Foundations of Translation©
CIOL Certificate in Translation (CertTrans) online preparatory course
Foundations of Translation (FOT)© is the online course designed to prepare candidates for the CIOL CertTrans. It is aimed at:
- language graduates that want to become translators
- language professionals (teachers, interpreters) that wish to switch to translation or combine both professions for an extra income stream.
The course is delivered at undergraduate, or Bachelor's level, and students are expected to have a high command of their foreign language, between C1-C2 level (CEFR), as well as an excellent command of their native language.
The course is delivered over 10 months. This will allow for ample time for consultations and exam revision to guarantee a successful exam result.
The course consists of 6 core modules, detailed in the table below. Students should expect a significant update for the 2022 version of the course.
Module 1: Introduction
- Welcome to the course
- Suggested Reading
Module 2: Translation Theory
- What translation is
- What translation theory is about
- Language functions, text-categories, and text-types
- Speech act theory
- Implicatures and presuppositions
Module 3: Translation Methods and Techniques
- Translation methods: word-for-word, literal, faithful, adaptation, etc.
- Translation techniques: borrowing, calque, naturalisation, etc.
Module 4: Translation Problems and Strategic Solutions
- Levels of translation
- Translation of lexis
- Improvement of a text
- How to build a glossary/ terminological database
Module 5: The CertTrans
- Exam overview
- The exam marking criteria
Module 6: Translation Practice
- Translation of a General Text (U1)
- Business and Commercial Translation Skills (U2)
- Government and Public Service Translation Skills (U3)
Foundations of Translation© is taught in English. It prepares candidates for the CertTrans in five language combinations with English as the source or the target language: Spanish, French, German, Arabic (MSA) and Chinese.
As a professional course, NO foreign language is taught. The student is expected to have acquired the language at Mastery Level, that is, at C1-C2 level from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
What our students say
Foundations of Translation was the prep course for the Diploma in Translation, before the CertTrans. Read about our students' experience:
MLH has met my expectations in that I felt supervised and held for the entire duration of the programme, during the earlier theory part as well as during the latter practice part. I liked that the course provided for 9 months of preparation and that it was well paced. I have liked the personal connection to the programme tutor Carina as well as within the study group of other students. The small group allowed for both personal connection and thorough discussion of the course material. I have also particularly enjoyed working with my specific language tutor Katrin, she was an excellent choice. She brought the programme alive for me with her deep expertise and skills, bottomless encouragement, hands on approach and going the extra mile to give me detailed feedback, suggestions and even checking and commenting on my final versions. She was always prompt and made time for me.
Anna Milic, EN-DE
MLH definitely met my expectations. The course was very well organised from theoretical part which explained the theories and rules of translation to the practical one, which applied all the theories. There was also a tutor for each target language. Through its Zoom meetings, the course created trust and strong bonds between the tutor and us, making it possible to clarify details and share translation experiences. Before the course I had a vague idea about the possibilities provided by this Diploma and the actual work as a translator. MHL helped me by opening access to a rich world of information and materials about translation techniques, about approaching different texts based on my own expertise, motivating me to learn and discover more. Through its course structure, MLH brought together a group of people so diverse from all points of view: nationality, language, culture, passions. I personally enjoyed to the maximum our Zoom meetings which created every single time inter/multi-cultural exchanges and unexpected learning situations.
Mihaela Stanciu, EN-RO
I was looking for translation tuition and mentorship in order to prepare for the CIOL Diploma in Translation. With no professional background in translation and having not taken any type of translation classes or tuition in the past, I was hesitant about having the right skills to prepare for this exam and ability to follow the course. MLH has met my expectations by guiding me on what is expected from candidates to the Diploma in Translation and also on how to prepare for this exam. It was very helpful to learn the theories surrounding translation in order to have some context given that I had no previous experience in the field except a good command of both languages. It was also encouraging to work with a group of students of different experience and skill in translation and still feel encouraged to participate and to bring in my ideas when discussing the challenges of translation. I really liked the group of students and having them sharing different life and professional experiences with language. Also, once the student starts one-to-one sessions with their personal tutor, they arrange the tuition sessions, which makes it a very flexible learning experience. I like the personal approach of the school. I would recommend this course to a friend, especially if they do not have formal translation experience because FOT adapts to the student's level of expertise and individual needs while aiming for the DipTrans standards.
Begoña Rueda, EN-ES
Having worked as a freelance translator for some years, I decided to invest in advancing my career and planned to sit the Diploma in Translation. I was looking for tuition and guidance to help me prepare for this exam. I had tried self-study but was overwhelmed with the amount of material and textbooks available and I wasn't sure what I should focus on. I also lacked motivation and couldn't seem to progress. Foundations of Translation provided a structure to help me organise my time better. The material was comprehensive but divided into easily digestible units and, knowing that there was a feedback session after every unit, it gave me the motivation and accountability I needed to progress. I was extremely happy with my experience with MLH. I liked the particular focus on the exam, including a lesson on how to prepare a paper glossary (essential as no digital resources are allowed). I particularly enjoyed the open, encouraging atmosphere. From the very first practice session, we were encouraged to complete a translation under exam conditions which really helped me to develop the skills needed to perform well under pressure. The course also provided a good balance between theory and practice. The content covered enough theory to help me understand why I might want to translate something a certain way and be able to explain my choices. We also received detailed feedback on every practice paper, a total of 12, which is more than any other course is offering. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for high-quality, thorough tuition in translation theory and techniques.
Dania Daniel, ES-EN
I had no experience of translation before starting the course and was very worried and nervous about my prospects of passing the DipTrans exam. However, because of all the support, positive feedback and encouragement I have received from Carina, I now feel more confident about it. Carina is very meticulous, methodical and organised and has worked extremely hard to provide us with clear, concise and informative materials. We have also had a lot of really good guidance on further reading, building comprehensive glossaries and even buying the best dictionaries for the exam. The way the course is designed and delivered is excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending Carina as one of the best-placed people to deliver a course like this.
Rana Shabibi, ES-EN
This is an interesting and enjoyable course, not only targeted at preparing for the Diploma in Translation, but also useful to learn more about what translation is all about, even if you are not taking the exam. Carina is a knowledgeable and demanding teacher who helps you reach your potential. Her personalised and accessible approach is excellent.
Jane Longley, ES-EN
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the frequently asked questions from previous candidates. If you cannot find your question here, please contact us!
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Our FOT team
Course director and tutor
English-Spanish and Spanish-English