What do I offer as a translator?

Contrary to popular belief….

…..translation is not just a case of transferring words systematically from one language to another. If it were, Google Translate would be ideal for carrying out translations. Other aspects, however, need to be taken into account at all times during the translation process. These include context, purpose, new audience, culture and style. Only a human translator can recognise these factors and produce a translation that is fit for cross-cultural communication. As a translator, who just so happens to also be a human, that’s where I come in. I’m dynamic, reliable and very passionate about what I do.

What do I translate?

I translate text from Spanish to English. Although I specialise in tourism and hospitality, e-commerce, all things cultural and football, I’m also experienced in translating texts in many other fields. Most recently I have been translating the biographies of artists for a museum exhibition in Bilbao. I have also been translating a Spanish tourism website showcasing places to visit and things to do on the Costa Brava. I translated an article about regional culture and the steps taken to ensure cultural conservation. Other translations have included texts on football, furniture and decoration, holidays, healthy living, medical reports, witness statements and general blog posts. With a lucid eye for detail I also provide revision and editing services.

A methodical approach

Before carrying out any translation the source text and any important instructions in the brief must be analysed in order to understand the purpose of the translation. The approach can then be decided on taking into account the target culture and target audience. Research will take place to boost understanding of the subject and a glossary of key words will often be compiled for consistency and quality. CAT tools are used to add efficiency and accuracy to the process. I use SDL Trados but also have experience with other tools such as Memsource. Upon completion of the translation, the text is carefully revised to ensure it reads smoothly and is free from error. Once I am confident the translation is fit for its intended purpose, it is then passed to another translator for further checking.

Can I translate from English to Spanish?

The simple answer is no! There is an unwritten rule that as professional translators we will never translate into a language that is not our mother tongue. Why? Because no matter how many trips abroad and years toiling away with study books, we can never master a foreign language with the same lexical accuracy, grammatical correctness and complete familiarity typical of a native. Think about a foreign person who speaks to you in your language, the chubby Spanish football manager Rafa Benítez for example. He may be able to communicate efficiently in English and you can understand every word he says, but some of the expressions and choices of words are not those that a native speaker would use. In a professionally translated document these odd expressions would divert attention away from the message of the text leaving the target audience with an unnatural and often disjointed reading experience. So let Chris translate into English, leaving Manuel to translate into Spanish.


Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

As a proud member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), I am committed to carrying out continuous professional development. This enables me to offer the highest possible standards of work by maintaining and updating my language skills, subject knowledge, and any other skills or knowledge necessary for my work. As nothing stands still, from the technology I use to the developments in my specialist fields, it is essential to keep up with all these changes throughout my career. Carrying out regular CPD demonstrates professionalism and commitment to colleagues and clients and shows I mean business and can be taken seriously. I think it is always useful to spend some time thinking about what is required to be a successful translator and which skills perhaps need to be developed a little further. This is not only true for a translator with limited experience, but also for a seasoned professional.

Spanish expertise

I have a great love for all things Spanish; the culture, the history, the people, the music, the dancing, the nightlife, the football, the beaches, the tapas, the wine, and, of course, the language. Although there is always room for improvement, I would describe myself as a fluent speaker with great communication skills. I started teaching myself Spanish over 15 years ago with books and CDs. This helped build the foundations, but it was not until I fully immersed myself with the language and culture, by living in Argentina for two years, that I really began to master the finer points of the language. Since then I have gained a First Class Honours Degree in Spanish and History and also a Master of Arts in Translation for which I was awarded a Merit. I now live in Spain so I am able to continue flexing my Spanish language muscle on a daily basis. Working with the Spanish language and finding the correct equivalent in my native tongue through my translation work gives me enormous satisfaction and is something I look forward to doing for many years to come.


If you’re looking for accurate Spanish to English translations that are culturally and stylistically fit for purpose, get in touch now and I will be happy to supply you with a quote. It would be helpful to let me know the word count of the source text, what kind of text it is, the purpose of the translation, when it needs to be completed, who the target audience is and whether it will be for reference or publication.

The most intellectual looking photo of me I could find – soaking up some culture in the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

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