By Ceyda Aldemir-Down, MCIL Chartered Linguist

Growing up in Turkey, I studied English from the age of 11, and when I worked in a hostel for a year, it became a daily part of my life. As I read the English books left by visitors, it occurred to me that working with books and using my language skills is what would make me happy; I began by translating a romantic novel.

After moving to the UK in 2009, I tried a range of different jobs before starting out as a translator. The first years of freelance life were not easy. I was qualified as a Chemical Engineer and it was difficult to get the translation qualification while raising my two children.

I found out about the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) while researching CIOL membership, and it seemed ideal: the official confirmation of my professional capabilities from a leading industry body.

In August 2016, I applied to take the exam the following January. I didn’t have time to do a course, working full-time as a translator was my preparation. As an IoLET Affiliate, I had access to the resources on the CIOL website – past exam papers and source texts, and examiner reports. On the day of the exam, I arrived with a suitcase full of dictionaries, but I didn’t use most of them.

We were in Turkey when the results were due, and when a friend called to give me the results everything changed. First, I applied to upgrade to full CIOL membership, and to become Chartered. I was so excited to use my designatory letters, and wasted no time in updating my CV and online profiles. It has given me such confidence that I regret not doing it years ago.

Passing the DipTrans has given me the confidence to ask for the rate I think I deserve. Since being on CIOL’s Find-a-Linguist directory, I have been contacted directly by clients instead of having to compete with other translators for jobs online.

When I found out I had won the CIOL Award for Best DipTrans Candidate in Literature that year, I could not believe it! Receiving an award for something you are passionate about is such a delight. The award event was a once-in-a-lifetime experience: a day to remember.

If you are interested in registering for the DipTrans, click here.