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CTP Study Guide

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CTP Study Guide

This study guide has been created for those individuals who are studying for the Certified Translation Professional program.

The CTP program is rigorous and continually improved to ensure that it is practical, current, and valuable to both participants and employers who seek professionals with a broad base of translation industry knowledge.

The content of the CTP Study Guide includes:

  1. Certified Translation Professional Overview

  2. CTP Exam Details

  3. CTP Exam Timeline

  4. CTP Exam Preparation & Additional CTP Participant Resources

  5. Required Reading

  6. Sample Exam Questions & Translation Sample

  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  8. G.T.I. Translation Association

  1. Certified Translation Professional (CTP) Overview

The CTP Designation is the only 100% online certification program designed exclusively for those professionals who work in or would like to begin working in the translation industry.

The CTP program is an educational training and certification program for translation professionals. We provide a means for those professionals currently working as translators and those who would like to join the industry to certify their knowledge in the industry. Everyone who holds the CTP Designation is held to a high level of ethical guidelines and has passed an examination testing their mastery of knowledge in translation.

The CTP Designation Program is modeled after many online courses offered by Ivy League institutions. The CTP Designation is a self-study program; the exam is administered online and accessible from your place of work or home. Our examination system uses a dual-layered, IP tracking and password protection system, which ensures that you do not have to attend a testing center to complete your testing requirements. The online examination must be completed within 3 hours, which is more than sufficient time for those who have read and reviewed the required materials.

In addition to the benefits of gained knowledge, industry recognition, résumé adjustments, and better career choices, our team provides additional benefits to CTP Designation members such as résumé feedback and editing, career advice, and links to online resources which can help grow your business or career.

  1. CTP Examination Details

The Certified Translation Professional (CTP) together with the Global Translation Institute (GTI) has established an online certification program to enable professional translators to demonstrate that they meet high professional standards. Translators who pass a written examination are certified by the CTP in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English). For further information, please register to receive our email alerts, which educate you on how the program works and provide you with program updates.

The CTP Designation Program is currently available for 22 different language pairs.  Our exam evaluates participants’ abilities to translate in both directions.  For example, if you choose the English-Spanish language pair you will be tested on translating from English into Spanish as well as Spanish into English. The language options are: English, French, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Japanese, Greek, Korean, Polish, Dutch, Irish, Romanian, Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Punjabi, and Danish.

The CTP program provides participants with a broad foundation of knowledge that allows them to gain specialized training in the translation industry. While nothing can replace years of industry experience, the program aims to increase the breadth of knowledge that current industry professionals hold and assist those individuals transitioning into the translation industry. Toward this end, we have constructed the CTP certification program to provide a strong base of industry knowledge. The exam will certify you as a professional translator, and it will ensure that you possess professional competency in translating.

The exam tests individuals on their abilities and knowledge within a specific language pair that they are specialized in. For example, a participant may specialize in English to Portuguese translation or the other way around. The CTP specialized training can be applied to many types of translation jobs and career paths.

  1. CTP Examination Process & Dates

The Certified Translation Professional program is offered year round. The program was created to work with your schedule, and you can take as long as you need to get through the material. When you register for the CTP program, you are not scheduled an exam date. We leave that open for you to decide when you’re ready so you can take as much time as you need to go through the materials.

When you find you are ready to take the exam, simply send us an email (at least three weeks before the scheduled exam) and we’ll get you scheduled for that exam date.

The examination is offered four times a year, on the first Saturday of every February, May, August, and November. To schedule an examination, your examination date must be scheduled at least two weeks before the examination date.

For this year’s specific exam dates, please see the CTP Program Enrollment & Examination Dates page on the CTP website where the current year’s dates and scheduling deadlines are shared. That direct link is: http://TranslationCertification.org/Examination/. You can also schedule your examination date there.

For more information on the examination structure and composition, please read the next section.

  1. CTP Examination Preparation

A. Preparation

Candidates are required to purchase the textbook and are advised to follow the outline provided within this study guide. The keywords provide some additional ideas on what to pay attention to in the reading, but they do not cover everything that will be in the exam. The CTP exams are conceptual in nature and require more of an understanding than a great ability to memorize facts.

Preparation time required for this exam depends on each candidate’s current knowledge, experience, reading speed, and comprehension. It is impossible to calculate how much time a specific individual would need to prepare, but we suggest 75-100 hours of reading and study time.

The examination is 3-hours long, and is administered online. To complete the exam in the allotted time, a mastery of the core concepts covered in the required readings is required. Those who have not read the material may have difficulty in completing the exam within the 3-hour time limit.

The night before your scheduled exam, you will be sent login information for the exam. This is different from the student login you use to view the video and audio resources. You will then have 24 hours to being your 3-hour examination.

B. Structure of the Exam

  • The certification examination is a 3-hour, online, open-book exam in a specific language pair (i.e., one specific source language and one specific target language). The exam is designed so that those confident in the material and languages will be able to complete the exam on time.

  • The exam presents 80 multiple-choice questions, two essay questions, and two passages of approximately 150-175 words. Each passage is to be translated into the target language of your choice.

  • The two passages are mandatory for everyone to successfully pass the exam. All of the passage translations must meet the CTP certification standards for a passing grade of 80%.

  • The CTP Designation program is the most challenging, globally recognized translator certification program that can be completed 100% online.

Academic Integrity: As with any professional measure of your skills and knowledge, examinations must contain your own work, your own translations, and your own answers. Any signs or indication of cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic failing grade and removal from the CTP course. Refunds are not given to participants who choose to cheat or plagiarize on examinations, and the opportunity to retake an examination will be revoked.

“Plagiarism is the unauthorized or unacknowledged use of another person's academic or scholarly work. Done on purpose, it is cheating. Done accidentally, it is no less serious. Regardless of how it occurs, plagiarism is a theft of intellectual property and a violation of an ironclad rule demanding ‘credit be given where credit is due.’”

(Source: http://tilt.colostate.edu/integrity/honorpledge/sampleSyllabi.cfm, January 2013)

C. Exam Composition


Number of Questions

Translation Habits

10 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Work

15 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Skills

15 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Quality of Translation

20 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Terms

7 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Careers

8 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Company / Agency

5 Multiple Choice Questions/
True or False

Translation Essays / Case Studies

2 Essay Questions

Translation of 150-175 words

2 Translation Passages

    • Conversational Element


    • Translation Session


The exam presents passages of approximately 150-175 words each.  One of the passages is to be translated into the target language of your choice and the other one from the target language into English.

The CTP examination is worth 200 points in total. The breakdown of points is as follows:

Essay Question 1: 10 points possible

Essay Question 2: 10 points possible

MC/TF Questions: 80 points possible (1 point per question)

Translation Passage #1 (English): 50 points possible

Translation Passage #2 (Target Language): 50 points possible

Total: 200 points

To earn the CTP certificate, you must earn at least 160 of the available 200 points.

Additional Resource Policy

You will not need a calculator, ruler, or any graphing device for the CTP exam. Use any tools that you would normally use to translate. Ensure that you submit your own work.

For more information about the CTP exam and program please visit http://TranslationCertification.org.

Additional CTP Participant Resources:

As a bonus to you, we have recently added a database of global translation agencies and their full contact details in Excel as a new exclusive tool for all alumni who graduate from the CTP program. In addition, all alumni will gain author rights to publish their own original industry articles on our blog/website.

Lastly, please feel free to visit our blog for informative articles on the translation industry and careers by visiting: http://www.becomeatranslator.com

  1. Required Reading

The Translator Training Textbook By Adriana Tassini

ISBN: 978-1461120933

  1. Sample Exam Questions for Participants Who Registered with Three Books (2011 or earlier) :

Please note: If you registered when three text books were required, please find sample questions below. For everyone else: If you have already acquired The Translator Training Textbook, please find sample questions at the end of each chapter.
Below, please find sample questions from our previously required text books. For the MC and T/F, try to answer each question before scrolling down to see the correct answer. If you answered a question incorrectly, please see the source referenced to better understand the answer.
True or False
Sample Question #1
The six key translation skills that Geoffrey Samuelson-Brown suggests a translator should have within A Practical Guide for Translators are Cultural Understanding, Making Decisions, Communication, Language and Literacy, Travel Arrangement Organization, and Project Management.
[Answer: False. See Page 2 from the book A Practical Guide for Translators]
Sample Question #2
For a successful translation career, the knowledge of two or more languages is not enough. One should also pursue a major technical area, such as law, medicine, business, etc.
[Answer: True. See Page 110 from the book The Translator’s Handbook]
Sample Question #3
Literalism and Adaptation are two of the eight types of text reliability described by Douglas Robinson.
[Answer: True. Page 10 from the book Becoming a Translator]
Sample Question #4
The main division in the translation field is between technical translation and literacy.
[Answer: True. See page 34 from the book The Translator’s Handbook]
Sample Question #5
The difference between a Translation Agency and a Translation Company is that:
A. A Translation Agency is a firm that recruits translators for full-time positions within large corporations, while a Translation Company acts as a broker for translators looking for projects.

B. A Translation Agency is a broker that only works with freelance translators, while a Translation Company has in-house translators and may also use freelance translators as well.

C. A Translation Agency is a broker which only works with students who need training to become a professional translator at some point in their career, it helps you build your résumé and provides you with interviewing tips. A Translation Company is a company that performs translation services for clients.

D. A Translation Agency is a broker that has contracts with the United Nations to hire government-only translators for translation of official documentation. A Translation Company is a firm that hires translators on a freelance basis for various projects.
[Answer: B. See page 18 from the book A Practical Guide for Translators]
Sample Question #6
Which of the following three variables are mentioned as factors that affect the speed of translation jobs, as mentioned by Douglas Robinson in Becoming a Translator?
A. Typing Speed, Job Stress or Mental State, and Location

B. Typing Speed, Translation Memory Software, and Age of Translator

C. Typing Speed, Translation Memory Software, Level of Text Difficulty

D. Typing Speed, Job Stress or Mental State, and Time of Day
[Answer: C. See page 28 from the book Becoming a Translator]

Sample Essay Questions (150-200 words), valid for all participants:

  1. Explain why it is important to act ethically as a professional translator. Please cite several specific reasons and provide at least one real-life example.

  1. What are three reasons for the importance of cultural awareness when working as a professional translator?

Translation Sample, valid for all participants:
The topics to be translated in the exam may vary. The following is a sample of a paragraph to be translated from English into your target language(s):

Etymology is the academic study of the origins and evolution of different languages and etymologists can trace the roots of English words back in time through European languages (mostly French and German as well as Spanish and Italian), Latin, ancient Greek, and even further back to the early Indo-European languages. Because English has absorbed so much from other languages-half of all words in English either come from French or share a root with a French equivalent-people who speak a language related to English can guess the meaning of English words far more easily than people who don't speak one of those languages. When you learn a new word, record some of its related word forms, and identify the root. When you see another word with the same root, use your knowledge of the original word to guess the meaning of the new one.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding the Certified Translation Professional (CTP) program and exam, please see our FAQ at http://translationcertification.org/Frequently-Asked-Questions-FAQ.html.

If you have any additional questions, please send them to us directly at Team@TranslationInstitute.org.

  1. Global Translation Institute (GTI)

The Global Translation Institute (GTI) is a growing international professional networking association. The Global Translation Institute (GTI) was founded to create an international forum of translation professionals who openly help and offer resources for others to advance their careers and business interests.

The GTI sponsors the Certified Translation Professional (CTP) Designation Program. This is the only online certification training and certification program available in the industry. To learn more please see http://TranslationCertification.org.  

For example our institute currently provides many career and business development benefits to members who complete the CTP Designation Program. All alumni of our program gain free exclusive access to our global database of over 1,000 translation agencies, we also provide all alumni with rights to publish their own original content to BecomeATranslator.com.

Free Membership: Our association is now hosted through Linkedin.com and on Facebook! To join the Global Translation Institute (GTI) association for free, please visit http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/3079807/ for LinkedIn and https://www.facebook.com/CertifiedTranslationProfessional for Facebook.

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