I've been going back and forth about whether to contemplate the IoL Dip Trans. Here are my problems, which at present appear as insurmountable obstacles given the huge investment required to attempt the test without a reasonable guarantee of passing:
1. My best source language is Croatian, because I lived in Zagreb for 5 years and worked there as translator, editor, lab assistant and librarian. It is the one language in which I can operate reasonably actively as well as passively. I think I could probably update myself fairly easily on current events, political structures, etc by monitoring the web sites of a couple of Croatian newspapers. However, I have a problem in that no IoL DipTrans past papers are available for Croatian, nor is there any course for the Croatian-English combination. Therefore, I really do not have any mechanism by which I can find out what to expect and thus no way to monitor my readiness to take the exam.
What has been the experience of others with the less frequent language combinations in this respect? How did you cope with the total lack of resources and training in your language pair?
2. I am primarily a medical translator, and a good one! I have done some governmental and general translations out of Croatian as well, with not too many problems. However, I have a problem with the IoL "semi-specialised" papers. The first group gives me a choice of technology or other subjects. Technology includes medicine, which I could do even without a dictionary or other reference material. However, if I choose this paper, I risk getting engineering or IT instead, with which I cannot cope in my mother tongue let alone a foreign one! So, because I have experience playing round with poetry, fiction and literary criticism between Esperanto and English (translating both ways and original works in both languages), I would probably choose the Literary branch, thus ironically eliminating my area of true expertise! For the second paper, however, "science" seems the only realistic option. If it turns out to be biology, biochemistry, or pharma I will have no problems. Chemistry will depend on the specific field of chemistry. However, mathematics and physics are once again subject areas I cannot cope with in English, let alone in other languages. I'm finding it difficult to cope with the concept that one needs to be equally comfortable with biochemistry (yes, easy) and mathematics (a foreign language in its own right).
I would welcome input from scientifically-biased DipTrans candidates as to your experiences on this rather crazy subject distribution.
Finally, does anyone have any other recommendations as to another suitable qualification route for a UK-based biomedical specialist with no formal linguistic training - it has to be distance education, or else based in Nottingham!
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