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High-Level Translation Spanish-English - Run-up to Examination

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This module is the second of the two designed primarily for students who require an intensive, highly practical run-up to the examinations

We strongly recommend that you complete this application form prior to enrolling on this course. It enables you to submit a paragraph outlining any qualification, translation experience and personal aims, so you can receive advice from the tutor regarding whether this course would meet your requirements.

The annual DipTrans examination is set by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics (CIoL).

The objective is to develop your skill and speed in applying specific translation techniques and to provide regular practice on representative source texts, so that you are trained to translate to a professional standard under examination conditions.

This second module runs for 16 weeks from September to January, with a pause for the Christmas holidays, to provide intensive practice right up to the examination date focusing specifically on examination papers.

The course is designed for students for whom English is their mother tongue or has been their language of habitual use for over 10 years, and are graduates (or equivalent) of Spanish.

The Diploma in Translation examination is open to all but the CIoL advises candidates to ensure prior to registering that their level of linguistic attainment in the source language is at least equivalent to a good university degree. They recommend that candidates should have a degree in the source language (or a combined degree where that language is examined at final degree level) or extensive knowledge of the source language gained from substantial and consistent use of the language in a professional capacity, or through having studied the particular language to effective operational proficiency.

Learning and teaching

You will be asked to translate 8 texts. For each of them, the Tutor will give you feedback and advice on how to improve your translation technique. All of the source texts are past papers from actual CIoL examinations.  Although annotations have disappeared from the exam itself, students will be invited to submit annotations with their translations, as a way of discussing with the Tutor the difficulties they may have encountered in translating the Source Text (ST), as well as the solutions they have considered and deployed.

Coursework and assessment

Completed translations are sent every fortnight to the Cardiff University virtual learning platform Learning Central (Blackboard), where they are read and marked in detail according to the criteria from the "Diploma in Translation Marking Guidelines".  Comments and suggestions will aim to help you to progress towards bringing your work into line with the demands of the rigorous CIoL standard.

For us, the most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives. To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

This course bears 30 credits; this is not sufficient to gain a qualification from Cardiff University.

Reading suggestions

  • A textbook of translation (P. Newmark) Longman, pp.xii-292, paper, 2001, ISBN 0-13-912593-0.
  • About translation (P. Newmark), Multilingual Matters Ltd, 2001, ISBN 1-85359-117-3.
  • Paragraphs on Translation (P. Newmark), Multilingual Matters Ltd, 1993, ISBN 1-85359-191-2.
  • Annotations explained: a workbook (E. Reisinger, et al.), City University, London, Revised Edition, 2000, ISBN 0-9526783-0-6. Good, but no longer required reading.
  • A Practical Guide for Translators (G. Samuelsson-Brown), ISBN 1-85349-428-8, 1998, Multilingual Matters.
  • The Translator's Handbook (M. Sofer), ISBN 1-887563-48-2, 1999, Schreiber Publishing Rockville, Maryland.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.