I moved to the UK in 1997 to study and had just started my first publishing role in 2002. Although I liked my job, I knew I wanted to use my language skills in future—perhaps on a freelance basis. So, I decided to look into good translation courses and recommended qualifications.
I quickly realised that the CIOLQ DipTrans is respected worldwide, so I started a preparatory course in 2002 and then passed all three exams in early 2003 (English - German). While I was working, I took on some casual freelance translation projects and also volunteered as a translator.
My CIOL diploma came in very handy in 2020, when I finally decided to go fully freelance after a career in communications and publishing at the University of Oxford.
It certainly opened quite a few doors. For example, I’ve had leads through my CIOL directory listing, as well as interest from various high-quality agencies via LinkedIn and Proz.com. In all cases, being fully qualified has helped me stand out.
As I’d been living and working in the UK for over 25 years, I took the German-English DipTrans exams in 2022. I was delighted to be awarded this CIOL qualification as well.
I now specialise in marketing translations and bilingual SEO content writing, mainly for ethical and sustainable businesses.
Without my CIOL and SEO content writing qualifications, this would have been much more difficult!
Take a preparatory course for the DipTrans exams - if you can. It really helped me when I first started out.
Think about specialisations—what interests you most? You’ll enjoy your translation work more if it’s a topic you’re passionate about.
Volunteer your services - if you haven’t much translation experience yet. Translators without Borders is a good place to start.
Don’t get exploited - your CIOL qualification proves you have good translation skills. Don’t feel you need to accept long free tests or unreasonably low rates.
Views expressed on CIOL Voices are those of the writer and may not represent those of the wider membership or CIOL.