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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 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 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.



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.



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.



Permalink 08:25:29 am, Categories: Spanish social issues, 243 words  

Soccer, Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain

Two social issues to highlight from the previous post:

- Soccer is extremely popular in Spain, and way more important than bullfighting is, especially for the new generation. Yes, indeed, you should check out your outdated stereotypes!

- Some Catalans would say that FC Barcelona's victory doesn't add up to Spanish glories, but to Catalan ones. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia (Cataluña), a significant region in the north-east of Spain and one of Spain's richest regions. They have a language of their own, Catalan, which comes directly from Latin and is not derived from Spanish, though it has many similarities with it.

Catalans speak both Catalan and Spanish as native languages. The fact that they share a language and certain culture features that are different from Spanish mainstream gives many of them a sense of being their own nation. In other words, a good deal of them would want Catalonia to become independent from Spain. This drive was greatly reinforced by Franco's oppression to their culture and language, which was most regrettable.

Franco died in 1975. Spain has remarkably recovered from his dictatorship and become one of the world's leading nations through democracy, but the autocrat's long shadow somehow still reaches to the present in Spain, a lot of times through overcompensation.

Barcelona is the second most important city of Spain after Madrid, Spain's capital. Madrid and Barcelona sustain a great rivalry and a love and hate relationship in soccer and most other areas.



Permalink 11:01:35 am, Categories: Spanish social issues, 118 words  

Barcelona is the winner

So FC Barcelona won yesterday the European Champions League's soccer final against Arsenal, from London. The Champions League is Europe's most important soccer competition and it determines the best European soccer club. Real Madrid CF is the one team that has conquered more of these cups over the years (9), while Milan AC is second with 6. FC Barcelona has now two of them. Considering that just last week Sevilla FC won the UEFA cup, the other important European soccer competition for club teams, we could say that this has been a brilliant year for Spain at soccer! Now we just need to win the upcoming World Cup as a national team, though this one is going to be tough. :)



Permalink 03:14:30 pm, Categories: About JB Translations, 349 words  


Recently my Translation News section showed this piece of news extracted from Inttranews:

Accuracy of "Gospel of Judas" translation attacked
Ontario, Canada (NLC): National Geographic partially funded the restoration and translation of the Gospel of Judas and has received the exclusive rights to it [see Inttranews Archives]. University of Sudbury professor of religious studies André Gagné has accused National Geographic of marketing sensationalism in its coverage of the important religious find. Gagné maintains the current translation is not as accurate as it could be and he would like to see other Christian academics and Coptic specialists given access to the text in its original Coptic form.

And I recently received a message from Professor André Gagné himself stating the following about it:

I am the Canadian professor who supposedly said that the Gospel of Judas had been mistranslated! I saw the news on your Website and want to tell you that the reporter who wrote the article got it all wrong! There has clearly been a misunderstanding. I never said that I disputed the translation of the Gospel of Judas. All I said was that I disagreed with the idea that Jesus asked Judas to betray him, or to help him get rid of his mortal body. The phrase: "But you will exceed them all, for you will sacrifice the man that bears me" is correctly translated as a future (in Coptic it is a Future 1). I argued, however, that the phrase should not be understood or interpreted as an imperative. I simply think that the statement should be read as a prophecy and not as a request on the part of Jesus. To my understanding, Jesus does not ask Judas to betray him; rather, he simply prophesies that this is what Judas is going to do. I only disagree with the common sensationalistic interpretation of this phrase.

My response is posted on I have also written to the newspaper who printed the article. I hope to have cleared up this unfortunate misunderstanding.

I think it is very clear and sound. So let it be known!



Permalink 10:29:45 am, Categories: For translation buyers, Machine translation, 145 words  

Machine and human translation

You’re in a tight corner. You have a text to translate into Spanish by tomorrow and you also have significant budget constraints. What can you do to save money and get your translation on time? You struggle with the thought for some time until an idea comes to mind. A free online translator will do half the job, and then you’ll send it to a professional translator who will polish it in no time and at little cost! The perfect idea! Right?

Well, no.

If machine translators saved time and effort to professional human translators, we would use them all the time ourselves, which we don’t. It’s indeed less time-consuming for a translator to translate from the original text than trying to correct a machine translated text. As an English to Spanish translator, I understand English much better than mutilated Spanish!



Permalink 09:01:04 am, Categories: For translation buyers, Machine translation, 102 words  

Life would be boring without MT

Machine translation is always there to lighten our days. I recently received a request to proofread a text which had been translated into Spanish by an online machine translation service. It dealt with healthy food. My preferred part was "Coma un puñado de tuercas cerca de 5 días a la semana" as translated from "Eat one handful of nuts about 5 days a week". "Tuerca" is indeed a possible translation for "nut". I grant you, this kind of nut is very rich in minerals. It’s the kind you use with bolts! The translated text also suggested eating Turkey, the Asian nation…



Permalink 08:56:04 am, Categories: About JB Translations, 107 words  

Chinese translation companies

Some say that China will become the world economic leader some years from now. Not sure if this will be so, but judging from Chinese translation companies, they do seem determined to make it happen! I regularly receive quite a few messages (and calls) from such companies who would like me to outsource translations to them. Their argument: since China is a country with low wages, they can offer better prices than the rest of us. Well, for one, I do not deal with the Chinese language in any way, and I don't think that the best place to find professional English to Spanish translators is China...


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