Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Develop and prove yourself as a Translator


Becoming a successful Translator

Translators are experts in culture, languages and communication; as such, translation skills can enable you to undertake a wide variety of roles.

But if you are considering a career as a professional translator, it is important to know that becoming a successful translator or using your skills in the written word requires more than fluency in a particular language.

Investing time and effort in achieving a professional qualification like the CIOL Qualifications Certificate in Translation (CertTrans) is a great next step to take. 


How can CIOL help you?

There are norms and expectations in translation we can help you to appreciate and master. These are set out quite simply and straightforwardly in our CertTrans Study Guide.

Put simply a professional translator is expected to present information in the target language (the language you are translating into which is normally your first language) so that it reads as if it has originally been written in that language, and at the same time accurately covers all ideas expressed in the source text (the language you are translating from). This is the central challenge of translation.



Become a CIOL member

If you are a languages student taking a languages-related degree or masters, you are eligible for free student membership.

If you already have a language degree or are substantially bilingual you may be eligible for Study Affiliate or Associate Membership.

If you do not have formal qualifications but use your languages in your work you may be eligible to be a Career Affiliate.

CIOL Grade finder can quickly point you in the right direction.

Whichever route to membership you choose, the benefit is access to a wealth of webinar and other resources and the ability to join our community of linguists, a great many of whom are successful translators who are always happy to help and advise other linguists.      


Prove yourself with a CIOL translation qualification

The CertTrans

CIOL has developed the Bachelor's degree-level CertTrans as a translation qualification which is specifically targeted at people who want to develop and prove themselves as translators.


The CertTrans enables you to show you can produce translation of general and semi-specialised texts that demonstrate the correct transfer of information and give evidence of both comprehension and accuracy, including correct transfer of names, dates and figures. The CertTrans also shows you can produce text that is grammatically sound, cohesive and coherent, as well as well organised and accurate in punctuation, orthography and accentuation.

With the CertTrans you can demonstrate to employers, agencies and most importantly to yourself that you can confidently call yourself a translator. If you are successful in the CertTrans you can apply for Associate Membership of CIOL to demonstrate you are qualified and accredited by us as a professional translator. 

Take the CertTrans


What about the DipTrans?

The CIOL Qualifications Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) is set at Master's level (Level 7 vs Level 6 for the CertTrans) and is the gold standard for anyone working as a freelance translator or as a translator for companies and organisations worldwide, meeting their need for the highest-level professional translating qualification.

The CIOLQ DipTrans has been the premier translation qualification for over 30 years. DipTrans holders are tested rigorously and in depth to prove they have the language skills, translation techniques and the right approach to take on the most demanding translation assignments.

A further step up from the CertTrans, the DipTrans qualifies you not just for the highest level translation work but also to become a full member of CIOL and to apply for Chartered Linguist status, which can set you apart to ensure you get the recognition and reward you deserve.

For more on the DipTrans click here