Pili Rodríguez Deus/ March 6, 2020/ courses

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How to specialise in culinary translation II: Trágora's course

Picasso's monster hands

You're dying to know how to specialise in culinary translation. Your prayers have been answered, today I'm sharing with you my experience with Trágora's course.

Commitment

It's a 3-month course that requires 120-180 hours study, depending on how much you can or want to put in. That works at around two full days per week or two hours per day minimum.

You want to be a food translator. Really?

If you've never translated food texts before, the menus and recipes chosen will certainly test your translation and research skills, your common sense and your desire to be a food translator. What to say of the glossary building, particularly in the meat department, or the land of false friends and false equivalents.

Did you also want to test your copywriting and transcreation skills? Did you dream of researching the most obscure food terms and translating super creative product reviews and award winning restaurant critiques? You'll do them all. Promise: you won't get bored. Though when you look at those meat charts you may well decide this is not for the fainthearted.

The admin side of things

  • Enrolling was easy-peasy.
  • Getting your certificate was quick.
  • The coordinator or administrator is very friendly and sends monthly emails to check how you are progressing and if you need any help.
  • Feedback was promptly provided, even when the tutor sounded busy.

The learning materials

  • The online platform is easy to navigate and it’s easy to download the learning resources.
  • The texts are very well selected; in theory they are of increasing difficulty, though I'd find it hard to decide which one was the most challenging, probably a scientific article despite being one of the texts I did best in.
  • The materials are very well written, using clear language, a professional structure and visuals. A lot of time and thinking has been invested. They are all in PDF format, which makes them easy to navigate and take notes from. Although I was expecting videos, my disappointment soon dissipated.
  • There are, however, a couple of videos that Trágora has produced where the tutor is interviewed about menu translation and about interpreting in cookery courses (links at the end). These were the ultimate factor that convinced me to choose this course, because they gave me not only an insight into Rosa’s work but also into her teaching style. I knew, watching them, that the course would be extremely well organised.
  • Following my interest, Rosa suggested many books on the topic of food history which I'm still to explore.

What I loved about the teaching

  • Enthusiasm and unparalleled dedication. Lots of discussion backwards and forwards for each translation.
  • Unsurpassed individual support. Able to quickly gage your strengths and weaknesses, Rosa will focus on ironing out the creases.
  • Vast doses of encouragement throughout.
  • No spoon-feeding. Just hints, when needed, to find answers by yourself.
  • Great feedback. Rigorous and appropriate corrections will be enveloped it in a sea of praise. Rosa will take the time to list all the good aspects of a piece of work together with those that need refining so that you learn but don't loose hope. Believe me, food translation is hard.
  • Friendly but professional. You will not get away with any excuses, including lack of familiarity with a text or job type.
  • Lots of tips and insider input.

Things you will learn or do

  • To translate a wide range of texts using a wide range of strategies
  • To do a summary translation
  • To translate the same text for two different audiences
  • How to use caps and italics in food texts
  • What they are and how to use legal denominations of origin
  • How to analyse texts before translation
  • How to convert measures
  • How to compile and organise a useful food glossary
  • How to analyse pairs or families of terms and their differences.
    • Terms you were sure you knew will be redefined.
    • Did you know that some terms design different realities in different languages? For example, Spanish does not differentiate between mutton and yearling mutton, and a spring lamb and a cordero recental aren’t the same age.
    • A Spanish food term might have three or four different translations in English, each for a specific purpose, and the other way around.
  • Copywriting

What you will gain

  • Great resources to return to when you need them
  • Invaluable input from a true specialist who interprets in cookery courses and has been translating for 10+ years
  • A better idea of the huge variety of food texts and possible work
  • An understanding of the demands of each text type
  • A varied portfolio of translations to show to potential clients, and the specialist knowledge that comes with them
  • A wealth of examples to prove to your customers that food translation is a specialist field.

What I gained

All the above plus an extensive list of amazing feedback to share with my clients, and cheer me up on rainy days.

What Trágora could add

Even though all the translations completed seem realistic, it would be good to have a testimonial from a real client. Perhaps Trágora could consider suitable arrangements with food companies.

Further reading

Cursos de traducción online.  https://www.tragoraformacion.com/cursos-traduccion-online/

La gestión de encargos intensivos de interpretación.  https://www.tragoraformacion.com/gestion-encargos-intensivos-interpretacion/

La traducción de menús: ¿cómo se come eso?  https://www.tragoraformacion.com/traduccion-menus/

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