As mentioned in the Associations section, some organisations hold exams so you can attain a professional translation or interpreting qualification.
The CIOL offers four: the diploma in translation (DipTrans), the diploma in public service interpreting, the diploma in police interpreting and the certificate of bilingual skills. The DipTrans is notoriously difficult to pass and it is also a handwritten exam, unless you take it at a centre where computers are allowed.
For more information, please see these blog posts: ‘The Diploma in Translation. What is it? Why do I Want it?’ and ‘How I Passed the DipTrans: Top Five Tips’ by Lucy Williams (both on this blog); ‘DipTrans and MITI exams: side by side’ by Emma Goldsmith; and ‘DipTrans: the real costs and returns’ by Gwenydd Jones (on this blog).
To gain the ATA certification you also need to pass an exam held at set times and places (for example, at the ATA annual conference). Sittings are also sometimes scheduled in Europe to coincide with conferences. The exam is usually handwritten, although a few keyboarded sessions are available each year.
Unlike the CIOL and ATA exams, you can sit the ITI examination in your own office space using all the resources you would normally count on to complete your work assignments. For more information, please see Emma Goldsmith’s blog post above and: ‘Becoming a Qualified Member of the ITI’ by Rose Newell.
Please read this guest post on Lingua Greca’s blog written by Textualis, a Montreal-based translation company, if you are interested in becoming a certified translator in Canada.
Whilst waiting to gain a qualification, there are other things you can do to raise your profile. Veronica Sardon explains a few in her post ‘Informal Credentials’.
If you’re interested in doing an MA in Translation or Interpreting, please go to MA Courses.
Finally, you might want to read the results of the Translation Qualifications Survey comparing MITI, DipTrans, ATA and MA or MSc.
Links are generally listed in alphabetical order in the sections and they are provided for information purposes only. Under no circumstances should they be understood as a personal recommendation.
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