Examination of Interpreters

Circular No. 30.-C.

Admiralty, 5th September 1877.

[Cancelling Circulars, No. 31 of 27th September 1865, No. 2, of 4th January 1866, and No. 51, of 21st July 1874.]

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are pleased to sanction the following Regulations for the examination of all Officers below the rank of Commander for the grade of Interpreter:

  1. Candidates may offer themselves for examination in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, and such other modern languages as may be selected from time to time.
  2. Candidates, if on active service, are to apply through their Captains, naming the language in which they wish to be examined; if on Half-pay, to the Secretary of the Admiralty, who will inform them on what day the examination will take place. The examination will be held from time to time at the Royal Naval College.
  3. The names of officers, who pass successfully will be noted for employment in Flag and Senior Officers' Ships as Interpreters, 1st or 2nd Class. When appointed they will receive an allowance of 2s. 6d. a-day in addition to their pay if 1st Class, and 1s. 6d. if 2nd Class, and will act as Interpreters in addition to their other duties ; if the appointment be held by a Senior or Gunnery Lieutenant he will receive the extra pay of an Interpreter in addition to his other allowances.
  4. A thorough knowledge of the language selected by the candidate will be required, and he will be examined orally, as well as by written papers, in the following manner:-

  5. Oral Maximum Marks
    1. Pronunciation and accent 50
    2. Facility of understanding the language 75
    3. Accuracy of expression 100
    4. Fluency 75
    5. Extempore translation  
      (a.) From the language into English 75
      (b.) From English into the language 100
    6. Writing from dictation 75
    7. Idiom.  
      (a.) General 75
      (b.) Maritime 100
    8. Composition 100
    9. Grammar 125
    10. Translation  
      (a.) From the language into English 100
      (b.) From English into the language 100

  6. No candidate will be considered as qualified unless he shall have obtained, in each of the above subjects, at least one-half of the marks assigned thereto, and 700 marks in the aggregate.
  7. Candidates who obtain not less than 900 marks will be granted a 1st Class Certificate, and those who obtain not less than 700 a 2nd Class Certificate.
  8. Rejected candidates will be re-examined after a lapse of six months from the date of rejection, but candidates who have been twice rejected will not be allowed to go up again for examination, whether such examinations have been provisional or not.
  9. Provisional Examination.

  10. Officers, when serving abroad, may be permitted to pass a provisional examination, to be conducted on board a Flag or Senior Officer's Ship, in the presence of a Captain and Naval Instructor, by an experienced Teacher of Languages, or by an Officer who has passed for Interpreter at the Royal Naval College.
  11. The successful candidate is to be granted a certificate, and will be eligible to act as Interpreter should his services be required ; but will have to pass a final examination at the Royal Naval College, within one month after his arrival in England, or being paid off, as the case may be.
  12. All provisional examinations and appointments are to be forthwith reported to their Lordships.
  13. Each Flag or Senior Officer's Ship on a Foreign Station is to be allowed to bear an Interpreter who has qualified in the languages commonly spoken within the limits of the Command.
  14. Circulars No. 31, of 27th September 1865, No. 2. of 4th January 1866, and No. 53, of 21st July 1874, are hereby cancelled.

By Command of their Lordships,


To all Commanders-in-Chief, &c.

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