FAQs | Translation Skills Training

FAQs

1 What is “Analytic Linguistics” and what do “Analytic Linguists” do?
“Analytic Linguistics” is the name of the profession and refers to the domain of knowledge and skills needed to transcribe intercepted oral communications (wiretaps) in the source language, translate them into US English and to write an English synopsis or summary of recorded communications. An “Analytic Linguist” is a person who possesses this constellation of related, but distinct skills. Analytic Linguists work in a wire room.
2Is TST’s training and certification required in order for me to apply for work as an Analytic Linguist or can I apply directly to government entities without TST’s certification?
No, currently it is not. However, since most people working as Analytic Linguists have little to no prior specific training in the rigors and requirements of the profession, the learning curve on the job is very steep and “burn out” is all too common. Likewise, and unsurprisingly, the retention rates, even for very bilingual people who “come in cold” are low, due to lack of specific knowledge, such as drug slang (to name just one area), or how to write a synopsis (which has very stringent formal requirements).
3Are there other certification programs I can pursue that will allow me to apply for work as an Analytic Linguist with government entities?
No, there are not, which is why TST’s training program is unique in the industry. It is a professional – and internationally accredited training program.
4How will TST’s certification give me an advantage in the Analytic Linguistics job market?
First, because no one else has this training entering the job market! TST’s graduates will raise the profile and reputation of Analytic Linguists by being the best prepared new hires in the field. Having a TST Certificate will tell your potential employer, whether federal, state or municipal that you are a highly skilled, elite professional.
5Will TST help me secure employment as an Analytic Linguist after I am certified?
While TST’s contacts with various employers are extensive and relationships with them are long-standing, TST is neither an employment nor staffing agency, nor does TST hire Analytic Linguists to work in wire rooms. Jobs in this area require not only the appropriate skills - for which this program prepares you - but also a security clearance.
6I already have a strong knowledge of English, Spanish and of Ethics. Why is TST a good program for me?
The first three courses are basic courses covering many areas of English, Spanish or Ethics. They are all required, and for very specific reasons:

The language courses address aspects of formal writing and writing styles, formats, conventions and protocols that are unique to the language needs and requirements for creating documents that are used in a variety of legal proceedings. Likewise, the Ethics course addresses circumstances unique to the work of Analytic Linguists. While there may be some overlap or repetition of material you may have studied elsewhere (or obtained from a previous job), other than TST’s training program, there are none in colleges and universities that tailor their curricula or course work to prepare graduates for work as Analytic Linguists.

By successfully completing these three basic courses (with a score of at least 80% in each), you should be very well versed in English, Spanish and Ethics and ready to proceed to the advanced courses. They address specific constellations of skill sets which Analytic Linguists must possess: Transcription, Translation and Monitoring. Just as there are no programs in colleges and universities that specifically prepare graduates to work as Analytic Linguists, the skills taught in TST’s three advanced courses are unique. Nowhere else will you find courses that teach you these advanced skills or how they are used together by Analytic Linguists when working in the activities that support legal proceedings. TST’s training simulates real-life circumstances to provide graduates a soft landing when they begin working as Analytic Linguists.
7I am bilingual but do not have a college degree, so why can I not be considered for TST’s training?
While TST would be delighted to admit you, the Federal government defines people who work as Analytic Linguists as professionals and requires them to have a four-year degree.
8How long are the courses?
Each course is six weeks long. Upon enrolling for the course, you must finish in six weeks. If not, you will need to retake the course. In the event that you do not score the required passing grade of 80% in any given course, you may retake it. The Student Services Coordinator will contact you each week to remind you of your progress and keep you on-track with the course.
9Can I join at any time?
No. You must start according to the academic calendar indicating when the course starts and finish when the course ends.
10How are the course given?
The courses are all online and contain reading materials, PowerPoints with embedded audio segments and Exercise Reviews that have been created and recorded to address the specific skill sets Analytic Linguists need to master and to help you acquire them. There are also periodic Reflective Journal and Discussion Questions. Once you enroll in the course, the Student Services Coordinator will send you a username and password, in order to access TST’s secure site where the courses are located.
11Can I watch the units more than once?
Of course! Once you enroll and have access to the course you'll see the units are always there. All you need to do is click on whichever unit you want and those you have already done. You cannot view courses you have not yet taken. Since all the PowerPoints are proprietary and copyrighted by TST, do not download or copy them.
12Do I need any special equipment to take this course?
Fortunately, no. All you need is a computer or laptop – and a strong Internet connection. The PowerPoints with embedded audio segments work best if you have a high-speed Internet connection.
13Are there any exams?
Yes. Following each unit in each course (i.e., every week), you will take an Exercise Review that accompanies that particular unit. Most Exercise Reviews consist of between 10-16 multiple choice questions, but some will require you to write short essays. The courses have been designed in this way so that you can implement what you learn as you progress. That is why it is important to complete the exercises after each unit.
14Do I receive a Certificate once I complete the course?
Yes, indeed. After completing all six courses with an 80% (3 ILR) or above in each course, your TST Certificate will be mailed to you. Remember that you may retake any courses in which you do not score an 80% or better.
15Are the Translation Skills Training™ (TST) courses accredited?
Yes, by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET).
16How much do the courses cost?
Please call the office for the price of the first sequence of three basic courses: English Grammar & Writing Process, Spanish Grammar & Writing Process and Ethics. The second sequence of three courses are advanced: Transcription, Translation, and Monitoring, and for pricing information, please call the office. Each course must be paid before starting the course. Your credit card is charged the full amount at the time of enrollment. Each course is six weeks. You can cancel your course subscription before the start of a course, but you must advise us in writing (by email) of your desire to cancel and remove yourself from the course before starting the course. You will then have no further access to future units within the course.
17If I have a criminal record, can I obtain TST’s certification and be able to obtain a security clearance to work as an Analytic Linguist?
If you have a criminal record, you need to call any federal agency or agencies you would like to work for and explain your situation. Not only does each person’s record vary, but different agencies have different sensitivities. Finally, since TST is not an employer, it does not grant security clearances.
18Are financial aid and scholarships available for me to pay for TST’s training and certification?
Some states have job-retraining funds. You need to check with your state.
19As a graduate of TST or as an Analytic Linguist, will I be a law-enforcement officer?
The answer to both questions is definitively “no.” Although Analytic Linguists frequently work side-by-side with law enforcement officers, they are civilian employees or independent contractors.