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Off topic: Did you sit the DipTrans exam on 17 or 18 Jan 2012?
Thread poster: Valérie Askins

Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
Jan 24, 2012

Hello,

I sat the 3 papers of the DipTrans exam at the Camden Centre in London on the 18th of Jan (EN->FR) and would like to hear from other candidates about their impressions of the day and what they thought about the texts we had to translate...

Valerie


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Yes, I did Jan 24, 2012

Hi Valerie,
Yes, I sat all 3 in the Sp>En combination in Madrid. I found it very tough, despite having done a preparation course for it and several practice papers on the way.

The general paper was OK, but the technical one had a lot of extremely tough terminology. I was hoping for a medical text for the science paper since that's what I've been translating for the last 20 years, but was faced with astronomy instead.

So, I doubt very much I'll pass this time round. Maybe I'll try again next year. I must admit I find it rather frustrating that the possible topics are so broad and then the actual papers are very specialised (not semi-specialised as the IoL would have us think).

How did it go for you? Hope your experience was better than mine!
Emma


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Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Jan 24, 2012

Hi Emma,

Like you, I found the general paper OK (although I found the text online afterwards on The Economist website and beat myself up over expressions that I could have translated in a better way...).
I agree that the 'semi-specialised' papers are rather specialised. I was planning to pick the Business paper (I translate mostly corporate documents, marketing papers & press releases) but I didn't like the paper so ended up translating the Literature one. For the 3rd paper, I picked the Social Science one.

Several candidates in London didn't manage to finish the 3 hours general translation.
I managed to finish all three translations but only with a few minutes spare each time to proof-read them so I may have missed some spelling mistakes in the rush... I was amazed to see some people handing over their finished paper after only 2 hours for the 3 hours exam!

Only 13 weeks left to wait now...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
A bit more than 14 weeks Jan 24, 2012

Valérie Askins wrote:
Only 13 weeks left to wait now...

Or a bit more perhaps. Do not count on having the result in 13 weeks. Shoot for 4 full months...

Good luck with the result!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Not so fast, stranger..." Jan 24, 2012

Valérie Askins wrote:
Several candidates in London didn't manage to finish the 3 hours general translation.
I managed to finish all three translations but only with a few minutes spare each time to proof-read them so I may have missed some spelling mistakes in the rush... I was amazed to see some people handing over their finished paper after only 2 hours for the 3 hours exam!

Well, all I can say is that the pass rate is very low indeed and that it is best to work carefully and making good use of the times. Personally I would not bet for those who finished the papers quickly and were too confident about their abilities, after seeing very good translators fail time and time again.


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Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Such a long wait :-( Jan 24, 2012

Hi Thomas,

Thank you.
By the way, I saw your thread from last year when I was trying to find out as much info as possible about the exam and noticed that you and fellow candidates had to wait for ages for the results. This is the even more stressful part...
By the way congratulations on passing the exam yourself!
Would you say that holding this Diploma has helped you grow your business?


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes! Jan 24, 2012

Valérie Askins wrote:
Would you say that holding this Diploma has helped you grow your business?

Absolutely! Indeed since I have the Diploma I get more interesting job proposals from more sensible customers. I keep receiving a number of low-pay proposals, but the proportion of interesting customers has certainly increased.


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Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feedback Jan 25, 2012

Is it possible to see how your test was graded (perhaps for a fee) after taking the exam?

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, and some comments Jan 25, 2012

Edward Potter wrote:
Is it possible to see how your test was graded (perhaps for a fee) after taking the exam?

You can read about the process in the IOL's website, but indeed you can request a review and get feedback. The first step an administrative check to verify that the grade received corresponds to your actual exam. This step takes about a month or so.

After the administrative check proves that the grade is for your exam, you are given the option to request a second review of your exam, and the reviewer prepares a rather concise spreadsheet commenting on the main issues. However, you never receive your paper with review marks.

In my opinion, the ATA's system is much better: two people review your exam and both have to give you a pass for you to pass the exam. If they do not agree, a third person is called in who reviews the exam independently and decides.

In the case of the IOL, only one person reviews your exam, and this person's personal taste or experiences have a big impact on the grade given. This is especially the case in translations from English, since --this happened to me-- graders (who are supposedly living in the UK) might not be fully up-to-date with Spanish regulations and could expect outdated terminology and style.

An example of this is that in my first go at the exam the grader marked my "discapacitados" as wrong and proposed "minusválidos", which has been completely politically incorrect in Spain over the last decade or so. The grader also marked the lack of a space inside of m-dashes as a mistake because in English you use space before and after the m-dashes.

So as with any translation, know your customer!!


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Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Sounds good Jan 25, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Valérie Askins wrote:
Would you say that holding this Diploma has helped you grow your business?

Absolutely! Indeed since I have the Diploma I get more interesting job proposals from more sensible customers. I keep receiving a number of low-pay proposals, but the proportion of interesting customers has certainly increased.


Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us Tomás. What you say is encouraging for those of us who are hoping to get the DipTrans diploma and grow our businesses.
For now, I am going to try and forget about the exam for the next few months... If I can!


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My two cents Jan 25, 2012

Valérie Askins wrote:
For now, I am going to try and forget about the exam for the next few months... If I can!

From my experience in the two years I took papers in (I failed one in 2010 and had to take it in 2011), the best suggestion I can make to you in this respect is that you start preparing for next year's exam. If you pass everything, it will not be wasted time anyway, and if you fail some paper, you will be better prepared next year... and the long wait for the results will feel shorter.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Just out of interest Jan 25, 2012

I sat the Dip. Trans back in pre-history (1994) when the exams were handwritten and we had armfuls of dictionaries. Has anything changed?

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geraldjames
Local time: 02:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Spanish to English General Paper Jan 2012 Jan 25, 2012

Hi Emma

I thought the general paper (I only sat that one) was fair overall and having read your comment that you found it on the Economist I thought I would search for it. Unfortunately I can't find it - please can you let me have the web-link? Also, do you know - was the Spanish version the original or was it a translation of the Economist article? It'd be ironoc if we were asked to translate a translation!!

Hopefully I won't regret reading the English version!

All the best.

Gerald McGrath


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Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Sound advice Jan 25, 2012

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Valérie Askins wrote:
For now, I am going to try and forget about the exam for the next few months... If I can!

From my experience in the two years I took papers in (I failed one in 2010 and had to take it in 2011), the best suggestion I can make to you in this respect is that you start preparing for next year's exam. If you pass everything, it will not be wasted time anyway, and if you fail some paper, you will be better prepared next year... and the long wait for the results will feel shorter.


Definitely the way to go and as you say, either way it, it will be a useful way to spend time!


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Valérie Askins  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Still under pre-historic conditions Jan 25, 2012

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

I sat the Dip. Trans back in pre-history (1994) when the exams were handwritten and we had armfuls of dictionaries. Has anything changed?


Hi Lisa,

You wouldn't have felt out of touch if you had been there on the 18th of this month... We used the good old pens & papers and we all arrived with suitcases full of dictionnaries Apparently, some exam centres allow candidates to use a word processor but this wasn't the case at the Camden Centre.

[Edited at 2012-01-25 23:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-01-25 23:19 GMT]


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