WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
Do you need translations you can trust?
I would not be lying if I told you that this is possibly the best translation I have received for this exercise. I love how you have solved the cultural gaps, how naturally you’ve added clarification and advice; the terminology; the tone; and how you’ve renamed the paragraph titles so they make more sense -everything! (Rosa Llopis, Trágora Formación tutor)
Do you need a helping hand from a highly qualified translation partner?
- 180-hour specialist culinary translation course, 50-hour specialist wine translation course and 40-hour specialist SEO translation course. Distinction in all three.
- Post-Graduate Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education and Training plus twenty years teaching experience.
- MA Translation Studies: English to Spanish (Distinction). Journalistic, medical, legal and technical translation and a dissertation about cookbook translation.
- BA Hons Translation and Interpreting: French to Spanish (First). Consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, specialised translation into Spanish and Galician plus a dissertation about children’s literature translation.
Would a professionally-committed translator convince you?
As a member of various professional networks, I attend many of the events offered by these professional organisations in order to continuously improve my craft and offer you the best service. When a job is not suitable for me, I try and refer other professionals. Lastly, I abide by the professional codes of conduct of my organisations, listed below.
Do we share an addition to lifelong learning?
In the first half of 2021, I’ve attended various events, including the FoodTrex Global Summit on Sustainability in Food and Beverage Tourism, and I’ve specialised in wine and SEO translation.
Do we share a professional outlook?
I work with and write for people and that’s my first concern. My other priorities are:
Creative and specialised translations take time to research and perfect, like complex Michelin dishes. As well as being backed by years of specialist training, my translations are always rigorously researched and lovingly crafted, and they are at their best slow-baked. I prioritise business partners who in turn prioritise quality, because quality delivers satisfaction, and satisfaction is the gift that keeps on giving.
To illustrate professional quality, I’ll give you an example. A few years ago, I requested a quote from a professional tree surgeon for a major garden tidy up, including our mature trees; it was rather high so I decided to wait. Then, a company working next door dropped a tree branch in our garden and, sure enough, I ended up with a quote to trim our overgrown cherry tree. It sounded like a fair price to pay to bring more light to the back of the garden.
– So you want a few of these branches gone?
– Hmmm, not sure, I want more sun in this shaded area and, also, the cherry tree has got too big and needs trimming.
I lived to regret it; the pride and joy of our back garden was now a permanent bad haircut and a rather chunky cut branch lay forgotten on the tree in the rush to another job, but it would be a hassle to bother the neighbours to get access again. So, it’s still there.
Before that decision, though, I got a second quote from another company that approached me. Asking for advice, I was told that the old white lilac at the back of my garden was old and rotten (the trunk is indeed split) and needed to go. Thankfully, I did not listen and the lilac continues to fill me with joy every June (or most Junes). It does need a solution as it hangs low when soaked in rain: an expert solution, not one I’ll live to regret. Once burnt, twice burnt.
In comparison, I cry every time I hand my card to my dentists. Yet, it’s the best we’ve ever had. As well as providing an excellent service, they keep notes to remember who you are and make conversation, like humans. So I keep crying.
Takeaway: quality delivers way less pain to both parties. All in all, quality brings joy and saves you money.
In my previous life as a Spanish lecturer, I worked with people of all ages, social and educational backgrounds and different nationalities. That invaluable experience made me more sensitive to individual needs and learning styles (think your readers are learning about you) and I can help you make your texts more accessible and inclusive to all.
As a professional Spanish translator, I strive to stay abreast of trends and developments in your business area so that I can help you stand out instead of being one of the crowd. If rules or customs are constricting and nonsensical, I don’t always stick to them. Besides, borrowing ideas from other cultures can be a good thing. However, I do discuss my suggestions with you if we work directly together. It is harder when there are intermediaries involved to make your voice heard and often impossible to reach you for your invaluable input.
You will fill in a detailed project brief so I understand your requirements, including your brand’s voice and ethos and your buyer persona if you are a business, or your readership profile and style guide if you are a publisher, to give some examples. Working directly with me, your messages will not get lost in transit as they sometimes do.
Words of wisdom
- Plan ahead so your trusted translator can fit you in.
- Do not split up your project. No two translators have the same writing style. If you split it, you’ll get your texts sooner, but the consistency and, therefore, the credibility of your copy will suffer. Say you are translating a series of marketing blog posts and the originals could theoretically have been written by different authors anyway. It will still look inconsistent to have half of them very informal and half more formal. Even if translators receive the same brief, each has their style and their opinion of whether it would be clever to adopt the original author’s style or not. It would be hard to make them write in a style unnatural to them, despite the fact that translators should be able to write in different registers of formality.
- Ensure that the revised translations are returned to the original translator for approval. Not all language companies do this and, as a result, the work of specialised translators is sometimes undone by revisers without the same insider knowledge, life experience or even language experience. Many agencies tend to believe that hiring a native speaker that lives in the language they translate into is the solution to achieving a natural-sounding text, but that is short-sighted. A native speaker is a native speaker. The amount of time you have lived in the country you translate from plays a huge role in how well you understand it, and often nuances of the source text are missed and misunderstood by people who do not have enough experience abroad. The input of translators with more experience abroad is invaluable. And language knowledge is only one example. As a food translator, I’ve seen people substitute tasty meal ideas with bog standard alternatives, only because someone decided that it was good for SEO. Do you want to offer the same boring ideas as everyone else purely for the sake of SEO or do you want to be original and stand out from the crowd offering a tasty alternative? Don’t take anything for granted and ask questions to understand your translation partner’s procedures. Don’t be fooled by promises of a cheap fast job; there’s always a catch, which could just be using a cheaper reviser or translator with less experience in your field and a poorer understanding of your language.
What do you care about?
“Pili is a reliable, highly-skilled translator who has offered her time and language skills to our organisation since March 2020. In that time she has completed various pieces of work across a number of specialised topics, all of which were completed to a very high standard. Pili is a wonderful person to work with, she is responsive, professional and always welcomes feedback on the translation work she completes. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to others, she would be an asset to any organisation or project.” (Hannah Thompson, Translation Coordinator, Banana Link)
How do you stand on CATs?
Cats? I know, the mysterious world of translation!
CAT tools (computer-assisted translation tools) are used by most translators to create translation memories and glossaries for individual clients, which adds consistency across projects and in big projects. I trained in MemoQ, Memsource and SDL Trados.
When you work with a translation company, they generally keep ownership of these memories, which means the translators doing the translation don’t really get enough time to learn anything beneficial moving from project to project in what is a frantic business. When you work directly with a freelancer, because they are the owner of the translation memory, they can use some of their time to create glossaries and become more expert each day in the fields where they work and more knowledgeable about you. They might still have a frantic schedule, but they have access to your legacy work, something translators working on online platforms for many agencies do not have.
Now, the fact that a translation is stored in a translation memory does not guarantee that it can be reused, because how a sentence or phrase is translated depends on context, purpose and other factors.
Additionally, many translation agencies don’t pay for revising repetitions, a saving they might pass on to you or not, which means the translator will not revise them (unless they like working for free) and you end up with a text that has not been thoroughly revised. Imagine one day you bought an expensive fashionable T-shirt and now you want another. Firstly, it’s not free and you only get a discount if it’s faulty or not selling. Then, unless you check it, how do you know it’s not all frayed? Another day you go to a Michelin restaurant, have a great experience and today you return. You expect the same service and you even get a discount for visiting again. Yet, this time you leave disappointed and regret spending your hard earned money. What you didn’t know is that the restaurant is not doing so well lately and are cutting corners: the quality of the produce has sloped, the best staff have left for a more reputable restaurant and those still there, under pressure, care less than before. Nobody did the final check. Your food did not deliver the quality and value you expected and you wish you’d spent your money on something else.
Finally, CAT tools are not machine translation. Machine translation (MT, or automatic translation) is improving slowly but is unsuitable for creative texts (amongst others), needs to be revised by humans in all cases and, if revised properly, can take longer than translating from scratch. Light revision might be cheaper but promotes sticking to the style of the original language and revising only content accuracy. By recycling it, it promotes stilted language. It cannot understand, and therefore cannot reproduce, many aspects that human translators can such as humour, wordplay, regional language, different degrees of formality for different audiences and much more. The Internet is so full of bad quality MT, that Google now values natural language for search engine optimisation and penalises MT. So, if what you need is human copy that resonates with your audience, you need human translation. And that’s what I specialise in!
Having grown up in a house full of cats, I’d love one, but I wouldn’t be able to travel! Cats love visiting, though, for the tickles and the fresh water, like my cute neighbour above. Have you got a cat?