on a mission

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I am on a mission to find out exactly what I need to do in order to qualify for the ‘official translator’ exam next year.

An ‘official translator’ in Spain has a qualification which allows them to translate official legal documents which people need for general administration purposes such as birth certificates, contracts etc.

It is apparently very difficult to achieve unless you have a degree in translation which unfortunately I do not. I do however have a Masters degree in Classics and a Diploma in Translation from the CIOL in the UK. My next step is to find out how I ‘standardize’ these qualifications so that they are recognised in Spain and to see whether they can count towards the ‘official translator’ status in any way.

This mission will require me to navigate the treacherous path of Spanish bureacracy. Alas, despite us being a part of the EU, qualifications and university degrees are not yet viewed as equal in the UK and Spain, so I must be open to the idea that I may need to ‘go back to uni’ for some more studying. In any case I will need to study aspects of legal translation before I am able to pass the apparently gruelling examination which takes place in Madrid once a year for all aspiring ‘official translators’.

I have noticed that it is surprising difficult to get straight answers about what you need in order to qualify for a place at this exam, so I hope I can help other people looking to get this qualification with my posts.

My first step is to see about my English degrees, so I am trying to find out where I need to go to do that. I have emailed International House in Barcelona to see if they can help.

International House runs a course which helps you prepare for the ‘official translator’ exam in Madrid and also has a lot of information about translation qualifications.

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