English to Portuguese Credentials - CIOL
Thread poster: xxxTiago Moita
xxxTiago Moita  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jun 7, 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm a translator without formal training, and it seems I need to be accredited, if I'm to have any chances of getting decently paid jobs, or any jobs at all, for that matter...

My former British Council teacher is looking into options, and so far, he told me about the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

What do you think? Is there a better option?
By the way, I haven't replied to him yet, but he told me I had to go to the UK for the exam, although they say on the website one can "sit the exam at any British Council abroad"... Can anyone confirm this, please?

Thanks in advance

[Edited at 2013-06-07 11:15 GMT]


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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 7, 2013

I think that it would be a great idea for you to take the CIoL exam. It is a very well-regarded qualification in the industry and is approximately Master level in terms of ECTS credits (Level 7), with the advantage of being able to just sit the exam.
You can practice at home with past papers to ascertain the level and get used to the timing.


I can also confirm that you can take the exam abroad. There is a list of places where you can sit the exam per country on the CIoL website. Here is the link:
http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/exams_diptrans.asp


However, you do first have to decide whether you want to do the exam typing or writing and ensure first that any location you choose has the facilities of your choice.

I tried to take the exam in Spain but after contacting all the places in Spain where I could sit the exam, I found that none offered the option of typing the exam, or if they did, their places had run out and they couldn't offer it to any more candidates.

I therefore ended up having to go to London to sit the exam anyway.

Good luck! It's a tricky exam but once you pass, you'll notice the difference in terms of work.
I think that it's important to get accredited and demonstrate your level of skills to potential clients in a way that they can understand.


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xxxTiago Moita  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Typing vs writing Jun 7, 2013

Thanks for your reply, Marie-Helene.
Would you say it makes a big difference between those two options, in terms of completing the exam in the allotted time? I presume you preferred the typing exam since you can type faster than you can write?


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Another option Jun 7, 2013

I'd certainly recommend the Dip. Trans. as a highly regarded qualification. An alternative would be to try for membership of the ITI. They have their own entrance exam and being a member will get you on their directory. Membership of either the CIoL or the ITI will stand you in good stead. The disadvantage of the ITI exam is that it is not a qualification per se; the advantage is that you can do it at home.

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xxxTiago Moita  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 11:53
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Lisa Jun 7, 2013

I'll look into it!

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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Typing v writing Jun 7, 2013

I can imagine that some people are OK at writing but I just can't believe that this is a standard in some places, with typing being offered as the exception rather than the rule, certainly in this day and age.

Imagine first of all having to write the exam clearly enough to eradicate any ambiguity AND for the examiner to be able to understand everything you've written, then having to write quickly enough to get the exam done in the time required, then imagine writing with your hand for 7 hours, then imagine what you do when you make mistakes, or want to change a whole phrase around. I suppose that writing is better for two-finger-typers but I seriously can't think how someone would manage to progress as a translator without being able to type.

It's simply unrealistic to expect people to be able to do this at the same level as those who are typing and quite frankly, it's a hurdle I wanted by all means to avoid.

Still... it's all a matter of personal preference isn't it? To me it's tantamount to insisting on changing the channel on your TV with a tuning knob and a wire aerial when there are remotes and cable TV, or trying to send a telex when there is e-mail. We've moved on from that so why not embrace this fact and use the tools at hand?


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:53
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Back in the day... Jun 7, 2013

A written exam was the only option and that's what I did. My lecturer at City described the experience as a "bad day in the office". I wasn't planning to become a translator and was doing the course for fun. I chose not to heed his advice and took the exam so that I could have a day out of the office. I can't imagine what I was thinking. Nowadays, the thought of 7 hours of handwritten exams in one day makes my blood run cold.

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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:53
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
British Council exam centre Jun 7, 2013

Tiago Moita wrote:

they say on the website one can "sit the exam at any British Council abroad"... Can anyone confirm this, please?



Yes, I took the DipTrans at the British Council in Madrid and was able to use a laptop there. I also agree with Marie-Helene and Lisa: a handwritten exam is a no-go situation in today's setting.


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