IOL Diploma in Translation
Thread poster: Leyre Bastero

Leyre Bastero
Local time: 11:01
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nov 7, 2002

After careful consideration and hearing people telling me I really should do something with my language skills I have decided to do the exam of the Institute of Linguists in London. I would like to know if any of you has done it and wether it proved useful for finding work afterwards. If not I would really like to know of other qualifications I can get by distance learning. Thanks a lot!


Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Very stiff examination Nov 7, 2002

Yes, I have done and passed the General Paper with Annotations in November 2001. The annotations are no longer compulsory, but it is still advisable to do them, as it helps to obtain a pass. It is a very stiff exam, with very high standards.

You have to do two semi-specialised papers as well. I will be doing Business and Law papers in January 2003, but there are other options - Science, Technology and Literature. The Literature Paper is supposed to be extremely difficult to pass and not recommended for most people.

The next examination you can enter for takes place in January 2004 and you will have to enter by about July 2003. You will also have to find an examination centre willing to accommodate you first, and notify the Institute of Linguists of this with your entry. You can try all three papers at once, or do the General Paper first, and try the others at a later date. You have to pass all three papers within about five years of each other. You can join the Institute as a Student Member in the meantime, which I would recommend.

Certainly, it is a very worthwhile and respected qualification to have and is equal to any other professional qualification in translation. It is set at a very high postgraduate standard, and intended to be only possible to pass if you also have several years\' experience of translating first. The Institute describes it somewhere in their literature as a \"reward for experience\".


Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
German to English
I did it too Nov 8, 2002

It took me two years to complete. The exam is 7 hours long and by the last paper I was exhausted, failed it and re-took it the following year. The exam is expensive and IOL seem to be living in a different century - don\'t expect efficiency or customer service. There isn\'t any! And the second set of exams were done in a dingy hall with poor facilities. Sign up for one of the correspondence courses to help you pass. It was invaluable to me especially for the paper with annotations although they aren\'t compulsory any more. It is the recognised exam for UK translators (apart from Masters courses) and will certainly help you gain credibility with agencies and customers. I know it\'s expensive and you can\'t claim it as a business expense but consider it an investment in your business!


Domenica Grangiotti  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
English to Italian
+ ...
Recommended reading Nov 8, 2002

I checked with the British Council in Milan Italy and they are an approved examination seat. I must say it is very tempting for me to go deeper into this. However I understand it is a very difficult exam and that you are supposed to be very experienced (as well as well qualified).

Can anyone suggest reading/ course books/ ... to help me getting established in order to take the exam in a couple of years\' time? Thanks.


United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
English to German
+ ...
Do it Nov 9, 2002

If you want to become a translator this is the easiest way to prove your skills.


Céline Graciet
Local time: 10:01
English to French
Don't hesitate Nov 12, 2002

All the advice that\'s been given to you is excellent, I just wanted to tell you to not lose heart because of the difficulty of the exam. I did it before I started translating as a career (I couldn\'t get any jobs without an official accreditation), without any experience, just by revising my BA lessons and redoing my old translations and passed it on my first try. It is hard, but it is possible to pass without years of experience! I found that people were a lot more willing to give me jobs after I was awarded it.


Lia Fail (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
IOL Dec 11, 2002

I did it, did all papers on the same day, didn\'t find it that awful. In retrospect it is an extremely valuable qualification from a purely linguistic point of view, as it indicates you be to be proficient (to have attained a \'professional\' level) at decoding a foreign language and encoding into another.

You don\'t need any qualifications (it\'s a professional exam not an academic one) just pay up front. It\'s your business to be adequately prepared.

You need lots of practice, and obviously some kind of feedback, so the best thing to do is a preparation course distance or presence), valuable in itself, naturally, as a learning process.


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IOL Diploma in Translation

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