King's College, Cambridge. https://pixabay.com/photos/kings-college-cambridge-uk-3889124/
The University of Cambridge was founded in 1209, and in 1913 - a little over 700 years later - it offered the first Cambridge English Exam.
It was a gruelling 12 hours long, and as well as testing candidates on things such as English literature and phonetics, also required they spend 2 whole hours translating English into French or German, and then another two and half hours translating from French or German back into English. (Italian and Spanish were added in 1926.)
Here's something candidates were asked to translate from English into German in that first exam paper:
“The sentiments which animated Schiller’s poetry were converted into principles of conduct; his actions were as blameless as his writings were pure. With his simple and high predilections, with his strong devotedness to a noble cause, he contrived to steer through life, unsullied by its meanness, unsubdued by any of its difficulties or allurements …”
But don’t panic.
While back in 1913 there was only one Cambridge exam for all candidates, you can now choose the test which reflects your current level of English. And, in addition to that, the Cambridge Test you take in the 21st century doesn’t have its emphasis on literature and poetry, but on the English you use in everyday life, across the four key areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
Over a century after it all began, Cambridge English Exams are some of the most recognised in the world, the B2 First and C1 Advanced in particular accepted worldwide by thousands of employers, Universities and Government departments.
A Cambridge Qualification really can open lots of doors, and at Richmond English School we’re expert at helping you master the type of everyday English needed not just to pass the exam, but to feel at home in an English speaking environment.
That’s why a Cambridge course is so useful, not only as something on your curriculum vitae, but to help you get on with everyday life.
But don’t just take our word for it - come and join us. Your first class is free and without obligation.
And beware: in the spirit of 1913, and because it’s not just writers like Friedrich Schiller in Germany who have used language to create beautiful art, we might even throw in the odd poem or two.
You’ve been warned ; )
See you soon.