Requirements for taking the CIOL Diploma in Translation

by Petra
(South Africa)

Dear Joanna

What a pleasure to have stumbled upon your website!

Although I live in South Africa, my mother-tongue is German. I am tri-lingual, able to read speak and write English and South Afrikaans.

I would like to take do the DipTrans Diploma (English to German and vice versa), but I assume I will have to obtain internationally accepted Certificates in both English and German. Can you please advise whether the basic Level 5 TEFL certification will be accepted?

With regards to the German certificate, please advise what level is required.

I cannot for the life of me find the appropriate requirements page on CIOL.

Thanking you in advance.



Comments for Requirements for taking the CIOL Diploma in Translation

Click here to add your own comments

by: Joanna

Hi Petra

Many thanks for your email and kind words about the site.

As far as I can see from the CIOL website, they state that the DipTrans is a postgraduate level qualification - but do not specify any language or other qualifications that candidates must already possess in order to be permitted to take the exam. The easiest solution would be to use the contact form on their website to ask them directly.

It wouldn't surprise me if the CIOL left it up to the candidates themselves to judge their own level of language ability. The DipTrans is independently run by the CIOL, and although many universities offer preparatory courses, the exams can only be taken at CIOL-specified exam centres - in my case, the British Embassy in Vienna.

They welcome candidates from all around the world because the DipTrans is intended to support the institute's efforts to enhance recognition of translation as a profession.

That said, the pass rate was only around 20% at the time I took it, because many people underestimate the challenges of translating well, and overestimate their own abilities to do so.
Therefore, as soon as you said you wished to qualify in both directions, i.e. German to English, and English to German, I immediately thought this is going to be quite a challenge!

My suggestion would be to clarify the entrance requirements with the CIOL directly, decide if your written German or English is stronger - and if there will be more demand for one language direction than the other.

To prepare for the exam, and check where you stand at the moment, I'd sign up for one of the distance learning courses I've listed here. They will send you translation assignments which they then mark and comment on. This would be the best way of getting an honest appraisal of your skills as they currently stand, the likelihood of passing the DipTrans, and how much work you need to put in first.

I wish you well on your journey!


Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Q&As - My Free Translation Service For Visitors.

German to English Translation

Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?

Find this page useful? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.