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06/13/06

Permalink 11:55:13 am, Categories: About JB Translations, Spanish social issues, 267 words  

More about Spanish names

Spanish personal names are very particular and different from English or French names for example. My full name is "Jaime Bonet García". The breakdown of this is one first name (Jaime) plus two family names (Bonet and García). Let me introduce a bit of my family to you so I can best explain how this works:

My parents' names are: José Luis Bonet Izquierdo and Raquel García Linares

Hispanic women don't change their family names when they get married. My mother's name was "Raquel García Linares" before and after getting married. The children of "José Luis Bonet Izquierdo" and "Raquel García Linares" will carry the first family name of each parent. Hence, my full name is "Jaime Bonet García". My father in turn got his first family name from his father and his second family name from his mother:

My father's parents are: Tomás Bonet Moreno and Dolores Izquierdo Casal.

That's why my father's full name is José Luis (a composed first name here to further complicate things) Bonet Izquierdo. So every Spanish or Hispanic person has two family names—the first family name from his/her father plus the first family name from his/her mother.

For practical purposes, when dealing with English or French persons I introduce myself simply as Jaime Bonet. Actually, this is what I would be called even in Spain when talking in a simplified way, and it avoids me being addressed as "Jaime B. García", "Jaime García Bonet" or creating any other misunderstanding because of this difference. But now you know better! ;)

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06/07/06

Permalink 08:39:29 am, Categories: About JB Translations, 523 words  

Am I Spanish?

I just received an e-mail message from somebody who wanted to have more information about our translation services. The person who wrote it was wondering about my name and she thought that I was French. With this idea in mind, she wondered how I could possibly offer Spanish translation services, and this was a right question to ask if that would have been the case. This misunderstanding is of course my own fault for not having an "About Jaime Bonet" page on my website. Currently my website is being redesigned. When this is finished, I will include such a page and a few others in order to help my visitors get a better picture of the services we offer.

Okay, "Jaime" is my first name. It is not a French name, it is a Spanish equivalent to "James" in English and "Jacques" in French. This should help clarify my gender, since I am also often mistaken for a woman, no doubt because my English-speaking visitors pronounce "Jaime" as the usually feminine English first name "Jamie". But no, I'm indeed a "he", and a totally Spanish one at that ;)

"Bonet" is my main family name (I'll explain this another day.) Though it might look like French, it is not in fact. In French there is indeed a "Bonnet" family name, but it carries a double "n". In any case, "Bonet" doesn't sound very Castilian admittedly. It is actually a Catalan family name, from the eastern region of Spain. According to the genealogical research my family has performed, our roots trace back to Valencia, an important city in the East of Spain where a variety of Catalan is spoken and "Bonets" are found all over the place.

However, my father and his parents were born and raised in Madrid, Spain's capital. So I can safely say that I am from Madrid, having been born and raised in Madrid myself. My mother's roots are in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, but she came to live in Madrid when she was 14 years old and has lived there ever since, so she doesn't even know how to speak Spanish with a proper southern accent anymore ;-). I have also been educated in Madrid, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Translation and Interpreting from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

I live in France, and this is partly because my wife is French. We married four years ago. We live a stone's throw away (about 50 km or 30 miles away) from the Spanish border, which makes it possible for us to stay in close contact with Spain. For example, every summer we go to Spain on holidays with my parents. I read and write in Spanish daily and I speak a good deal of Spanish at home. Even though I also speak and write English and French daily, I only translate into Spanish (from English and French), because Spanish is my native language.

Hope this helps clarify rather than utterly confuse you! I will get a little bit more into detail in upcoming posts, since my name entails some social and cultural issues that I would like to explain another day.

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05/30/06

Permalink 09:43:31 am, Categories: For professional translators, 253 words  

New book: How to succeed as a freelance translator

Inttranews points to this new book with a self-explanatory title. It is available at Lulu.com and you can browse some of its contents to see if the information would be helpful for you. It does look interesting for those of you considering freelance translation as a career and those seeking to get established on solid ground in this profession.

By the way, Lulu is one of the most interesting and well-known print on demand services, making publishing easy and accessible for books like this one that might have never seen the light of day otherwise.

Other helpful resources for freelance translators, prospective or not:

- You will find tons of free information on Roger Chriss' "Translation as a Profession" series of articles.

- Chantal Wilford offers more free translation tips through her translation website, as well as a paid ebook with additional advice.

- The popular website TranslatorTips.com offers some free resources for translators such as an e-zine and a recent short e-book for translators, plus a paid e-book which is their core offer. Definitely worth checking out.

- You also have some helpful small guides for prospective translators and interpreters at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting's website (ITI), on the Getting Started section. Getting familiar with some of these resources (especially the free ones, since there is no excuse for not doing it) is a must for any translator, and I believe that even the most seasoned ones will find some tip or insight to help them in their daily work and efforts.

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05/27/06

Permalink 01:16:56 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, Spanish language & translation, 86 words  

Do apostrophes matter?

According to marketing expert Seth Godin, they do!

Glad to see an influential marketing expert highlighting the critical importance of language correction and correct spelling. It is as important for your original materials as it is for your translated materials. You know that IBM, Sony, or any other leading global company wouldn't allow any misspellings in their message. So if you want to portray as professional an image as theirs, you shouldn't allow them in yours either!

More thoughts about the subject on this recent post.

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05/26/06

Permalink 02:28:52 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, Machine translation, 156 words  

Chess and translation

It is well known that computers have beaten some of the greatest chess masters in the world. On IBM's website you have a dedicated page to the first complete match of 6 games lost by a chess master (Garry Kasparov) to a computer system (Deep Blue in this case). This happened in 1997. The competition between man and computers on this front is ongoing, with alternate victories on each side. More information on this wikipedia page.

So computers can successfully challenge the very best human chess players in the world. When you think that no computer system has succeeded in translating languages in a way that could challenge even an ordinary human translator's performance, you should start wondering. Language is way more complex than chess is, as complex as the human consciousness. Translation involves two different languages, each one with its own intricate structure and unique characteristics, so it requires as much highly skilled human intervention as possible.

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