If you are searching for a recognised translation qualification, there are two main options: a master’s in translation or the Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
According to the Chartered Institute of Linguists handbook, “the Diploma in Translation (Diploma translation) is the gold standard for anybody wanting a profession as a freelance translator or even to are a translator for international corporations worldwide and meets the necessity for a high-level professional translating qualification.” It really is an Ofqual-accredited and internationally recognised postgraduate-level qualification. It entitles you to use the title Diploma translation IoLET after your name and apply for membership of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. The Diploma translation is “intended for working translators and for individuals who, having reached a high degree of linguistic competence, desire to go on a career in professional translation. It really is available to prospects with an even equal to a good university degree in one or more modern languages.”
It is not a course in the manner a master’s is, it is simply an exam. There is absolutely no teaching component. The CIoL handbook makes this clear, “it must be stressed that candidates, even those holding a diploma in languages, generally require additional experience or training.” The exam is held one per year in January and includes three units:
Unit 01 – Written translation of an over-all text (about 600 words)
Unit 02 – Written translation of the semi-specialised text (about 450 words) in one of the following:
Unit 03 – Written translation of a semi-specialised text (about 450 words) in another of the next:
Candidates are tested on the ability to “translate from a source language in to the mother tongue (target language) to a professional standard and [on] their knowing of the professional activity of translation. Candidates must have a proper level of writing skills in their target language.” The handbook continues on to clarify that the “passages set for translation will be of a standard of difficulty that translators would be prepared to meet in their daily work.”
a challenging exam, with a pass rate of around only 30-40%
It really is a challenging exam, with a pass rate of around only 30-40% so that as the exams are only held one per year most candidates choose to take all three papers using one day. As you can see from the facts above, this implies a complete of 7 hours of exams using one day! You have a maximum of five years to pass all papers and if you do not pass all three papers within five years you have to start all over again.
Why do I’d like it?
For me, it is a means of both bettering my craft and becoming accredited. It gives me ways to demonstrate that I am a professional translator. I didn’t come to translation via the normal route of your language degree and a master’s in translation. I’ve found as time passes that more and more agencies are requesting a recognised qualification in translation. I also feel taking time to review and practise my skills would help me become an improved translator. I’ve got plenty of experience now, but I believe a recognised qualification and what I learn along the way will help further my career.