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. My studies during my MA in Translation have taught me that 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.
What do I translate?
I translate text from Spanish to English. I specialise in travel and tourism, history and sport, especially football. In the past I have translated travel guides, city guides, travel writing blogs, football match reports and football articles. Furthermore, I am happy to translate texts in subjects I am knowledgeable and passionate about such as food and drink, film and television, music and culture. I also have experience in translating legal documents.
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 help understand the subject and a glossary of key words will often be compiled for consistency. This will enable uniformity of key phrases and vocabulary, and ensure that it is fit for its intended purpose. CAT tools are used for added efficiency and quality. I use SDL Trados but also have experience with Matecat and Memsource. Once the translation is finished the text is carefully proofread to ensure it reads smoothly and is free from error.
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 you know who speaks to you in your language. They may be able to communicate excellently and you can understand every word they say, but some of the expressions and choices of words are not those that a native speaker would use. In a professionally translated document these expressions would divert attention away from the message of the text leaving the target audience with an alien and often disjointed reading experience.
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.
As I have been learning Spanish for over 15 years, my level of Spanish is now very advanced. I started my studies, like so many others, 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 a Master of Arts in Translation for which I was awarded a Merit. The contact I have with my girlfriend, an Argentine living in Spain, further helps me to flex my Spanish language muscle on a daily basis.
Please get in touch for any work you would like me to carry out and I will be able to supply you with a quote. It would be helpful to let me know the word count of the source text, the purpose of the translation, when it needs to be completed, who the target audience is, whether it will be for reference or publication, and also what kind of text it is.