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

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Spanish or spamish?

When you are not very careful in selecting your translation provider, tricky things may happen to you. You may order a Spanish translation but end up with a spamish translation, which looks like Spanish to you but is perceived as spam by your Hispanic audience. An example:

I am going to try to convey to you the same impression that a Hispanic reader would have by reading the Spanish text on this page (only the first lines.) I will do this by back-translating the text and recreating the mistakes as faithfully as possible. Also, when I give a word in Spanish this is because the Spanish readers got it in English (the translator didn't bother to translate it.) Some mistakes are impossible to reproduce due to the differences between English and Spanish, so when you read this, do not think I am exagerating. It is actually worse than this!

The page is supposed to be the privacy policy of the Oona Health site:

Isolation Policy

Oöna has a firm committee to the isolation.

We can use your IP DIRECCIÓN to help diagnose problems with our server and to manage our site. Your IP DIRECCIÓN is used to help identifyyou and your shopping cart and to compile the basic demographic information.

Our site uses the biscuits in order not to lose sight of your shopping cart. In the future, they will make sure that you don't see the same advertisement several times.

The site contains fittings to other sites and is not responsible of the practices of the isolation or of the content of such sites of the fabric.

Oh, and the slogan to the left is also worth mentioning:

"To grab the treasures of your moments"

The whole site is packed full of extremely sub-standard Spanish translations. The sad thing is, the Internet in general is full of Spanish translations such as these. The companies that decide to translate their materials into Spanish but get spamish translations instead probably get disappointed very quickly with the results of their efforts, and wonder if the Hispanic market is such a worthwhile investment after all.

It is, but you absolutely need to get it right!



Who said language and translation aren't fun?



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 09:53:41 am, Categories: For professional translators, 341 words  

A highly recommended resource for translators

If as a professional translator you aren't yet acquainted with Jost Zetzsche's Translator's Tool Box e-book (and the associated Tool Kit biweekly newsletter), I highly recommend you to fix this problem as soon as you possibly can. Here is what Jost has to say by way of introduction to his book:

"As a technical translator and localization consultant, I've been continually surprised at the lack of technical expertise and knowledge about software tools among many translators and project managers. I've seen countless hours wasted on tasks that could have been done automatically or in a fraction of the time. And as an editor, I've often struggled to improve texts that were translated with an adequate level of linguistic or subject-matter expertise, but whose quality was sub-par because the translator didn't know how to use the necessary tools or formats.

"At some point after it became common for translators to use computers for their work, it seems that many of us became convinced that we were really not smart (read: technical) enough to become proficient computer users. The irony is that many of us translate highly technical and complex subject matter every day. There is no lack of intelligence among us—merely a prevailing notsmart-enough-for-computers fallacy that we have bought into.

"It is time to adopt a new paradigm for our profession: Not only is it acceptable to use computers well—it is critical to our success."

So I believe that this resource will benefit any translator, whether you are starting out or you are already established in this industry. If it can just teach you one tip to work more efficiently with your computer and save 5-10 minutes a day, think of the aggregate impact this will have on your whole career! But for some of us, this book will save much more time than this. Not to mention improving the quality of our services on the technical front. A definitely recommendable (and affordable) investment for all of us professional translators!

See for yourself at The Translator's Tool Box. Enjoy your reading!



Permalink 07:14:20 am, Categories: For professional translators, 281 words  

Why every translator should have a website (II)

Another way in which you should put your website to your advantage is when contacting translation providers to offer them your services. If the person who is considering your profile is like me, he or she will avidly want to see how good a writer you are in your native language, if you have an eye to detail and other things that sometimes can and sometimes can not be determined by just reading your CV or resume. Indeed, you can convince me to try you instead of somebody else with a stronger profile than yours if you show me that you master the art of writing and that you don't allow any mistakes on your website. Because if you do allow them on your own website, is there a chance that you will do a better job when writing for somebody else? Hardly. So have a website, make it error-proof and show a good writing style, and even if your design isn't exactly a work of art you will convince many prospective clients of your writing and translating skills. At least to give you a first try, and then you will have a chance to further convince them by delivering a quality job! Be remarkable and you will be noticed. Do not be ashamed of yourself when comparing your profile to that of a translator with 25 years of experience. Talent will always come to the surface if you add your will to it. Make yourself known, go the extra mile, show more of yourself than the others (instead of trying to hide what you think you don't have). Having a solid website will help you accomplish a big part of this.


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