Passing the Diptrans
Thread poster: just4karns

Local time: 13:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jun 11, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I've been woring in house as a teacher-translator for an Engineering company in Chile for the last 3 years. Although my mother tongue is English, the majority of my translation work is into Spanish (I always get a native speaker to proofread it).

I really enjoy my work, and have been trying to improve as a translator and / get qualified.

I've certainly improved as a translator, and now translate with the help of CAT tools, and different specialised and non-specialised dictionaries.

I've also been trying to pass the Diptrans, and have attempted the exam three times. I've only passed one section.

As part of trying to pass the Diptrans, I've bought books on translation and taken an online course, but it hasn't helped. I'm also worried that, as a native English speaker living in Chile, my English is is getting "less native", and taking on more Spanish interference.

Does anyone have any advice for me? Any distance courses they could recommend?




Graeme Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:05
Member (2015)
French to English
+ ...
Gather info from CIOL Jun 13, 2016

I would get as much info as you can first of all from the CIOL website - you can order past papers and examiners' reports. That way you can see the kind of thing they regard as "serious" errors...
I think to pass you need to know where you are falling down (in their eyes). In particular you need to know the English style rules they adhere to - the examiners' reports should help a bit with that. After that consider whether you want to follow one of the preparation type courses: City University, Westminster University, Susanne James Associates, Words Language Services (Ireland) are a few. There are others which focus exclusively on Spanish too. Have a Google. These are just some that I know of - not because I particularly recommend them - although you will find lots of positive feedback around.
It does seem remarkably easy to fail the DipTrans papers - whether their reasons for failing you would actually give you a problem in real life translation work, I'm not sure.
You could also look at ATA (they actually give you a really good view of their own English style requirements) or ITI which has a very "modern day" way of testing you other than sitting in a stifling exam room for 7 hours: you do a translation test over a weekend from your own home/office - 1000 words plus commentary on it.
The real advantage of DipTrans over everything else is that it is a qualification in itself - ITI and ATA are really well regarded but theirs are qualifications to join their club.



Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is hard to pass Jun 13, 2016

I have seen very seasoned translators who needed many tries to pass the DipTrans, so it is indeed hard to pass.

I reckon that the best advice I can give you is to try to learn more about techniques and strategies used in technical translation, or in translation in general. Theorical knowledge of translation could be a plus as well.

Personally, I quite liked Byrne's Scientific and Technical Translation Explained, ISBN 9781905763368. Other books in this same Routledge series might prove to be very useful in your case.

Learning more and finding suitable materials about any other translation-related aspects of Linguistics, like Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, phraseology, discourse analysis, register analysis, theme & rheme, Cognitive Linguistics, etc. would add a definite plus to your capabilities and could increase your chances of passing. (Feel free to email me about this; I might be able to mention useful works in these areas).

And, of course, there is the matter of proper preparation (decision-making, time management, resources, etc.), something which you could do with the help of a tutor (means investment of time and money), and, most importantly, extreme attention to detail.

All in all, it is not easy to pass the DipTrans, and for a reason: it is a valued credential as a synonym of excellence.


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Passing the Diptrans

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