Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) FAQ

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What are the modules (units) of the DipTrans exam?

The examination consists of three units:

  • Unit 01: Written Translation of a General Text --- Translate a text of about 600 words of a demanding but non-specialised nature.
  • Unit 02: Written Translation of a Semi-specialised Text --- Translate one out of three texts of a semi-specialised nature, each of approximately 450 words. Choose from: Technology / Business / Literature. The choice is made while sitting the exam; no prior decision is necessary.
  • Unit 03: Written Translation of a Semi-specialised Text --- Translate one out of three texts of a semi-specialised nature, each of approximately 450 words. Choose from: Science / Social Science / Law. The choice is made while sitting the exam; no prior decision is necessary.

Can I take only one unit and receive the diploma?

No. You must pass all three units in order to qualify for the Diploma in Translation. However, all units are individually assessed and for each unit passed a unit certificate is issued. The full diploma is awarded when all units are passed.

If I register for three modules, do I sit the full exam in one day?

Yes. The durations are: Unit 01 - 3 hours, Unit 02 - 2 hours, Unit 03 - 2 hours. The total duration is 7 hours. It is a long day, but every year, many people opt for this format and do well. While it is an efforts, it is definitely “doable” :-) Another option is to take one or two units in one year, and then the remaining units – at the next exam (i.e. next year or in the subsequent years).

What if I register for three modules but fail one or two?

You have a five year timeframe to complete all parts of an examination. The five year period applies from the first year you receive a unit certificate. Once you have received a ‘pass’ in any part of an examination, you have four more years to successfully complete all outstanding parts of the examination. If IoLET is unable to provide a required re-sit examination during the five year completion period, the timeframe will be extended until the first available session (but for the English/Polish language combination, it is highly unlikely that no exam will be held in any given year).

Who are the assessors? What qualifications do they have?

The assessors (i.e. the translators who read, check and mark the translations) are experienced translation professionals and academics. While we cannot share their names, below is a list of requirements they have to meet in order to qualify for examiner training.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA (must meet all): Has native competence in Language A / Is educated to degree level in Language A / Has a degree-equivalent level of competency in written and spoken Language B / Has a Masters Degree level qualification in translation / Is willing to undergo IoLET training or re-training / Has no expressed political, cultural or ethical bias

DESIRABLE CRITERIA: Frequently returns, whenever possible, to country of origin / Has examining experience / Has professional academic work experience / Is able to demonstrate a level of commitment to continuing professional development

The assessment criteria are described in detail in the DipTrans Handbool (available for download at the bottom of the page).

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