SDL certification: is it so difficult to get without help?


Is it worthy to be certified? The answer is yes.

Are you a newbie in the translation business trying to find ways to certify your CAT skills


are you an experienced translator trying to upgrade to SDL Studio 2011 and at the same time thinking of becoming  SDL certified?

Whatever the case may be, this article aims to dissolve some myths concerning SDL certification based on my personal experience. It also aims to show that if you are equiped with the will and the decisiveness you can succeed in acquiring SDL certification by yourself . After all, aren’t these the secret ingredients needed for whatever goal you set?


Opening a new window to your translation potential.

It all began back in November 2012 when I purchased SDL Studio 2011 on a discount offered on ProZ. If you wish to purchase the software, you should definetely consider participating in one of the bulk orders organized by ProZ once in a while. They certainly are a good opportunity to get the software on a lower price.

Why am I telling you to buy SDL authentic product? Firstly because it is an essential factor in order to be able to become SDL certified and secondly I believe it is a strong weapon on your struggle to survive in the world of freelance translation.

When you buy the product you create your personal SDL account based on your email and you can explore SDL site with all the privileges offered to registered members. Once logged-in, you will find on the left-hand menu the option “My Certification and Training”. On the top of the page you will see that SDL offers various forms of personal or web training, but these do not fall within the scope of this article. Here, I am going to explain to you how you can attain SDL certification by yourselves through self studying.

SDL offers three kinds of certification for Studio 2011; Getting Started, Intermediate and Advanced. I went through all three exams and I can tell you that they helped me a lot in undestanding the software better and also in exploring its full potential during the translation process. It is recommended to try to study through all these three exams, even if you consider yourself an experienced user due to the fact that different things are highlighted in each unit; little details you may not be aware of and which finally make the difference.

Each certification costs 49 € and gives you two possibilities:

1. the right to take part in the exams having three chances to pass

2. a courseware and sample files in order to study by yourself

My experience of the SDL courseware was excellent. I found it really helpful and easy to study, offering step by step instructions in order to understand even the most complex SDL Studio 2011 functionalities. If you take the time to follow the instructions given by SDL Workbooks carefully, you are bound to understand the software in depth. It needs patience and of course it depends on what kind of learner you are. If you belong to the category of learners who prefer studying by themselves at their own pace, then this kind of study will guide you to succeed in getting your SDL certification.

That’s what I did in all three units and I can tell you that I really enjoyed the time exploring the software. Although that I directly upgraded from Trados 2007 to Studio 2011 without having the experience of Studio 2009, I can confirm that I was able to work with it since day one, without serious problems.


If you buy the product, SDL gives you a series of wonderful badges in order to advertize your choice and expertise.

So, what’s my recommendation? If you want to invest in your translation business, buy SDL Studio 2011 and take the time to learn it in depth. It offers numerous possibilities for you in order to accelarate your translation pace, increase your daily output and improve your translation results.

What’s more, it is worthy to take the time and invest in getting the certification, especially if you are a newbie in the business. Translation agencies will take it seriously into account, especially if you currently trying to find new associates. This way, you show to the world that you take what you do seriously and that you always remain a life-long and keen learner. Last but not least, your certification can be seen online on the SDL official site by every potential customer or interested party. It is like an open unique id giving you the chance to make a difference in the translation business.

Thank you for attention!

This was the first of a series of articles on “SDL Certification”. Stay tuned for the ones to follow!