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Permalink 08:45:34 am, Categories: For translation buyers, 77 words  

A random example...

... of what happens when you entrust one of your bilingual employees with your translations:

Update: This company deleted the English version of their website after receiving my recommendations and those of a couple of other translators. A wise decision, since no translation is always better for your image than a poor translation. But of course, the best option is to hire a high quality and professional translation service!



Permalink 02:38:25 pm, Categories: About JB Translations, For translation buyers, 372 words  

Proofreading poor translations?

Recently I was offered a translation assignment consisting in translating some Word files and proofreading some existing translations of the client's materials. As usual, I provided a quote for the translation work but told them that I would need to see the existing translations before stating any quote for the proofreading. They agreed and sent me a sample of their translations that had probably been performed by bilingual employees of theirs. After analyzing these materials carefully, this was my response to them:

. . . Thank you very much for sending all this material. If you want my advice, I would suggest leaving the existing translations aside. If you would like to have a marketing text written with style that will appeal to your site's visitors, it would be best to redo the translation. Editing and proofreading is for texts with a minimum standard of quality, and unfortunately the Spanish texts you sent me don't measure up to it. To give you an example, when you want to build a solid and reliable car, you don't start with low-quality raw materials. You can have the best manufacturing plant in the world, but in order to get a quality product, you need quality all the way through the process. Translation is no different. Correcting the quality of these texts would probably take more time (and produce less satisfying results) than translating from English directly.

You could always save money by only correcting misspellings and blatant errors, but the final outcome would be mediocre and I don't think that this is what you are looking for, especially for marketing materials. Besides, I wouldn't accept to offer you half-way translation services since I do take pride in my work . . .

I was wondering if I had been too bold in my response or if the negative answer about this potential proofreading job would make them turn away and I would never hear from them again. To my surprise, they paid heed to my suggestions and ordered the first translations from me, and are now considering retranslating the other materials through me.

In a world where costs seem to discard any other considerations and where translation is regarded more or less as an "anybody-can-do-it" task, their response was indeed encouraging!



Permalink 07:25:11 pm, Categories: For translation buyers, 40 words  

Need a voice-over talent?

Voice-over services are often associated with translation services (you may one day be in need of both), but not very many translation companies currently offer voice-overs. Here is a website where you can find voice-over professionals: Enjoy!



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! ;)



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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