Editor's note|
<back>Because the editors will be out of the country, there will NOT be another regular issue until 10 July 2003. However, if anyone has a position that needs posting, please send it to <firstname.lastname@example.org> and it will be posted on the CAC webpage.
|2. Association Announcements|
The 2003 Sight Translation Competitions were held on January 16 (Latin papers) and January 23 (Greek papers), 2003. The arrangements for advertising the competitions and the timing of mailings followed the usual schedule. The e-mail "alert" list which I instituted last year worked very well this year and as far as I know everyone who wanted to write the papers was able to do so. To those "buddies" in the various institutions who volunteered to keep track of the Sights information in their own Departments, I send my thanks. It was a tremendous help to have a contact person in each institution and to know that someone was on the look-out to receive the various mailings. On the financial side, I regret to report that voluntary contributions have almost completely dried up. This year only one secondary school sent a cheque to support the Competitions. The various small economies effected in the last few years have kept the cost of the competitions per year at between $450.00 and $500.00 excluding the prizes. The Classical Association of Canada continues to pick up any shortfall in the administrative costs of the Sights and for this support I offer my own thanks.
Submissions and entries to the Junior Latin and Junior Greek competitions were up this year over last, marking a return to historical levels. The large number of submissions to the Senior Latin in 2002, however, did not continue in 2003. Submissions and entries to the High School Competition were up significantly over previous years. The actual numbers for the 2003 competition are:
JUNIOR LATIN: 161 entries from 19 universities, 0 schools = 61 submissions
JUNIOR GREEK: 158 entries from 21 universities, 1 school = 54 submissions
SENIOR LATIN: 109 entries from 19 universities = 47 submissions
SENIOR GREEK: 92 entries from 19 universities = 28 submissions
HIGH SCHOOL LATIN: 127 entries from 10 schools = 78 submissions
There were remarkably few problems this year with the various passages, and for the first time in my tenure with the Sights the Junior Greek paper elicited no comment. In general, the passages chosen by the various colleagues seemed to meet with approval. One colleague, however, commented that the Junior Latin paper "was on the difficult side" while the Senior Latin paper was "good but not very challenging." Those colleagues who set and marked the papers this year were extraordinarily diligent and I was able to have the results ready for release about 10 days earlier than usual. Nonetheless, the scheduling of the papers and the amount of work required to mark the scripts and tabulate the results seems to mean that the results are always announced just after the end of the spring term.
The Junior Latin paper, Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae III.xv.1-3, was set and marked by Dr. Wade Richardson of McGill University. He writes: ‘Of the 61 scripts all but about 10 could be winnowed away rather quickly by indicator errors. For example, most of these failed to recognize the first word, cognito, as an Ablative Absolute (thinking it a 1st sing. pres. indic.), and the Indirect Statement construction after refert. Vocabulary items gave difficulty. Many scripts could not manage insperato, praeter spem, haud, amplexi, saviarentur (though glossed), osculis. Though the best had little trouble with the framework of the three anecdotes to illustrate the point, and with the cultural context, I was sorry to see that a lot of answers did not grasp that a victory in poetry, especially when unexpected, brought supreme excitement and bliss! Also, those Olympic Games produced some unlikely events and an evident disbelief in the surely predictable emotional results. In sum, when writing unseens the student must take a more thoughtful, aggressive approach in assuming sense out of the context, and internal consistency and self-containment.’
The Junior Greek paper, Lysias, In Defense of Mantitheus 10-12, was set and marked by Dr. Ivan Cohen of Mount Allison University. His report reads: ‘There was an impressive number of entries for the Junior Greek Sight Competition, and many were able to make some sense of the passage from Lysias’ "In Defence of Mantitheus." Almost everybody had some difficulty with the sentence that begins at line 5 of the passage, where a long relative clause (beginning with a partitive genitive) anticipates an accusative antecedent in a participial construction following a verb of seeing. Only the very best were able to produce a passable translation of this. It was surprising how many of the entrants did not recognize "adelphas" (line 1) as feminine, especially since it was followed so closely by the masculine form. Other problems came in recognizing a genitive of comparison in line 2 and in understanding "ton auton" in line 9 as "the same". On the positive side, many did correctly translate the two natural result clauses in lines 2 and 3 and the present contrary-to-fact condition at lines 9-10.’
On the whole, the number of entries suggests that there is a significant interest in ancient Greek across the country, and the top ranked papers indicate that there is a high level of achievement in the early years of study. Students and teachers are to be congratulated.
The Senior Latin paper, Panegyrici Latini 11.16.1-4, was set and marked by Dr Peter O'Brien of Dalhousie University. His report reads: ‘Most (though not all) contestants translated the whole passage without significant omissions. Many contestants opted for an overly-literal style of translation that did not serve them very well in conveying the sense of the longer and more complex sentences of the passage. Many contestants (including some of the most successful) had difficulty with grammar and syntax in the second and fourth sentences in particular: in sentence two many failed to recognise the gerundive phrases as passive periphrastic constructions; in sentence four many failed to recognise the ablative absolute praesente viro and did not take nec with auderet. In sentence seven, popularium was often not recognised as a partitive genitive. Vocabulary did not seem to be a serious problem; common minor errors (again, even in the most successful submissions) included not recognising alias in sentence two as an adverb and translating paulisper in a spatial, rather than a temporal sense.’
The Senior Greek paper, Xenophon Hell. 3.5.8-11, was set and marked by Dr.Caroline Falkner of Queen's University. She reports: ‘I chose Xenophon because I thought that his prose was accessible to the range of ability indicated. There was only one construction that I thought really challenging (line 10 - which I included just for fun!), and the rest I felt to be a fair mix of basic grammar. Generally, the entries resolved themselves very clearly into two groups: those who read the passage carefully and those who didn't! I was surprised by the number of entries that confused the forms of personal pronouns and frequently misread 'we' for 'you' or vice versa. The same careless reading applied to verbs. Many misread a second person plural for a third, or did not give enough attention to the tense of participles, e.g., in line 5. Lastly, many students seemed not to recognise the conditional clause in the last sentence.’
The High School Latin paper, Aulus Gellius 3.15 (adapted), was set and marked by Dr. Richard Burgess of the University of Ottawa. His report reads: ‘I liked the passage (an adapted version of the same Aulus Gellius passage that by some unbelievable coincidence ended up as the junior Latin passage as well) because of its many subordinate clauses and phrases, the perfect way, I thought, to separate sheep from goats. In the end, however, it was more the basic vocabulary and grammar that defeated most students, not the working out of the complicated sentence structure, which was disappointing but at least it made winnowing the pile a fairly easy process. Some examples. Eos omnes was often taken as the subject of vidit, most likely because they were the first words in
the sentence. Few knew the meanings of undique, eodem die (one/some/every/on a certain/that certain/that day), Olympiae (locative; usually translated as "at the Olympics/Olympic games"), amplexi, inspectante, ibidem, praeterea, quo tempore, and repente, though the former was usualy taken to have something to do with waves and the next two were better understood by the francophones, who in turn had more trouble with inspectante than the anglophones. Only two got repente, which was otherwise taken as having something to do with repenting. Suaviarenture was often treated as a passive, even though it was given as a deponent in the vocab. Coronis suis in capite patris positis produced the most amusing collection of mistranslations, with patris often taken as some form of patria. One interesting transformation that occurred on many papers was that of iacio, iacere (iaceret) into iaceo, iacere. Lie was then confused with lay (an all too common English problem) and people were therefore laying flowers on him instead of throwing them upon him. In osculis was for the most part translated as if it were in oculis. And inspectante populo was often translated (even if the participle was misunderstood) as if it read inspectante populum, with the subject of the main verb being the subject of the participle.
‘My general suggestion would be that teachers try to place more stress on grammatical analysis and less on the standard Cambridge reading method. This passage proves that students who could not pull even a short sentence apart and analyse it grammatically simply got lost in a complicated sentence composed of subordinate clauses and participial phrases. I often give my students meaningless sentences that can only be translated correctly if the grammar is followed carefully. I think that would be a useful exercise for high school teachers to follow as a way of stressing the importance and necessity of grammatical analysis.’
I was pleased with the statistics for this year's competition. We set a record both for the number of papers submitted since the competition began in 1999 and for the percentage of actual submissions:
1999 191 entries 58 submissions 30%
2000 171 entries 71 submissions 41%
2001 182 entries 49 submissions 27%
2002 144 entries 39 submissions 27%
2003 127 entries 78 submissions 62%
The number of actual entries was low, however, and we all need to work together to promote Latin in the high schools in our own communities.
As I prepare to hand over the running of the Sights to my successor I have been asked to summarize the work of the last 10 years. The most significant moment of these 10 years occurred right at the beginning, in 1994, when Council took two decisions. The first was to add a Junior Latin paper to the roster of papers; the second was to amalgamate the Junior and Senior Competitions. Until 1994 the only Junior paper had been the National Greek paper supported by the Margaret Thomson prize. The addition of a Junior Latin paper at this time answered the wish, expressed by a number of colleagues, that Latin students also be given an opportunity to compete at the junior level. From the beginning this paper has proven to be a popular choice. The second decision, to bring the Junior and Senior competitions together in one organization, has had far reaching effects. Before 1994, the Senior Latin and Senior Greek Competitions and the only Junior paper, Junior Greek, had been organized independently. It was thought that by bringing the Junior and Senior papers together under one umbrella organization significant savings in time, manpower, postage and paper costs could be effected. This, I believe, has been so. The most challenging task of this reorganization was the rationalization of the mailing lists. This continues to be a task in hand, and each year the list needs to be edited and revised.
The Sights grew again in 1999 when a High School Latin paper was added, bringing the total number of papers in the Competition to five. This has proved to be a very successful paper, in large part because of the support of colleagues in the Ontario Classical Association.
If there has been a point of controversy during the last 10 years I believe that it has been my refusal to adjudicate the work of those who have generously accepted my invitations to participate in the setting andmarking of papers. I did not take it to be the job of the Competitions Co-ordinator, nor would I have been comfortable if it were, to adjudicate the passages which were submitted by my colleagues who offered their time and energy to serve their profession and the Classics students of our country. My role, on those few occasions when concerns were raised about the appropriateness of a passage, was to accept the criticism and support my colleagues.
As in past years, I wish to record my thanks to those who set and marked the passages for this year's competitions; their care and attention to detail and their prompt observance of my deadlines have made my job very much easier than it might have been. Thanks are due also to those who entered the contests and to their teachers; without their enthusiasm and participation there could, of course, be no contests. I wish, also, to acknowledge those who continue to support the Sights on a yearly basis with their generous financial contributions. They remain the pillars of the competition. Finally, I would like to say thank-you to the Council of the Classical Association of Canada for the opportunity I have had over the past 10 years to serve our community. I have appreciated particularly the chance to meet colleagues from coast to coast and to watch the work of some of our best students. I append the lists of the 2003 prize winners.
Patricia J. Calkin
First Prize: Leon Grek, University of Toronto Schools
Second Prize: Tom Carter, Markham District High School
Third Prize: Kasper Podgorski, University of Toronto Schools
Honourable Mention: Nguyeri Trong Tieu, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf; Nikhil
Gandhi, Markham District High School
First Prize: Roland Houle, Université de Laval
Second Prize: James Fleming, Saint Mary's University
Third Prize: Lydia Pelletier-Michaud, Université de Laval
Honourable Mention: Jenice Batiffora, University of Winnipeg; Charles
Podles, McGill University
First Prize: Carmela Penner, University of Manitoba
Second Prize: Ryan Topping, University of Winnipeg
Third Prize: Svetlana Soldatov, University of Alberta
Honourable Mention: Evelyne Langlois, Université de Montréal; Riley
Kearns, University of Winnipeg
First Prize: Matthew Donnelly, University of Toronto
Second Prize: James Eastland, University of British Columbia
Third Prize: Michael Griffin, University of British Columbia
Fourth Prize: Philippa Geddie, McGill University
Fifth Prize: Stephanie Stringer, University of Toronto
First Prize: Michael Griffin, University of British Columbia
Second Prize: Paul Harms, University of Winnipeg
Third Prize: Brian Marrin, University of Winnipeg
Fourth Prize: Alexander Orwin, University of Toronto
Fifth Prize: Edwin Wong, University of Victoria
Honorable Mention: Adrial Fitzgerald, University of Toronto