Editorial Translation and Software Localization from English to Spanish

Let your vision of love, freedom and dreams be shared in the world’s second mother tongue!

We will both agree that a translation is good when the original message is conveyed with integrity and accuracy, legibly and in a clear, concise and appropriate style for your audience. The process I follow to translate a text that meets these characteristics consists of:

  1. Read the original material to capture the ideas that need to be communicated.
  2. If necessary, convert the original material to an editable format.
  3. Perform the translation, at a rate of ~2,000 words per day.
  4. Let the text rest for a couple of days.
  5. Check the text several times, for:
    • Detect mistranslated words and phrases.
    • Corroborate the text complies with the stylistic conventions of our language and with the client’s instructions.
    • Check the content is read fluently and complies with transmitting the ideas of the original material.
    • Correct spelling and grammar errors.
      At this stage I can request the help of a reviewer or proofreader expert both in the Spanish language and in the subject matter of the original material.
  6. When the final text is ready, I’ll send it for your consideration and approval. Also I can layout and edit it as agreed in the estimate. In any case, the delivery format will be agreed beforehand.

For a book of three hundred pages or eighty thousand words, this process can take about four months.

To describe the process, I have been inspired by this article by Miriam Neidhart (in English) and this guide from the Union of Correctors (in Spanish).

Some interesting questions

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME TO TRANSLATE A BOOK?

The translation process requires some time and the collaboration of several specialists besides the translator. The specialty of the subject matter, the time available to carry out the assignment, the additional services that may be required (format conversion, transcription or layout), and the experience of the professional hired also play a role.

For all these reasons, translation can become an expensive whim, or an investment for entrepreneurs who really want to jump the language barrier to reach thousands (or millions) of potential new customers. The final price will be calculated after seeing the original material, it will include the applicable taxes and it will be included in the estimate I send you for that purpose.

WHY HIRE THE FIRST TRANSLATOR APPEARING IN GOOGLE WHEN BABELCUBE, FIVERR, UPWORK, AND WORKANA ALREADY EXIST?

I’m registered on those platforms myself (follow the links below), although I don’t use them much at the moment.

With Babelcube, translation costs you zero, but I hope someone will be interested in your book! Many have been waiting for years.

You may find good professionals in Fiverr, Upwork, Workana, and other similar marketplaces. The advantage of using these platforms is that you have mechanisms to resolve conflicts and request refunds. With so many people claiming to know how to translate into Spanish and fighting over the few jobs available, it’s easy to see rates (and client budgets) of 0.01 USD per word and even less.

However, unless you’re an expert in recruitment and have a clear idea of the processes followed in translation and editorial production, you could create false expectations and get some unpleasant surprises when presenting your text to real readers. And you don’t want to waste time and money discussing and correcting mistakes, but a well-translated book.

If you don’t believe me, my advice is to work with a good translation agency or a translator who at least shows she knows what she’s talking about.

HOW DO I KNOW MY BOOK IS WELL TRANSLATED?

I know it’s hard to find out on your own. Imagine if you also wanted to order a translation into Chinese or Arabic and didn’t even know how to read those languages. What to do?

The best way to check the quality of the final product is to send it to another professional translator, proofreader or editor whose mother tongue is that of the translated material, as they are experts in the conventions of careful writing and in the cultural references specific to each language. If the text is a disaster, they’ll tell you — if we’re good at anything, it’s to complain about how others write.

Another interesting alternative is to give the translated material to any person in your audience who is a native speaker of that language, preferably one who has also read the original text. Your reaction when reading the translation should be that of someone who puts on his reading glasses. She must be able to clearly recognize and properly interpret the ideas expressed there.

WHICH VARIANT OF SPANISH DO YOU USE?

I try to write with the vocabulary of “standard Spanish”, but with Latin American terms: computadora instead of ordenador (computer) or durazno instead of melocotón (peach), so your message is understood from Tijuana to Ushuaia and also in Madrid and Malabo.

For now, I don’t make adaptations for very localized variants such as those from Spain, Argentina or Mexico.

IS THERE ANY WORK YOU DON’T DO?

I don’t perform certified or official translations. Nor do I translate scientific articles, university theses, manuals and patents for industrial machines or other overly technical texts. I still don’t address that kind of author. I also clarify that I don’t do translations from Spanish to English.

About services that I don’t offer as a virtual assistant, please go to the corresponding section.

Anyway, if I perceive that your content will be used to swindle someone or sow panic, I’ll refuse to translate it. If I perceive that you will be proselytizing politically or religiously, or perpetuating a victimhood culture, I will suggest that you go to another professional because I don’t want to get involved in that kind of project.

Do we work together?

I’ll be happy to help you with anything you need!

Before requesting any information, please read this page and the General Contracting Conditions carefully. If there is something not clear to you, you can also send me a message with your question. I will try to answer it in less than 24 hours (except Saturdays and Sundays, Lima time / UTC−5).

To better understand your needs and make a fair estimate, please send the original material and detail the following information:

  • What exactly do you need? Translating something from scratch or editing machine translation results? Do you require a final text with layout or is a text document sufficient? What is the file type of the original material?
  • Who is your translation for? The whole of the Spanish-speaking world or just a given region? What is the age range and educational level of your audience? Are there any additional relevant socio-demographic characteristics?
  • What values are you looking to convey? What style and corporate identity guidelines should I follow for that purpose? (Includes use of anglicisms, inclusive writing, local slang, vocabulary from previous translations, bibliographic reference formats, and other stylistic preferences)
  • Do you have a deadline to meet?

You can attach here a file of up to 25 MB with the original material. If the file is rejected by this form, I suggest uploading it in a ZIP file, sharing it through a platform like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, or sending me your request by e-mail.

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    Header image: Language Learning Books by olilynch is used under the Pixabay license; desaturated from original.

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