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UK’s translation exam in India

The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) offers it outside the UK due to its international content (other qualifications have UK-specific components).Every year, of the roughly 1,000 candidates who take the exam, about 40% do so outside Britain.

Aspirants should be experienced, practising translators, aged at least 19, to be able to apply for the Master’s-level credential, which requires a strong grip over the chosen languages. While the institute does not provide preparatory training, it suggests they could study a course offered by third parties.

Matthias Postel, business development manager (IoL Educational Trust), CIOL, London, adds, “It is not an academic qualification, but rather competency-based, without academic entry requirements. However, the qualification is at Master’s level and candidates should be prepared for translation tasks at this level. Clearly, a very high level of language proficiency is required in the source and the target language, which is the mother tongue. The source language needs to be at a level equivalent to a good university degree.”

To receive the DipTrans, one needs to pass three units, each with a separate exam and certification.

There should be a minimum number of registrants for a language combination to be available at a centre. The institute offers the exams in many languages, ranging from Albanian (into English) to Spanish (into German).Among the Indian tongues are Bengali, Hindi, Panjabi and Tamil, for which it regularly sees registrations from UKbased professionals with Indian roots.The offerings “would be expanded to languages not offered yet if they are demanded,” adds Postel.

As part of its expansion in different parts of the world, the institute has partnered with the Pune-headquartered company due to the quantum of translation services in the city. Postel explains, “Despite not being the largest city, there is considerable volume of translation activity in Pune. The translation industry is driven by international trade and connections. Pune’s position as a hub for the automotive and IT industries, as well as upcoming activities in the exhibition conference sector provide the environment in which translation services are required and the demand for qualified translators is set to grow.”

While interested candidates can sit the exam at the British Council in any country globally, the organisation intends to “work more closely as well with recognised centres as partners to promote the qualification.”

On whether the diploma is acceptable for entry to a doctoral programme, Postel says, “Eligibility for a PhD is more complex and does not usually rely solely on qualifications held. The DipTrans is not a Master’s degree but has the same level on the Qualifications and Credit Framework, which is a level below doctorate level.”

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