Thiruvalluvar University in spotlight, now for translation errors in question paper

These errors have become frequent since the pandemic. It seems the official who set the questions may be relying on Google Translate.

Published: 21st November 2023 08:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2023 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

Thiruvalluvar University. (Photo | Twitter, @Thiruvallu61991)

By Express News Service

VELLORE: New issues continue to crop up with the examination question papers issued by Thiruvalluvar University, with the latest concern being translation errors in the ‘Personality Development’ question paper for BA Economics students. Students from affiliated colleges were taken aback seeing the glaring discrepancies between the English and Tamil versions of the question papers during the exam on Monday.

For instance, the question ‘Why do people fear failure?’ read as ‘Tholvikku makkal yen payanpadugiraargal?’ in Tamil, which translates to ‘Why are people useful for failure?’ instead. Similarly, another question, ‘What is failure?’ read as ‘Thol endral enna?’ (What is leather/skin?) and so on.

Sam, a student who took the exam said, “I usually write in English and never really paid close attention to the questions in Tamil. Today, with the option to choose either language, I was perplexed regarding which language question to answer as their meanings differed so much. After consulting the invigilator, I was instructed to respond to the questions in English.”

Suganya, a physics professor at Kalaignar Karunanidhi Government Arts College in Tiruvannamalai, expressed concern regarding the errors. She remarked, “These errors have become frequent since the pandemic. It seems the official who set the questions may be relying on Google Translate. Sometime ago, in an Astrophysics question paper, there was a question, ‘What is a space shutter?’, a formulation that is already faulty, and its Tamil translation read, ‘Veli moodi endral enna?’, meaning ‘What is an outer cover?’”

Thiruvalluvar University’s controller of examinations Babujanarthanam told TNIE that, “As previously mentioned, the problem originated during the initial stages of question paper setting. Regarding translation errors, it was the responsibility of the scrutiny committee to rectify them. There seems to be an error on the part of the professors, and we have initiated an inquiry into the matter. Going forward, we will ensure that clear instructions are provided to the professors to prevent such errors in the future.”

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