Romanian exam attributes Heine poem to translator

The Romanian educational system is by far not the best one in the world. Earlier we have presented to you some examples about its mistakes, like the Romanian language and literature textbooks for pupils studying in the fourth grade of elementary schools, which spread pseudoscience and mystic views. But this week the Ministry of Education had surpassed itself, and made a mistake in a national, mandatory exam: in a test issued by them, they attributed a poem by Heinrich Heine to its translator, Ștefan Octavian Iosif. Compared to this, making some mistakes in the editing of textbooks, even seem excusable.

This week all of the 7th and 8th grade student from Romania took a mandatory, national pilot-exam, called the simulation of the National Assessment. This pilot-exam prepares the student for this Assessment, the exam taken at the end of the 8th grade. Approximately 350,000 students were taking a Romanian language and literature and a mathematics exam this week, and the minorities of the country a test in their native language. All of the exams were designed by the National Assessment and Examination Center, a center subordinated to the Ministry of Education.

The incorrect test, with the wrong author. (Photo:


The exam session started on Monday with the Romanian test. In the first part of the exam the student were asked to write a little essay based on the given poem, a poem entitled Stai şi asculţi sub ramuri…, written, according to the test, by Ștefan Octavian Iosif, a Romanian poet. The following day published that in fact the poem was written by Heinrich Heine, it is entitled Unterm weißen Baume sitzend, and it was published in Heine’s 1844 poems volume, named Neue Gedichte. The Romanian poet, Ștefan Octavian Iosif only translated the poem in 1895, and published it in the same year in Viața magazine.

So far the Ministry of Education hasn’t commented on the incident.

Author: Orsi Sarány