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About the Author:

Rose Newell is a British-born, Berlin-based copywriter and translator specialising in high end and high tech. Rose works exclusively with direct clients, mostly located in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. This blog is a labour of love for colleagues, not a sales funnel for paid membership groups, webinars, seminars, courses or coaching services. As one of those who has consistently spoken out against instagurus, readers can trust this blog will never be monetised. Truly successful translators have no need for the pittance generated by such activities.


  1. Lavinia Pirlog 27/01/2015 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Very useful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Abbi Gutiérrez 20/01/2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Hi.ive just applied for MITI. Do you have to do a translation commentary as well? I thought I read that. If so any tips? Thanks

    • Rose Newell 09/02/2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Yes, you do. I just wrote why I made certain decisions…

  3. Julie Sheridan 07/08/2013 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Really interesting article, Rose. I’m currently weighing up whether to go for the DipTrans or MITI…still not sure! I live in Barcelona – will email you at the address you’ve included. Thanks:)

  4. vertimu biuras vilniuje 06/08/2013 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks, this post helped me to decide that I want to become a members of the ITI. 🙂

  5. […] and ioL’s Diploma in Translation • Rose Newell – The Translator’s Teacup – detailed post, including a Q&A section with Elizabeth Dickson, ITI’s admissions officer • Philippa Hammond – The Blogging Translator – post describing her experience of the […]

  6. Oliver Lawrence 03/07/2013 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Hi Rose
    What would you say about the marking criteria for the ITI exam? Do they give particular weight to one aspect over another? Are they especially picky in certain areas? Do they have a preferred “style”? How would you have prepared differently for the exam if you’d known beforehand, given what they said in the report?

    • Rose Newell 03/07/2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Oliver,

      There wasn’t really anything major in my report that gave away their preferred style or what they were picky about. The comments seemed to all be stylistic, but there wasn’t really a pattern. One sentence was particularly praised for being very idiomatic, another was slightly too literal… The matching of the original German register, a register I don’t usually use, was highly praised – but then it was also criticised. So to be honest, I don’t think anything in the comments was indicative of any preferences. They DID praise me for adapting the text and URLs referenced where the links referred to were German, or irrelevant in the UK. I’m not sure what they’d have said had I not done that, but that was particularly highly praised.
      I believe I’ve read/heard somewhere that any outright error will get you an immediate fail. I’m not sure how picky they are with grammar and spelling, because I received no negative (or positive) comments of that nature – I would imagine they are pretty picky, though.
      I wouldn’t really have prepared differently, except perhaps made use of the opportunity to reject the text as it was not technical enough and in a register I rarely use. That really was my only criticism of the process – the particular text chosen. I passed, though, and was graded “good”, so it didn’t make a big difference.

      • Oliver Lawrence 03/07/2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

        Thanks, Rose.

      • Oliver Lawrence 19/04/2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

        By the way, I have now passed my MITI exam (in IT>EN travel marketing), rated ‘excellent’ in all areas, so thank you Rose for your help with this blog post 🙂

  7. […] Translator credit for agencies/intermediaries Fee wizardry: a free online conversion tool Becoming a Qualified Member of the ITI Transcreation: bringing ad content to life Tips for Working with Legal Interpreters A couple of […]

  8. Lucie Brione 20/06/2013 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this Rose, well done about passing the exam! I too have been thinking about upgrading to MITI for precisely the reasons you mention regarding the changes in the categories. I have been an associate member for far too long and not done anything about it, I’m ashamed to say. We share the IT specialism – although I translate into French from English – so it was interesting to see what you thought about the text ITI sent you.

    • Rose Newell 25/06/2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Good luck with the MITI exam, then! The ITI took my concerns about the text I had very seriously, and there is the chance to reject a text, anyway, so you should be okay. Glad my article was useful to you!

  9. EP 13/06/2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Sounds interesting. And the link (comment) was helpful, too. Thanks for the “Outside the UK?” info. If at all, that will be the way to go for me. Keep charging hard!

  10. Gemma 12/06/2013 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Interesting information. I have a query. I have been out of the translating world since 2003/5 and before that I did freelancing in consecutive interpreting. I have an old examination pass at the Institute of Linguists in Translation completed in the year 2000, languages Italian – English, and have a BA in Italian Language and Literature.

    I would like somehow to return into the profession but I find myself blocked by the variety of CAT tools around as I never used them before and I am not too patient or obedient to follow machine rules….unless they are very simple and does not take too much dedication to learn.

    If I go for an upgrading exam at the above institute, is knowledge of CAT tools required? Thank you so much.

    • Rose Newell 12/06/2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Not at all! The exam is a PDF which you must translate, in whatever way you would personally translate a real job.

  11. Emma Goldsmith 12/06/2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Hi Rose,
    This is a great report on the whole process of becoming a qualified MITI. From what I’ve read elsewhere, the process has improved considerably in the last year (less paperwork, flexible exam dates and no word count requirements), so I hope that will encourage more people to join.
    If anyone wants to read see how the MITI exam sizes up against the DipTrans, I wrote a side-by-side comparison of the two here: http://signsandsymptomsoftranslation.com/2013/06/11/diptrans-miti/

    • Rose Newell 12/06/2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Yep, I hope more will join now, too. A strong ITI means strong professional translators. Thanks for your great post, too! Really helpful. We’ve done our bit. It is up to our readers to become MITI, now!

  12. Amy Cooper 11/06/2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this. I just graduated from my Masters in translation so it is good to know a bit more about the ITI. I already have a year of part time experience so I may be okay to go straight for AITI membership. Otherwise I guess I will be a Graduate Affiliate? Anyway thanks again for the useful post.

    • Rose Newell 13/06/2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      Yep, I’d just say apply for whatever seems appropriate. Maybe the ITI can make some recommendations.

  13. […] I recently became a Qualified Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. This has coincided with a time of great change: the existing associate category is being replaced by more specific categories.  […]

  14. Stefan Schilling 06/06/2013 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Hi Rose,

    Great post, it’s basically a perfect summary of my own experience. I took the examination in January and found out that I had passed in February. I took the examination in business/economics (wouldn’t touch IT with a bargepole :)). The text was demanding but doable. I quite agree with you that a good translator has to be able to provide a top-quality translation even if the text is not 100% in their comfort zone. After all, that’s an every-day situation, isn’t it? So why not do the ITI exam if you’re eligible to do it?


    • Rose Newell 06/06/2013 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Stefan! Well, this text wasn’t especially technical, that was my issue with it. I avoided finance (my other specialisation) because of concerns about conflicting ideas of what is the correct terminology (I generally go by IFRS, although even that’s changed in recent years). The text I had wasn’t really demanding, except for the fact it was a different register to the one I usually use… 🙂

  15. Deborah do Carmo 06/06/2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Very informative, thorough and well-balanced post, Rose. I’ve had MITI status at the back of my mind for a few years now, but haven’t pursued it mostly because I already hold DipTrans. You’ve reignited my interest in it all. The exam procedure is very different from DipTrans (I don’t want to write three papers in one day again in a hurry!), so I may just give it a go. Well done on achieving MITI status!

    • Rose Newell 06/06/2013 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Deborah! Yeah, I have considered DipTrans but am not sure I want to go through the hassle of three exams in a day. Realistically the next one I should consider is the Staatsexamen, but if you think DipTrans does not reflect the way translators really work, then you’ll have a shock at the Staatsexamen: I would have to do sight-interpreting, dictionary-free translation and standard translation in both directions – even into German. Apparently they cut some slack on grammar for the off-the-cuff stuff, but really, that just makes it all seem a bit nonsense to me…

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