Foundations of Translation

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  • Author
    Carina Balbo
  • Level
    7 (Master)
  • Study time
    90 hours
  • Video time
    3 hours
  • Live lessons
    14 hours
  • Practice translation
    12 papers
  • Individual feedback
    12 tutorials
  • Certificate of course completion

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What does becoming a translator mean to you?

FACT: Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the translation industry has seen an increase in revenue of 70% in 2020 alone.

The translation profession will allow you to be flexible, work from home, or anywhere in the world. And if you are a mum or dad with a young family, being able to work from home while being able to look after the kids is priceless!

Unless you already have a translation qualification from a university, having the DipTrans will help you get work as a freelance translator and gain the professional recognition that you deserve.

The DipTrans will help you change your career and potentially transform your life!

Why should I take this course?

Foundations of Translation is the #1 Course to prepare you for the Diploma in Translation. All necessary materials are included. Learn the rudimentaries of professional translation and learn the tools, strategies and techniques used by the professionals.
Foundations of Translation is an online course designed to prepare candidates for the CIOL DipTrans. It is aimed at:
  • language graduates that want to become translators
  • language teachers that wish to switch to the translation profession or combine both professions for an extra income stream.

The course is delivered at Master level, and students are expected to have a high command of their foreign language, between C1-C2 level (CEFR), as well an excellent command of their native language.

The time frame to cover the contents of this course is 10 months. This will allow for ample time for consultations and exam revision to guarantee a successful exam result.

The course is 100% online, with a human touch. It consists of 6 modules, detailed below. Students should expect a significant update for the 2022 version.

Frequently asked questions

How flexible is the course?

The idea is that you can follow the course online and in your own time. We also provide LIVE sessions every two weeks to discuss progress and answer questions on the content.

Will I be allocated a tutor in my language pairs?

The theoretical content of the course is about applying the correct methods and techniques to solve specific translation problems, without focusing on any language pair. As soon as you enrol in the course you will choose a definite language pair, and a tutor in your chosen language pair will be assigned to assess your translated work.

How is the course delivered?

The entire course is available on our MLH Academy online platform. All live sessions are delivered via Zoom. 

How is the course assessed?

There is a series of activities per topic module and all the translation practice is assessed in line with the DipTrans Assessment Criteria. You will also have individual face-to-face feedback with your allocated tutor.

What's included?

This is a 10-months course, and includes:

1 FREE Admissions interview (30 mins) worth £40
50 lessons in total worth £3,600
25 self-paced lessons worth £1,320
12 past papers assessed and commented on worth £435
19 live lessons (face-to-face) worth £1,370
12 1:1-video calls (1-2hs) to discuss translation feedback worth £865

BONUS Q&A session before the exam

Online access to course content
Assessment activities 
Pre-recorded video lessons
Recorded live sessions available on demand
Downloadable material covering the main theoretical aspects of the course.
Reduced groups (10 max)

Peace of mind: the course has been assessed under the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

total value of £7,630 + VAT (£9,156)

Payment Plan

  • 1 payment: £2,000
  • 2 payments:  £1,260/m
  • 10 payments: £264/m
incl. VAT


Admissions Interviews are an integral part of the process and a sine qua non condition to enrol on the course. Why? Because it's important that we get to know each other a little bit more, and make sure this is the right programme for you! 

Book your FREE 30-min interview

until 28 February!!
Interviews are now CLOSED
Can't you find a time suitable for you? 
Have you missed the deadline? 
Contact us to see what we can do. (Don't be shy!)

What our students say

This is an interesting and enjoyable course, not only targeted at preparing for the Diploma in Translation, but also useful to learn more about what translation is all about, even if you are not taking the exam. Carina is a knowledgeable and demanding teacher who helps you reach your potential. Her personalised and accessible approach is excellent.
Jane Longley
Spanish-English student 2020
I had no experience of translation before starting the course and was very worried and nervous about my prospects of passing the DipTrans exam. However, because of all the support, positive feedback and encouragement I have received from Carina, I now feel more confident about it. Carina is very meticulous, methodical and organised and has worked extremely hard to provide us with clear, concise and informative materials.

We have also had a lot of really good guidance on further reading, building comprehensive glossaries and even buying the best dictionaries for the exam. The way the course is designed and delivered is excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending Carina as one of the best-placed people to deliver a course like this.
Rana Shabibi
Spanish-English student 2020
Having worked as a freelance translator for some years, I decided to invest in advancing my career and planned to sit the Diploma in Translation. I was looking for tuition and guidance to help me prepare for this exam. I had tried self-study but was overwhelmed with the amount of material and textbooks available and I wasn't sure what I should focus on. I also lacked motivation and couldn't seem to progress. 

Foundations of Translation provided a structure to help me organise my time better. The material was comprehensive but divided into easily digestible units and, knowing that there was a feedback session after every unit, it gave me the motivation and accountability I needed to progress. I was extremely happy with my experience with MLH. I liked the particular focus on the exam, including a lesson on how to prepare a paper glossary (essential as no digital resources are allowed). I particularly enjoyed the open, encouraging atmosphere. From the very first practice session, we were encouraged to complete a translation under exam conditions which really helped me to develop the skills needed to perform well under pressure. The course also provided a good balance between theory and practice.

The content covered enough theory to help me understand why I might want to translate something a certain way and be able to explain my choices. We also received detailed feedback on every practice paper, a total of 12, which is more than any other course is offering. I would recommend this course to anyone looking for high-quality, thorough tuition in translation theory and techniques.
Dania Daniel
Spanish-English student 2021
I was looking for translation tuition and mentorship in order to prepare for the CIOL Diploma in Translation. With no professional background in translation and having not taken any type of translation classes or tuition in the past, I was hesitant about having the right skills to prepare for this exam and ability to follow the course.

MLH has met my expectations by guiding me on what is expected from candidates to the Diploma in Translation and also on how to prepare for this exam. It was very helpful to learn the theories surrounding translation in order to have some context given that I had no previous experience in the field except a good command of both languages.

It was also encouraging to work with a group of students of different experience and skill in translation and still feel encouraged to participate and to bring in my ideas when discussing the challenges of translation. I really liked the group of students and having them sharing different life and professional experiences with language. Also, once the student starts one-to-one sessions with their personal tutor, they arrange the tuition sessions, which makes it a very flexible learning experience. I like the personal approach of the school. 

I would recommend this course to a friend, especially if they do not have formal translation experience because FOT adapts to the student's level of expertise and individual needs while aiming for the DipTrans standards. 
Begoña Rueda
English-Spanish student 2021
MLH has met my expectations in that I felt supervised and held for the entire duration of the programme, during the earlier theory part as well as during the latter practice part. I liked that the course provided for 9 months of preparation and that it was well paced.

I have liked the personal connection to the programme tutor Carina as well as within the study group of other students. The small group allowed for both personal connection and thorough discussion of the course material. 

I have also particularly enjoyed working with my specific language tutor Katrin, she was an excellent choice. She brought the programme alive for me with her deep expertise and skills, bottomless encouragement, hands on approach and going the extra mile to give me detailed feedback, suggestions and even checking and commenting on my final versions. She was always prompt and made time for me.

Anna Milic
English-German student 2021
MLH definitely met my expectations. The course it was very well organised from theoretical part which explained the theories and rules of translation to the practical one, which applied all the theories. There was also a tutor for each target language. Through its Zoom meetings, the course created trust and strong bonds between the tutor and us, making it possible to clarify details and share translation experiences.

Before the course I had a vague idea about the possibilities provided by this Diploma and the actual work as a translator. MHL helped me by opening access to a rich world of information and materials about translation techniques, about approaching different texts based on my own expertise, motivating me to learn and discover more.

MHL, through its course structure, managed to bring together a group of people so diverse from all points of view: nationality, language, culture, passions. I personally enjoyed to the maximum our Zoom meetings which created every single time inter/multi-cultural exchanges and unexpected learning situations.
Mihaela Stanciu
English-Romanian student 2021

Book your FREE 30m interview NOW!

3 payment plans. 1 course. NO change!
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1 payment
incl. VAT @20%
  • 10-months of tuition
  • 1 FREE Admin. interview (30')
  • 50 lessons in total
  • 25 self-paced LESSONS
  • 19 live lessons
  • 12 assessment feedback
  • 12 1:1-video calls (1 hs) to discuss translation feedback
  • BONUS Q&A session before the exam


2 payments
incl. VAT @20%
Includes basic features plus:
  • 10-months of tuition
  • 1 FREE Admin. interview (30')
  • 50 lessons in total
  • 25 self-paced LESSONS
  • 19 live lessons
  • 12 assessment feedback
  • 12 1:1-video calls (1 hs) to discuss translation feedback
  • BONUS Q&A session before the exam


monthly payments
incl. VAT @20%
Includes basic features plus:
  • 10-months of tuition
  • 1 FREE Admin. interview (30')
  • 50 lessons in total
  • 25 self-paced LESSONS
  • 19 live lessons
  • 12 assessment feedback
  • 12 1:1-video calls (1 hs) to discuss translation feedback
  • BONUS Q&A session before the exam
Meet your instructors

Carina Balbo

Course author and director

Chartered Linguist Carina Balbo is a professional translator and a foreign language trainer with 25 years’ experience in industry. She is also a professional Assessment specialist working for the major national and international Exam Boards.

An author, speaker, mentor and coach, Carina is also a Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), two of the leading translation organisations in the UK.

Carina is also an English-Spanish and Spanish-English tutor on the course.

"I have designed this programme with two people in mind: hard-working individuals who want to become successful translators"
Carina Balbo - Course author and director
Katrin Frahm
Course tutor:
Chartered Linguist Katrin Frahm is an English to German translator specialising in technical, legal, veterinary documentation and diplomatic interpreting in the fields of education and government. Katrin is a Masterclass Tutor and SDL Trados trainer in the MSc Translation Studies programme at the University of Glasgow. She is also a fully qualified Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).
Mihaela Patrascu
Course tutor:
Mihaela Patrascu is an experienced Legal Translator and Interpreter within the public sector, both in the UK and in Romania. A current Law student, Mihaela is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Association of Police and Court Interpreters (APCI). She is also registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) and the Ministry of Justice of Romania and the UK.
Chris Humphries
Course tutor: 
French, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish > English
Christopher Humphries is a translator and language teacher with 30 years of experience as a professional linguist. He has worked in the UK and abroad as a translator, editor, copywriter, tutor and examiner, and has published material on a variety of language-related subject matter. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

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