DPSI, or how to get started as an interpretor?
Thread poster: Marionlam

Marionlam  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:00
English to French
+ ...
Dec 10, 2013

Hi all,

I've been translating from English into French for nearly 10 years, although I've mostly done it alongside my marketing career so I probably can't boast as many words as a full time translator.

I am seriously interested in interpreting, and I'm looking into the DPSI Law or Health. It's going to take a lot of sorting out, both from a financial and organisational point of view, for me to be able to do this, and I was therefore wondering if anyone could share their experience of it before I throw myself into it.

My first concern is that I have never done any interpreting whatsoever, and I have no experience of law/health. The course coordinator tells me that should not be a problem...

And did it really give your career a boost? How much marketing did it take to find clients? And what is your current opinion of the current issues with the ministry of justice boycott?

Any feedback would be great!


Barbara Bonatti Divers  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:00
Member (2013)
English to Italian
Try it, absolutely! Dec 10, 2013

Hi Marionlam,

I sat the DPSI in 2005. Today I am in the IoL's team of Italian DPSI Assessors/Examiners.
I can give you insight from the candidate's as well as the assessors' point of view.

It is an excellent course, if well ran by the college/institution that offers it.
Prior experience in either law or medicine is not a requirement, your coordinator is quite correct.
If you are keen and have excellent command of both languages, plus an impeccable ethical conduct, you have nothing to fear and everything to gain.

How well prepared you will become, however, has mostly to do with you, your commitment to acquire new knowledge, new vocabulary and how organized you are. The course will only get you so far.

Interpreting is an extremely satisfying career. It's about helping people understand each other and will be very rewarding (most of the time!).

The examiners will be looking at your composure, your ability to take notes and to interrupt when appropriate to ask for clarification, your accuracy of interpretation in the two main interpreting skills (consecutive and simultaneous) and two translating skills (at sight and in writing) to and from both languages.

Taking the DPSI (with Distinction) definitely boosted my interpreting career. I work only through agencies and they pay a higher rate to DPSI holders.
I would also recommend that you join a professional body like Institute of Translators and Interpreters. They are a very helpful, friendly and supportive organization. And they are fighting our corner with the ministry of Justice!

So, definitely go for it. It is fun, rewarding and a very good brain-training excercise.

Good luck!


Ania Heasley  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:00
English to Polish
+ ...
Marketing? what marketing? Dec 11, 2013

No marketing required.
After acquiring a much-coveted DPSI you register with all the major agencies, pay a small fortune for annual membership to the NRPSI, sit back and wait. And wait. And wait a bit more. Then you start getting jobs from all the agencies you registered with. And occasionally, depending on the combination of the languages you offer, your geographical location and so called luck you get calls from end clients who have found you on the NRPSI.


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