Translation qualifications
Thread poster: Adam-MSCR

Adam-MSCR  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Member (Jan 2018)
French to English
+ ...
Feb 7, 2017

Last question for a while as I don't want to hog the forum here.

I have done a lot of research on this, but in case I have missed something I will ask: In a nut shell, what are the best translation diplomas a beginner like myself can do to really enhance their CV and make themselves more attractive agencies? The agency I mentioned in my last thread did say that their translators must have a "translation diploma".

I know that the DipTrans is supposed to be very hard even for experienced translators. Additionally, I know that a Masters is very expensive. However if these are absolutely necessary then I will embark on one of them. Conversely, if there is a more cost-effective alternative that would be even better for me.


 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:16
Member
Italian to English
Maybe in the future Feb 7, 2017

There are various schools of thought on the subject of translation qualifications - in your case I would be inclined to say that it isn't the right thing for you at the moment - perhaps in the future. I'm not too convinced that agencies require a translation qualification if they can demonstrate good translation skills and have other qualifications, which can stand you in better stead.

I'm curious as to why you don't work in the area where you gained your degree (building surveying) - have you considered doing so? My feeling is that your in-depth knowledge of the subject would be very helpful in getting yourself on agencies' books. And you can continue working in your other specialist areas, which you obviously have a passion for.

I also feel that you need to make other changes to your CV. IMHO, you have way too much surplus information, and no-one is going to read it all. You need to really think what you have to offer customers, what your USP is, and how to put that across effectively. The information is there, you just need to present it better. I would also get yourself a more professional email address - Hotmail doesn't give a great impression. Even Gmail is better (you can create a personalised Gmail address for a very small monthly fee).

Sharpen up your profile and CV, create a website, and start blogging if you can, since you seem to write well. This will show your skills in the various areas you work in, and bring people to you instead of you vice-versa.

Best of luck!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:16
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Three nutshells Feb 7, 2017

Adam-MSCR wrote:
In a nut shell, what are the best translation diplomas a beginner like myself can do to really enhance their CV and make themselves more attractive agencies? The agency I mentioned in my last thread did say that their translators must have a "translation diploma".

The DipTrans would be a really good idea in a couple of years. Meanwhile, I have to say that I wouldn't encourage any young translator to embark on a career as a freelance translator nowadays without any recognised qualification, e.g. a Master. There are far too many "hobbyists" out there and you're even competing against the free MT systems. You have to find a way to put a large distance between you - the expert, the specialist - and the other, far cheaper, suppliers of translations. If you can start out by offering a vast experience in industry then you can maybe dispense with recognised translation qualifications, but not when you're starting young.

Fiona makes some good points:
I'm curious as to why you don't work in the area where you gained your degree (building surveying) - have you considered doing so? My feeling is that your in-depth knowledge of the subject would be very helpful in getting yourself on agencies' books. And you can continue working in your other specialist areas, which you obviously have a passion for.

It does seem strange. It isn't even down as a "Working" field, so you won't be selected for any jobs in that area if the client does a specific search. If I were a client, I'd be thinking "Hmm, why not?". No problem if you have a good reason for excluding it, though.

I also feel that you need to make other changes to your CV.

So, so true. I'm afraid it's everything a freelancer's CV shouldn't be. It's wordy, rambling, contains loads of spurious information, and serves mainly to hide the good points of your background. And that's a shame when your About Me text is really quite strong. You need to go through your CV with a highlighter and just select the odd words - sometimes strings of a few words - that are really ultra-important to the client. Not to you, but to a potential client with a need for a translation. Then display those words with some headings and bullet points as necessary. The other points you make in the CV don't all have to be consigned to File 13 (aka the bin). They may well have a place in your About Me text here, your LinkedIn profile etc, quotes, website, blog...


 

Adam-MSCR  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Member (Jan 2018)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Changes made to CV - thank you! Feb 8, 2017

Hi, I hope you are both well. Thank you very much for your feedback.

To be honest, I never really liked the CV, I found it was too "salesman" and brash - which doesn't fit my personality at all. I have now stripped it right down to the essentials, basing it on my About Me page (which I also polished just a tiny bit). I have added my blogging site to both. If you get time to take a look, please let me know what you think - I hope I haven't taken too much out.

Regarding building surveying, I should have listed it as a working subject. The reason I don't particularly trade off of it is because, frankly, I just never enjoyed it. I would much rather work in subjects that interest me, I also feel because I am passionate about them I would be a better translator when working in their fields. Maybe it would be wise to reconsider though, it is a degree after all!

I have been looking at the MA course offered by the Open University. It looks very good. I am going to further investigate it. In the mean time, I will keep working hard to get my foot in the door. Thank you again for all of your help, I really appreciate it.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:16
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Far better CV Feb 8, 2017

Adam-MSCR wrote:
If you get time to take a look, please let me know what you think - I hope I haven't taken too much out.

It's far better, in my opinion. Well done!

I would personally rather see it fit onto one page. This could be done quite easily by reducing the running text still further, removing information about your degree from the top (after all, you don't want to highlight it, it seems), removing nationality and GCSE information (both of little relevance) and probably the line about Brazilian Portuguese (which for your clients is either a source language or an irrelevance), and leaving out mention of currencies accepted (that's for your quote and/or T&C). But it's certainly far better than it was.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:16
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
building surveying Feb 8, 2017

Adam-MSCR wrote:

Regarding building surveying, I should have listed it as a working subject. The reason I don't particularly trade off of it is because, frankly, I just never enjoyed it. I would much rather work in subjects that interest me, I also feel because I am passionate about them I would be a better translator when working in their fields. Maybe it would be wise to reconsider though, it is a degree after all!



I would say to list it at least for the time being. If you're just starting out, you need to show that you've learned stuff and since clients won't be lining up out the door to have you work with them, you need everything you can get. Once you've established a client base and find you don't have time to do everything that comes your way, you can start weeding out the projects that don't interest you so much to concentrate on what does.

Although I would say that a subject that didn't really interest me prior to becoming a translator has now become one of my big specialist subjects. I have never followed fashion, but I learned dressmaking with my mother and so I knew the vocabulary. I started doing translations for various firms in the field of fashion and found that I enjoyed it, even though I still couldn't care less about what shape trousers we'll be wearing next year.


 

Adam-MSCR  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Member (Jan 2018)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Noted Feb 9, 2017

Thank you very much, Sheila.

I am glad it's better. I will make those changes now and then see what happens.

All the best!


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Agree with Sheila Feb 12, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

... I have to say that I wouldn't encourage any young translator to embark on a career as a freelance translator nowadays without any recognised qualification, e.g. a Master. There are far too many "hobbyists" out there and you're even competing against the free MT systems. You have to find a way to put a large distance between you - the expert, the specialist - and the other, far cheaper, suppliers of translations. If you can start out by offering a vast experience in industry then you can maybe dispense with recognised translation qualifications, but not when you're starting young.



I am tired of translators saying we don't need qualifications and then turning around and complaining about the lack of entry barriers to the profession.

Want to change careers? Get qualified. Full stop. Invest in some practice resources and some mentoring, and go for the DipTrans.


 

Adam-MSCR  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Member (Jan 2018)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Qualifications Feb 13, 2017

To be honest, I would be more than happy to embark on some form of qualification. When I received the email stating that they require translators to have a "translation diploma" I was more interested in seeking clarification as to which specific qualifications are out there (other than the DipTrans) for beginners to enrol on, rather than looking for a way in without buying a ticket.

From my research so far, I think a Masters would be the best option for me personally as I would receive continued tuition and feedback.


 

Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 06:16
Member (2016)
German to English
+ ...
distance learning Feb 13, 2017

I did my language course with the OU and they have the remote-course thing well sorted out. However, the translation MA is new for them this year, so it may still have teething troubles.
I am doing the Bristol distance MA, which they have been running for years so they should know what they are doing, but I have to say that I don't find the online experience as smooth as I did with the OU and I have to keep digging around in five different bits of the website to keep up with it. The OU also does a lot of live tutorials (and although you are assigned to a tutor group and your group may have anything between one a week and one a month, you are allowed to attend tutorials with any tutor group, so you can go to loads if you want to), while Bristol seems to just have the odd Skype session and do everything else via discussion forums. I guess people have different preferences which they prefer. Bristol say they are trying to reflect the translator's working environment...

There are lots of people on my course who have already been doing translation work for some time.

I also found this article interesting https://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2013/06/11/diptrans-miti/


 

Alice Crisan  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
English to Romanian
+ ...
Translation diplomas Feb 15, 2017

You can also improve your CV with the ATA certificate in translation or ITI. For ITI you have to provide some experience in translations, but passing this exam you are entitled to full membership status as a translator. Have a look at their website. The ATA exam as a translator is not for faint hearted persons either, and once you pass the test you have better chances to hit the pot.
All you need is to stand out in the crowd and show some reliable credentials.


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Hm... Feb 15, 2017

Alice Crisan wrote:

You can also improve your CV with the ATA certificate in translation or ITI. For ITI you have to provide some experience in translations, but passing this exam you are entitled to full membership status as a translator. Have a look at their website. The ATA exam as a translator is not for faint hearted persons either, and once you pass the test you have better chances to hit the pot.
All you need is to stand out in the crowd and show some reliable credentials.


1. The CIoL DipTrans is the relevant qualification recognised in the UK. As a UK client, I would certainly not be looking for ATA-certified translators.

2. The ITI exam is an in-house test, and not a qualification. Once you cancel your membership, you have to return your exam ''certificate''.

[Edited at 2017-02-15 19:49 GMT]


 

Alice Crisan  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:16
English to Romanian
+ ...
. Feb 15, 2017

First of all why do you think he will be looking only for UK clients ? ATA certification is a very reliable source of linguists with good exposure to the market, very active and with many highly skilled professional members. Whereas the ITI membership is another option to add credentials to his CV on a fast track without a financial burden on a long term.
Meantime he can very well prepare the route towards a qualification.


 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Translation qualifications

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search