Translating and Interpreting is a serious business and as such to qualify as a Translator and Interpreter requires passing an examination.
There was a time when some people believed that anyone who could speak a language could also translate from and into that language.
In Spain it was not rare for a company seeking a translation from Spanish into English to approach an English language school and ask if one of the teachers could translate a document, quite often of highly specialised technical language, from Spanish to English.
On occasions this approach produced acceptable results but often it was not the case.
Being English in Spain and even speaking both languages quite well does not mean one is capable of translating, say, a complex medical or scientific document.
One must have subject specific knowledge or, to put it another way, if one speaks English and Spanish and is also a medic then there is a better chance of translating a medical text.
Even allowing for this it is clear that a study of translation and interpreting at post graduate level is vital to ensure that the prospective translator and interpreter has the basic fundamental skills to approach a career of translation and interpreting.
In the UK there are two main ways of gaining translation qualifications.
Universities offer post graduate degrees in Translation and Interpreting and a full list of these can be found at the IOTI.
In addition, another way of entering the profession is through the CIOL who provide the Diploma in Translation.
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