Spanish Translation  //  Traductor inglÚs-espa˝ol  //  Traduction franšais-espagnol

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05/06/06

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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04/10/06

Permalink 09:44:17 am, Categories: About JB Translations, For translation buyers, 310 words  

Triggering mental filters

If you are like me, you receive a lot of spam messages in your electronic mailbox. Some of these are hoaxes from people asking you to update your details on your PayPal or bank account in order to get access to these and steal your money. A fast scan of those messages is usually all that is needed to determine that they are not authentic. Why so? Because very often they contain quite a few grammar mistakes and misspellings, something that PayPal or your bank would never allow within their messages. The next thing you know, the delete key is pressed and that spam is sent where it belongs.

Grammar mistakes and misspellings not only help determine if an e-mail request is honest or not. They also help determine whether an entire company aligns with PayPal and your bank in seriousness and reliability or if they're just amateurish in their approach to business. You know by heart the "first impression" litany so I won't repeat it here. You probably care a lot about this in your original materials, but sometimes you can end up with translations that overlook this principle.

A rule of thumb would be that if you choose your translation providers first and foremost on pricing considerations, chances are you will end up with a translation that won't do your image justice. There are some authentic and valid ways to lower costs without lowering quality. Our formula entails offering our services on a freelance basis and applying translation memory technology. Other translation service providers may apply genuine alternative methods to bear costs down, but if a company goes below a reasonable price level, they most likely provide sub-standard translated material that will trigger the "amateurish" filter in your target audience's mind when they're considering your services. To the outcome that they will also press the mental delete key!

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03/29/06

The proof of the pudding...

A professional translator's bare essentials include translating into your native language, being a proficient writer in your native language, having experience and training in translation, mastering the source language and culture, and being specialized in your subject area.

However, it is not always easy to determine if a translator has all the necessary skills to do a quality job just by looking at the translator's profile, resume or CV. In the past I have collaborated with translators with impressive profiles, but their performance didn't always match professional standards.

One such translator, with more than 10 years of translation experience and having even published an English-Spanish dictionary of technical terminology in his specialization, had a hard time translating correctly the word "set" and a few other basics. And even if he generally wrote in Spanish adequately, very often he would completely miss the point of what the English text was saying. I had to completely rework his translation, instead of editing common human errors and reasonably improving accuracy and language correction, which should be all there is left to do when working with a good translator. Obviously, I never collaborated again with this person.

So you never really know how well your translator is going to perform until you put him to work. He can have translation experience, a master's degree in translation, work experience in your field or who knows what else, but the profile alone does not get the job done.

Here at JB Spanish Translations we hand-pick our collaborators and we retain only the very best. All translations are proofread for accuracy and linguistic correctness and are delivered as a full-fledged, ready to publish product. We have done the tough work for you, so you will not have to go through the trial and error scheme, which can be painstaking and potentially risky for your interests.

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03/15/06

Permalink 10:33:46 am, Categories: About JB Translations, For professional translators, 534 words  

An interview

So I was recently interviewed by an American senior high student for a school project dealing on the translator's profession. This is how it went:

1. How many years in school did you study in order to become a translator/ interpreter?
I got a BA in Translation and Interpretation that took me 4 years to complete. But of course, this alone doesn't make you a full-fledged translator. You must learn and train yourself continuously.

2. Do you prefer document translation or verbal interpretation more?
I prefer document translation, I don't do interpretation at all. The demands of interpretation don't match my skills in any way, while written translation matches them perfectly!

3. Would you suggest working freelance over within a company? Why?
A combination of both is usually a good choice. Starting within a company right after finishing your studies (through a period of work experience + regular employment resulting from it, for example) is a good way to get to know the translation industry and all its secrets. When you are confident and experienced, then you can establish yourself as a freelance translator. You are your own boss, you establish your own schedule, and if you have the right attitude you can end up earning more than you would translating in house.

4. On average, how long does it take you to translate a document of around 500 words?
It depends on a lot of things. If I know the subject by heart and it's common language, it can be 30 minutes. But if the subject is highly technical and I'm just starting with it, it can be 2 hours! So a rough average would be 1 hour-1 hour and a half.

5. Is there a high enough demand in the translation market for a Spanish>English translator, or do you suggest studying a different language for translation?
I think that the demand for Spanish>English translations is high enough. I wouldn't necessarily recommend a different language, but rather an additional language. French or German are common ones with a high demand, or you can take a more rare one which will make you more interesting for translation companies (such as Swedish, Russian, Greek, Arabic, or even more rare ones...) One or two common languages + a rare one seems to be a winning language combination. But of course, in order to learn those languages you need to devote efforts and time in the countries where those languages are spoken. In any case, if you are really good you can do well with just Spanish into English, but it is always a good idea not to have all your eggs in one basket.

6. Do you find it easier to translate from or into your native language? Which do you prefer?
It's easier and preferable to translate into your native language. I don't translate into English personally. Translation is an extremely demanding task and excellence is hard to attain. If you are most competent writing in a particular language, that is the one you should translate into. There are some people that are truly bilingual (who master two languages just as well), but this is somewhat rare. I am not one of those cases, so I only translate into Spanish and I do not regret it.

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03/14/06

Permalink 05:10:09 pm, Categories: About JB Translations, 192 words  

Into Spanish Translation: The Translation Blog

It is common knowledge that nothing is created out of nothing. In this case, this new weblog's raw materials must have been somewhere at the back of my mind and they're just waiting for me to release them! So there you go, my blog on Spanish translation.

What's this blog going to be?:

A place to discuss the Spanish translation industry from the point of view of a freelance translator in constant contact with the end clients (a rare combination since most commonly there's a translation agency in between.)

A place to provide insight aimed at translation buyers, especially Spanish translation buyers: The global Hispanic market, the needs and demands of translation, the current status of the translation industry and whatnot.

A place to discuss JB Spanish Translations, my professional Spanish translation service, and everything around it.

A place to provide tips for prospective, beginning and even established translators.

A place to discuss news and current issues about Spanish, about translation, about translators, about language, and anything else that I would consider significant and relevant.

A place to discharge any daily frustrations from a martyr, flagellated translator.

And probably a lot more!

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