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Diploma in Translation Course

Find a Diploma in Translation Course to prepare for the DipTrans exams in German and English

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The recommended text book for my Diploma in Translation preparations – & the only one I needed – was Thinking German Translation

A must for all German translation students!

The UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) administers its own Diploma in Translation (DipTrans), a postgraduate-level qualification indicating a professional level of competence in translation.

The examination consists of 3 papers; one general and two semi-specialist, all taken on a single day, usually in January and horribly close to New Year!

You can sit the exam at a variety of locations throughout the UK and abroad (often at British Council premises) and in a wide variety of language combinations - including German to English and English to German.

Although the CIOL itself doesn’t run any preparatory courses for the DipTrans, it does list a variety of institutions which do; it does not officially endorse or recommend any particular course.

The following institutes offer Diploma in Translation courses in the German-English and/or English-German combination, and are based in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. (For other countries please refer to the CIOL website.)


Diploma in Translation course:  UK

1. Translator Training with Susan James

• Distance learning

Translator Training, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9PB

German to English and English to German (and other language combinations). Candidates practice by translating past CIOL examination papers which are then marked by university lecturers (and who have often worked as examiners for the DipTrans themselves).

Susan James offers introductory, improvement and follow-up course packages, each costing around €400.

Read Joanna's review of the course offered by Translator Training.

2. LinguistTraining

  • Distance learning

Linguist Training, Ground Floor, 3 President Buildings, Savile Street East, Sheffield S4 7UQ

Range of intensive, full and half courses to prepare for the DipTrans, plus mock exams and CIOL exam centre. Distance learning, self-study as well as feedback on your translations. Full course costs around €600.

Calling all translators!

Have you studied German translation at one of these institutions?

Tell us what you thought of the course! And if you're now a working  as a translator, I'll reward you with a link to your website!

3. Middlesex University London

  • Distance learning: for Unit One of the DipTrans (General Translation paper)

Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4BT

Seven-week online course to prepare you for taking the first paper of the CIoL Diploma in Translation exam. Includes webinars, assessments and tutor feedback, including four past papers, marked by tutors.

Costs around €400 which includes fee for sitting the exam at their exam centre.

4. global Language Services

  • Distance learning + exam centre

Global Language Services Ltd, Craig House, 60 - 64 Darnley Street, Glasgow, G41 2SE

They offer the option of a standard or an enhanced course, including both theory and practical elements, plus past papers, although personal tutor feedback only available on the enhanced course. Costs around €500.

5. University of Westminster

  • Short courses, blend of online study & 8 weekend workshops

University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW

The University of Westminster offers a wide range of German language and translation courses (see Directory of Translation Courses) and, unsurprisingly, also short courses to prepare for the Diploma in Translation.The courses run over a calendar year, and are aimed at language graduates already living in the UK. Costs around €1100. The University of Westminster is also a DipTrans exam centre.

Diploma in Translation course:  IRELAND

1. University of Cork

Language Centre UCC, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork

According to the CIOL website, the Language Centre offers preparatory courses for the DipTrans, but I couldn't find any information about courses on their website. If you're based in Ireland, contact them to find out more. However, they do offer an MA in Translation Studies which allows you to focus on the German-English combination, and are part of the European Masters in Translation (EMT) Network.

2. Words Language Services

  • Distance learning

Words Language Services, 12 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, Ireland, wls.ie

This is another organization in Ireland offering a distance learning course for the DipTrans, with 8 assignments, costing around €500. Please note: they also offer training for a Certificate in Translation – this is not an officially recognized qualification, and not a substitute for the DipTrans.

Diploma in Translation Course:  GERMANY

1. Dom Schule Fremdsprachen

• Full time/part time

Dom Schule Fremdsprachen, Hohenstr. 148, D-50667 Cologne, www.domschule.de

The Dom Schule offers both full and part-time preparatory courses for the DipTrans but no further details about costs or dates are given on the website – you will need to contact them directly.

The Dom Schule is also an official examination centre for the DipTrans.

2. Berüfliche Schule für Medien und kommunikation

  • Evening courses, on campus

bmk, Eulenkamp 46, Hamburg 22049

The website is not terribly informative, but the BMK in Hamburg does offer preparatory courses for the DipTrans in several language pairs including German to English and English to German, and request that you call for further details. They suggest you'll require 2 or 3 semesters, depending upon your current level of expertise.

It is also an official examination centre for the DipTrans.

Thinking German Translation, by Ian Higgins, Michael Loughridge, and Hervey Sandor, was the recommended text book for my Diploma in Translation preparations, and to be honest, the only one I needed.

A must for any budding German translator.

For details of other course providers outside the UK, Ireland, and Germany see the CIOL website.

Translators in other parts of the world may prefer qualifications recognised and/or administered by their local translation association.


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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?