Translator Training

Advanced Spanish-to-English Translation Course Review

by | Last updated Jul 17, 2020 | Translator Training

Letters spelling out feedback for an advanced Spanish-to-English translation course
When you’re choosing a Spanish-to-English translation course, feedback from former students can help you make a decision.
I was an Alpha Tester on the Advanced Spanish-to-English translation course while Gwenydd Jones was developing it, in 2014. I did it to help me prepare for the 2015 Diploma in Translation exam offered by the Chartered Institute of Linguists. Part of my brief as an Alpha Tester was to report back on how I found the course and whether I would recommend it to other translators.

Why did I choose this Advanced Spanish-to-English translation course?

I had been working as a translator for about five years when I took the course. But I didn’t come to translation the traditional way. I didn’t study languages past the age of 16 and I don’t have an MA in translation. Read more about my journey in my article “How to Become a Translator: One Translator’s Story”.

I felt there was a gap on my CV as a translator. I decided that if I wanted to move my career on and get more and better-paid work, I would need a qualification. I chose the DipTrans over an MA. Why? Because it didn’t require a year full-time or two years part-time out of my life.

This advanced Spanish-to-English translation course is designed for someone like me. Someone who has a high level of Spanish and some experience of translating. Someone who wants a recognised translation qualification, without doing an MA.

For more information about choosing a translation qualification, read “10 Crucial Questions to Choose the Best Spanish Translation Qualification” by Gwen.

Thinking about the #DipTrans? Read this advanced Spanish-to-English #translation course review. Click To Tweet

What I liked about this advanced translation course

It’s more comprehensive than other advanced Spanish-to-English translation courses on the market. I’d done courses before, but they were all very much of a muchness. Other courses tend to offer some information about translating to read (which you could find yourself easily enough) and then provide you with around six texts to translate and have marked.

Gwen provides 14 comprehensive modules with 11 marked assignments. The course looks at translation theory, editing and proofreading, English writing skills, glossary building, translation techniques, specialist translation and exam strategies. There’s even a secret Facebook group for networking.

It’s more comprehensive than other advanced Spanish-to-English translation courses on the market.

14 modules covering all options in the DipTrans

Other courses I had taken or read about only offered about six marked assignments, whereas Gwen provides 14 modules and eleven marked assignments. She also gives you a further 11 self-assessed texts, with sample translations. The course covers not only the different options in the three exams (general, business, science, technology, social science, literature and law), but also exam technique and proofreading.

The assessed texts and the extra practice pieces are based on past papers from the DipTrans exam. Using real world examples like this really helps prepare you for the exam. Even if you ultimately don’t sit the DipTrans, you’ll find your general level of translation and the standard of your work greatly improved.

Didactic element of learning how to translate

Other advanced Spanish-to-English translation courses I looked into were mostly concerned with providing you with past papers. You did them and got feedback on your work. Gwen’s course teaches you to be a better Spanish-to-English translator.

The self-assessed modules included complex exercises. Each marked module had an extra practice text and sample translation. This really helped me improve. I learnt about decoding, encoding, skopos, domestication and foreignization, microtext and macrotext, among other things. I discovered that I tended to focus too much on the macrotext. To improve, I had to be more aware of the microtext. Not insights I got with other courses.

Maybe you can see yourself in some of these “9 Favourite Mistakes by Translators on My Spanish-to-English Translation Course”.

Gwen was excellent at picking up on exactly what my bad translation habits were.


All courses provide feedback. At first glance, the feedback on this course was similar to other courses: corrected assignments and two Skype sessions. Where The Translator’s Studio differed was that Gwen was excellent at picking up on exactly what my bad translation habits were; the things I was doing without even realising.

This, combined with the aspects of translation theory, meant I really began to see where I needed to improve and why. It gave me a path to follow to get there. The Skype sessions were properly structured beforehand, meaning I really got something out of them, as opposed to it just turning into a bit of a chat.

Great value for money

I also think that the amount of input and didactic material on this advanced Spanish-to-English translation course in comparison to others makes it really excellent value for money. It felt like a proper “taught” course as opposed to some practice with feedback.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, definitely. I think it’s a great course to prepare for the DipTrans, but I also think it’s a great option for anyone wanting to improve their Spanish-to-English translation skills in general.

If you have any further queries about this advanced Spanish-to-English translation course, feel free to drop me a line: Read more about Gwen’s Advanced Spanish-to-English translation course.

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