Translator Training

Free Translation of General DipTrans Past Paper (Spanish to English)

by | Last updated Jul 17, 2020 | Translator Training

Spanish-to-English candidates of the DipTrans getting a free mock general DipTrans past paper translation
Need to prepare for the DipTrans exam in Spanish to English? Scroll down for your free translation of a mock general DipTrans past paper.
Looking for DipTrans past papers? I’ve created this translation based on the text used for the 2016 DipTrans exam, general paper, for Spanish-to-English translators.
Below, you’ll find a sample translation of a mock Spanish-to-English general DipTrans past paper. It’s based on the general paper used in the 2016 IoLET Diploma in Translation exam. The paper was an edited extract from an article in El País entitled La escritora Ana María Matute muere a los 88 años.

The full article is over 1,000 words, but the general paper in the Diploma in Translation exam is about 600 words. I didn’t have access to the actual 2016 DipTrans exam paper. Instead, I created my own source text and translated it. In this article, I’ll tell you how I did it, so you can do the same, then compare your translation against mine.

I produced this translation in collaboration with two members of my Advanced Spanish-to-English translation course with DipTrans preparation, Alexandra Mollyneaux and Susanna Wilkey. They did the initial translation and produced feedback for each other. I then collated and edited their work, to produce the sample translation that you’ll find in the downloadable PDF. Thanks Susanna and Alex, for taking part in this exercise. We also have a mock social-sciences exam paper in store for you.

If you’re looking for a Spanish-English DipTrans exam course, then look no further. Get in touch now and ask for more details or your free level test.

Other free resources on this website to help you prepare for the Diploma in Translation exam

The downloadable PDF is below. Besides that, you’ll find other useful resources for the DipTrans on this website:

How to Get DipTrans Past Papers for the Diploma in Translation Exam, which includes a free downloadable mock DipTrans exam paper for the technology option;

5 websites for free practice texts for the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation;

– a range of articles about preparing for the DipTrans are available from the translator training portal on this website.

Free download: translation of Spanish-to-English general DipTrans past paper

Click the button below to download the PDF file that contains my translation of the mock general DipTrans past paper. It’s a translation of sections of the Matute article published on the El País website. You’ll have to visit the article and use it to create your own mock general exam paper. Inside the download, you’ll find instructions on how to do that.

Further down this page, you’ll find a short section with notes that I made about the translation. Don’t read that section until you’ve completed the translation. Remember to translate under exam conditions: three hours, paper reference sources only (no Internet).


Thank you very much for my free mock general #DipTrans past paper with sample translation. Get yours here. Click To Tweet

Notes on translating the mock general DipTrans past paper based on the 2016 IoLET exam (Matute)

One of the main challenges in this text is finding idiomatic alternatives rather than rendering the Spanish phrases literally.

Specific issues:

– I’d be unlikely to know in the exam whether or not the literary prizes have official translations. I therefore opted to use their Spanish names (capitalised, no italics, as per English convention), but translating “premio” in lowercase, so not making that term part of the name, to avoid a Spanish overload.

– “La complejidad del ser humano”. “The complexity of human beings” seems too literal and can be improved through editing.

– “Cuarto oscuro” = darkroom, as in photography.

– “Aguzaba su imaginación”. “She honed her imagination” is a better collocation than “she sharpened her imagination”.

– “Vestido”. While it seems odd to have a boy wearing a dress, that is what I understand. Commenters?

– I didn’t know whether or not her works had been translated, and in the exam it would be unlikely you could find out. I therefore opted to leave the titles of her works in Spanish (capitalising and italicising all main words as per English convention), and offer my own translation. If some of them had been translated and others not, and I’d known the name of the published translation, I would have then offered the published translation in brackets (capitalising main words and italicising). My doubt was how to present my translations of the titles in a way that highlighted that they weren’t necessarily the published translations. In this entry on Matute in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the English titles of the untranslated novels appear in inverted commas, whereas the English titles of the translated ones appear in Italics. I applied that solution.

My Advanced Spanish-to-English translation course with DipTrans preparation is suitable for translators and aspiring translators who want to learn on a one-to-one basis with a qualified working freelance translator. Whether or not you plan to sit the IoLET Diploma in Translation exam, you’ll advance quickly and network with this personalised course. Just look at the recommendations from past trainees on my LinkedIn profile. I work with DipTrans resitters too. Contact me.

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