After revising several of Pili’s translations, I can certify that she is a true professional. She is punctual and meticulous; she conducts in-depth research (a must in culinary translation); she incorporates additional information to fill cultural gaps; and she adapts to the particular demands of each text.
Her bilingualism is another great asset as she has a perfect command of the Spanish and British languages and cultures. This is crucial when translating culinary texts, because cultural-specific concepts crop up that are extremely difficult to transfer from one language to another. But, thanks to her cultural and linguistic expertise, Pili easily surmounts this obstacle, producing texts that are natural, easy to read and easy to understand.
She is also responsible, friendly, courteous and diligent. I have no hesitation in recommending her work and I myself will be counting on her for future needs.
I’d be delighted to speak to you if you need further details.Rosa Llopis – Servicios Lingüísticos
How I got into food and cooking
I started cooking at a young age, but I got into foreign foods thanks to my mother’s stories of her life in Uruguay and, later, thanks to my experiences au pairing abroad.
I grew up bilingual in Galicia, north-west Spain, surrounded by Galician, by Spanish with Uruguayan turns of phrase and by regular allusions to Uruguayan dishes that my mother had learnt to make living in Uruguay such as tarta pascualina, matambre or pizza fainá. In 2006, I finally visited Uruguay and got to savour some of the dishes of one of the friendliest nations in the world.
My formal training in culinary translation
- a 3-month course in culinary translation (testimonial below)
- a short course reviewing the history of food styling and marketing in restaurants and cookbooks
- a couple of webinars on SEO and localisation
My informal training in food and drink translation
I follow what’s going on in the world of food, wine, nutrition and health to understand the challenges you and your customers face; learn about upcoming trends, and the language of the trade. As well as subscribing to trade magazines, I attend events. And 2020 has been chock-a-bloc with conferences!
- The Future of Wine
- Eating the Gap (food sustainability)
- Encuentro de los mares (marine sustainability)
The future of restaurants
Academic gastronomy conferences
My food translation experience
I have experience translating a wide range of culinary texts.
- academic research paper
- scientific research paper
- literary essay on British food
- cookbook copy
- cookbook recipes
Food press and social media
- newspaper articles
- blog posts of various kinds
Restaurant marketing material
- restaurant menus
- professional restaurant critiques
- restaurant websites
Food and drink marketing
- luxury product descriptions for the web
- professional product reviews for the web
- nutrition blog posts
- add transcreation
- keyword research
- keyword translation
- SEO translation
- webpage optimisation
- appliance instruction manuals
My creative copy
My sheer dedication to this specialism together with my creative writing style allow me to craft natural, human, engaging texts that resonate with Spanish audiences while projecting your desired tone of voice.
Why use a culinary translator?
Can you afford to work with any translator? As you well know, food is a whole different kettle of fish in each country. And you want your foreign customers to understand what’s on your dining table, your products, your brand and your ethos so they come back or recommend your business on their return home. Not all translators have the specialist knowledge and skills required to make your product understandable and appealing to a different set of diners.
Being a foodie is not un oeuf. Culinary translators need excellent knowledge of their own country’s culinary culture, of your culinary culture and of general food trends. But they also need a translator’s mind. Take the word verrine. Lovely, isn’t it? Yet, will your customers understand it? Will they know how to pronounce it so they can order without embarrassing themselves? Could you use a different term? For example, in the UK, the majority of diners, who have dropped languages at 14, might prefer a word they understand. Obviously, it depends on your audience, and your specialised culinary translator will be able to cater for different audiences after analysing your profile. They will be able to identify and fill the cultural gaps.
Being a translator is not un oeuf. No translation degree covers specialist culinary translation. Therefore, most translators are happily unaware of the specific challenges posed by culinary texts and how to solve them. Let me give you an example. I have an MA in translation and I did my dissertation in cookbook translation. I learnt a great deal about food translation researching for nine months, but I was still in my nappies when I started the specialist culinary translation course I took in 2019. Three months spent familiarising myself with a varied range of culinary texts, learning about their specific demands and viable translation strategies, and having my translations revised by an experienced subject specialist who provided extensive feedback put me in a much better stead. 99% of translators do not have that training.
Yet, food translation is most often trusted to non-specialists. Then you hear of translated cookbooks that had to be fully revised and reprinted, like this one. Find out, for example, why menu translations should be left to specialists.
Being a specialist culinary translator is not un oeuf. You’ll need a translator with a creative flair, because many culinary texts are marketing texts, your business card. You’ll also need someone who is good at explaining things and filling gaps. I hope that reading the reviews around my site and seeing my teaching experience will convince you that you are in good hands.
When you have spent your precious time and money to produce good marketing materials, you surely want a translator who does not waste them. Take the packaging translations below. They look ok at first sight, but are they? Would you be happy with similar quality in Spanish?