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How can I prepare myself for DipTrans exams?
Thread poster: Stefan Schmitt
Stefan Schmitt
Local time: 13:42
Jul 4, 2010

Hello there,

I am thinking about taking the DipTrans exams come January and noticed that all preparatory distance courses have already started.

What I'm trying to find out now is whether there are other options to prepare oneself for the exam. Are there any books to recommend? Are there any private tutors out there offering distance preparatory courses? Is it still possible to join long distance courses for the exams in January 2011?

Thank you so much for your help

Stefan


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Same here Jul 4, 2010

I'll sit it in January. I haven't got the time to enrol in a course, because of my heavy workload. I've always been an autodidact and have a lot of discipline studying by myself so I'm hoping ordering the past papers will be a good place to start, I suggest you do the same.

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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:42
Member (2003)
French to English
French to English at Cardiff Jul 5, 2010

Stefan, I'm not sure what your language combination is, but for anyone doing French to English there's a distance learning option at Cardiff - it's too late for module 1 but you can enrol separately for module 2, which is all about preparing for the exam using past papers. I did it in 2001 and I thought it was excellent, with really detailed feedback from the tutor.

More info here: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/translate/index.php


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:42
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Early Registration Discount...over! Jul 5, 2010

I've just discovered that I missed the early registration discount by a few days (last date for payment was july 2nd).

http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/Fees/Fees%20&%20Dates%20Book%201011.pdf

Actually I'm still considering the possibility of approaching the exam in january, and I would like to keep in touch.
I have a few more weeks to complete registration procedures, any thoughts or suggestions are welcome!

I'm going to download past papers, and then I'm going to try and tame my handwriting (very very messy....)


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Daniela Jul 5, 2010

I missed the discount as well... oh well.

Anyway, can you download the past papers from the website? I've contacted the British Council in Sao Paulo and asked them if I could use their computers and print the exam (my handwriting is a disaster), they said yes as long as the IoL authorized it.

I've contacted them about it and... no replies. Although everytime I needed information about payment I got a quick reply. That kind of makes me nervous. They did not reassure me that they would take into consideration I translate to Brazilian not European Portuguese either, which makes me even more nervous.

University City of London has preparatory courses for the DipTrans in most language combinations. Distance learning but not cheap, I'm looking into it as well.

Good luck everyone!


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:42
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Portuguese Jul 6, 2010

Hi Paula, this is what is stated on the IoL site, I hope it reassures you

Portuguese Spelling Reform

From 2009, new spelling rules for Portuguese are coming into effect. Brazil changed the rules from 1st January 2009. In Portugal the change was passed into law in May 2008 but the law still has to go into effect, which is expected to happen sometime in 2009. Until 2012 examinations candidates can use either the old or the new spelling rules, provided that they use one form consistently. Candidates should specify in their scripts whether they use the old or new spelling. From 2013, the new spelling must be used by all candidates. For further information, please click here http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/DPSI/Portuguese%20Spelling%20Reform.pdf


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Prepare well! Jul 6, 2010

I did a course with the City University London and was generally satisfied with it, but did not manage to pass the exams in my first go (was marked as failed in two papers, and am now waiting for the result of a second review).

All I can recommend is that you do a serious, systematic preparation for the papers. They are not easy at all! I'd definitely go for a course, but would also hire a very experienced, DipTrans translator who can give you texts to work on and can pinpoint and report on your weaknesses. Unless my review yields a better result, the latter is what I will probably do.


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanks Jul 6, 2010

Daniela Zambrini wrote:

Hi Paula, this is what is stated on the IoL site, I hope it reassures you

Portuguese Spelling Reform

From 2009, new spelling rules for Portuguese are coming into effect. Brazil changed the rules from 1st January 2009. In Portugal the change was passed into law in May 2008 but the law still has to go into effect, which is expected to happen sometime in 2009. Until 2012 examinations candidates can use either the old or the new spelling rules, provided that they use one form consistently. Candidates should specify in their scripts whether they use the old or new spelling. From 2013, the new spelling must be used by all candidates. For further information, please click here http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/DPSI/Portuguese%20Spelling%20Reform.pdf


Daniela, thank you for the link. I have seen that before, but you see, that's about the spelling rules. Both variants are very different, and I needed to make sure Brazilian people will analyse my papers. They don't seem to acknowledge the difference.

It says I should specify the spelling, but not my language variant. That worries me. You cannot get the same people to analyse texts written my Portuguese and Brazilian natives: they are completely different in vocabulary, syntax and grammar.


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Daniela Zambrini  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:42
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
directory search? Jul 6, 2010

Paula Borges wrote:


Daniela, thank you for the link. I have seen that before, but you see, that's about the spelling rules. Both variants are very different, and I needed to make sure Brazilian people will analyse my papers. They don't seem to acknowledge the difference.

It says I should specify the spelling, but not my language variant. That worries me. You cannot get the same people to analyse texts written my Portuguese and Brazilian natives: they are completely different in vocabulary, syntax and grammar.


Yes, the link only addresses spelling issues...

Would it be feasible for you to search profiles of Brazilian Portuguese translators and see if any have passed the exam (although I imagine the Portuguese community is rather large!)?
and if so, how did they approach the language varuant issue?

You could start a directory search using the option "Professional credential status", to narrow your results down

p.s. My apologies to Stefan for going slightly off-topic


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Daniela Jul 6, 2010

Thank you so much for your help and suggestions!

The information on the website says there is an option in the Entry Card to specify Brazilian/European Portuguese, but there wasn't! I suppose they'll ask me to specify at some point.

I have received a response by University City of London and enrolment is open until the 13th of September.


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Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:42
Member (2003)
French to English
Distance learning at City Jul 8, 2010

It looks as though City University is now offering a distance learning course for preparing for the DipTrans: http://www.city.ac.uk/study/courses/arts/principles-practice-translation.html

Best,

Karen


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Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 12:42
Member
Portuguese to English
Portuguese and courses Jul 8, 2010

Hi,

I took the DipTrans Port -Eng in Jan 2009 and passed. I took the Susanne James http://www.s-james.dircon.co.uk/ distance learning course and had my own tutor. I had the option of doing 6 papers (which I completed between May 2008 and Jan 2009) and my tutor provided me with in depth feedback on the way to improve my work. It was a real confidence booster. I was able to contact her either by telephone or email but in the end as I was in Brazil at the time I opted for contact via email. One great thing about the course was that I was able to start at any point, and also send the translations as and when I could.

Paula - I'm not sure how much this will help - but I'm pretty sure the IoL are aware of the differences between Brazilian and European Portuguese as when I took the Port - Eng exam (I know you will be sitting the other way around) there were three texts in Brazilian Portuguese. If I were you, I'd give the IoL a ring (if you can) as I had great problems in contacting them and they just didn't reply to my emails. Once I started ringing to speak to the person who should of been replying to my emails, I suddenly got a very quick response!

Boa sorte!

[Edited at 2010-07-08 09:13 GMT]

Stefan - the course I mentioned above is available for various language combinations, not just Portuguese. I forgot to mention that!

[Edited at 2010-07-08 09:15 GMT]


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Paula Borges  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:42
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Phillipa Jul 8, 2010

Yes, contacting them is some kind of nightmare! Sometimes they reply, most of the time they don't bother and then say they didn't receive any e-mails or copy and paste something that's already on their website and do not answer your questions.

Where did you do it in Brazil? Did they let you use a computer?


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Phillippa May Bennett
Portugal
Local time: 12:42
Member
Portuguese to English
British Council RJ Jul 10, 2010

Hi Paula,

I sat the exam at the British Council in Rio and after a lot of effort I was finally allowed to use a computer (the BC needed confirmation from the IoL, which only after I rang them up would actually authorise the use of the computer!). The facilities were great and I felt that it was an excellent place to take the exam. I have however heard that it is no longer possible to take the exam at the British Council in Rio and at other centres people have not been allowed to use computers. Are you taking the exam in Sao Paulo? Have you got access to a computer?

I hope you manage to get the answers you require from them asap!


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Stefan Schmitt
Local time: 13:42
TOPIC STARTER
How can I prepare myself for DipTrans exams? - Continued Aug 15, 2010

Thank you all for the replies.

I finally enrolled for the exam in January (English - German) and I'm going to take all three modules in one day.

I read the "Sample List of Examiners' Recommendations to Candidates" found under http://www.iol.org.uk/qualifications/DipTrans/2010/CandidateRecommendationsDT10.pdf which offers some good advice on various topics.

Now what I would like to do is to go through some of the points stated there and hopefully get some feedback on them:

2.: Study past examination papers
Q.: Are those papers available only through mail or are they also available as a download?

4.: A translator needs a broad cultural knowledge [...] achieved by reading [...]
Q.: What kind of magazines, newspapers and other material would you suggest?

7.: Become familiarized with relevant terminology. [...]
Q.: It really is the same as above: What kind of material would you suggest?

8.: Refer to a style guide [...]
Q.: Are there any journalistic or other style guides out there you could recommend?

9.: [...] have up-to-date specialized glossaries to hand [...]
Q.: Are there any glossaries available online? Is there any other material you could suggest?


I would like to thank anyone posting here in advance for sharing their knowledge.
Looking forward to hearing from you all

[Edited at 2010-08-15 14:49 GMT]


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