Letters after my name, or becoming a Member of the ITI…

ITI logo

So, I mentioned a while ago that I was applying for membership of the ITI, the “only independent professional association of practising translators and interpreters in the United Kingdom”. It took a while to get all the paperwork together, and then a while longer for the exam translation to come through. And a while longer still for the results to come back. But, drum roll please…
This afternoon after a family trip to the library bus at fils aîné‘s school (where they got their Story Lab bronze medal stickers) and a minor incident involving a bottle of soy sauce and the near redecoration of the kitchen, I checked my email to discover that I’ve passed the membership exam.

Soy Sauce

An impressive quantity of soy sauce (Photo credit: kyle tsui)

I’d been reasonably confident, although I’d dreamt at least once that I’d failed it, but it was wonderful to see it in black and white. Unlike any exam I’d done previously, this replicates normal working conditions as closely as possible. A text comes in on Friday and is to be returned on Monday. You get to use all your usual resources, so long as you record them in the commentary. I found some of the instructions a little contradictory, but the ITI staff were very helpful when it came to explaining over the phone. The commentary is designed to reflect the kinds of issues you’d flag up to a client when returning a translation. It was made very clear that if I would not have accepted the text as a paid assignment I could request another – part of the delay in getting to do the exam was the wait for a suitable paper after the first one they offered me was in my fourth choice of subject area.

Young Cambodians doing an exam to be admitted ...

Young Cambodians doing an exam to be admitted in the Don Bosco Technical School of Sihanoukville. Fortunately, the ITI exam was not like this! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether this will make much practical difference remains to be seen – I’m still in the process of discovering all the benefits – but it’s a nice little boost to my confidence, especially as the feedback was very encouraging and I gather the pass rate is low. Incidentally, I discovered from Céline Graciet‘s and Philippa Hammond‘s blogs that I am lucky to get any feedback at all without having to pay another £60 for the full report. It seems that quite a few changes are being made to their procedures, and hopefully things will continue to run ever more smoothly and future applicants won’t have to wait quite so long for either the exam or the results.  I did get an apology for the delay though, and the assessment route that Céline found so traumatic – only about 18 months ago – now seems strongly discouraged.

Having been an Associate Member since the first paperwork went in, I’m now a fully fledged MA, MITI. Here’s to increased professionalism and confidence! I think I will indeed take up @the_germanist’s excellent suggestion and pronounce it “mighty”!

About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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