miércoles, 18 de mayo de 2016

How to detect a translation scam

Good morning.

I haven't wrote here for a long time because I've been busy with other projects (the Book Fair of Alicante, the second edition of my first book...) and to a lesser extent, I've been translating. And I say to a lesser extent because since I spoke of my experience as an interpreter in Frankfurt, which you can read here, the only translation I've done has been a test for a German company of translation.

I'm still waiting for an answer on my test, but this has given me the idea of this new post, to tell you how to detect a scam translation, which I also lived a few months ago and about I spoke in this another post (here in Spanish).

· Communication: after sending my CV to the German company, they sent me an email, very kindly, saying they wanted to make me a translation test. I was excited and delighted because they had answered me so fast, and I agreed to take the test, hoping that in the next email they sent it to me. However, before sending the text, I was asked a serie of questions related to the work, and they ask me also my availability to make the translation.

Those who are dedicated to fool translators sent me an email too informal, those with no initial greeting, with an automatic text, with capital letters and without farewell.

· Time and test type: after agree an hour to make the translation test, the company sent me the text. I received it punctually and they gave me two hours to translate it from German into Spanish. It was a technical text of about 500 words.

Scammers sent me a 150 pages document and I had to translate for the next day around 30 pages, from English into German, something that wasn't specified in the first message. What kind of translation test is the translation of 30 pages? Even the translation exams at the University weren't so long. A test is a short text that demonstrate the ability to translate it correctly in a short time. However, what they wanted was, test after test, several translators make them the complete work.

· Test resolution: I sent my test translation to the German company one week ago. I was told that a corrector should check the translation and he would make a report. If it is positive, I'll make a second test. I'm waiting for the answer because there were more candidates.

Scammers answered me shortly after I send them the translation. They told me that the translation was correct and they selected me for the job. No proofreaders to make a report, they didn't take time to even pretend they reviewed the translation and nothing about value other supposed candidates.

As you can see there are notable differences between companies that really looking for a translator and those which just want to take advantage of them. The company of which I have spoken today appreciates the time and the translator's work, takes into account their availability and check their work to ensure the best solution for the end client. Scammers not only take advantage of the desire to work of the translator, but also damage the company, which being unaware of the way they act, they commissioned the translation of the text.

lunes, 21 de marzo de 2016

Professional experience: liaison interpreting in the fair Light and Building in Frankfurt

Good morning.

Last week I was in Germany as interpreter in Frankfurt Fair. Through my new profile Robles Traducciones I received the offer to accompany a company in order to visit the spectacular area of the Frankfurt Fair, that for a week hosted the exhibition Light and Building of lighting and architecture companies. 

It was a great experience because it was the first time I did something like that and I could learn a lot. As I talked you about some months ago in the post about liaison interpreting, in this post I can confirm what I said, taking into account my experience.

· This interpretation job has been different from other I have done (for example when I was doing practice in the hospital), because I have traveled to Germany. I translated in English and German and not only in the fair, but also it was necessary on the plane, in the airport, in the transport by taxi or shuttle bus and in the hotel.

· It must take into account the previous preparation in order to get a correct interpretation. In this case were lighting issues. This preparation spread it out also in the whole trip (to send confirmation e-mails to the hotel and ask for hotel's services, location of the fair and organization of the stands, airport-hotel-fair transport...).

· The difficulty to talk a language in which you are not native (in my case, English), with people who don't have neither English as native tongue (Chinese people, Danish, Bulgarian...). There is an important barrier, however much we know the language, that it is difficult to dodge. When we study English, we have our ears prepared to listen standard English, British or American. If is not that way is complicated to understand the other person. 

Interpreter features:

1) Self-confidence: it is important to be self-confident and what you have to do. It is possible that we don't understand 100% what the other people says, but there is a lot of ways to say the same thing. The interpreter must be attentive and prepared in order to the message arrives correctly (say it another way, repeat the idea in order to know that is clear, write details and dates).

2) Patience: in a negotiation both parts want to get something and they will do their best to understand eachother. The interpreter has to have patiente and calm to explain in the best way possible what both parts want to say. It is possible that the person we have to interpret doesn't keep that calm, but in my opinion, the interpreter has to do it. 

3) Professionalism: with the experience in interpretation that I have, I have realized the importance of professionalism and good manners that one should leave in his work. I mean kindness and respect towards people we deal with. Maybe it won't be always reciprocal, but the interpreter must be a professional, firm and quiet, and he should ignore what is irrelevant to his work. 

I hope my experience has been helpful, specially if you want to be interpreter. Obviously I still have a lot to learn, but working is the way I learn the most.

miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2016

Spanish and Italian: distant cousins

Good morning.

Three weeks ago I was in Italy, in the city of Pordenone, in a Open Design conference. There was a lot of talks about free software applications in different areas (specially in engineering and architecture), and most of the talk were given in Italian.

People might think that Spanish and Italian are similar languages, and that it's true. However isn't so simple to understand Italian just being Spanish and without having some notions of the language. During the talks I could understand some words that were exactly the same in Spanish, but I was unable to follow the talks because I couldn't understand most of the things they said just listening. Some speakers projected a presentation with text and that way I could understand easily the content of their talks. 

I have never studied Italian, but my conclusion is that, by the similarities with Spanish, reading Italian is easier to understand than listening. During the day I spoke with people in English, and, surprisingly, also in Spanish, because some people there spoke it very well. 

It wasn't difficult to orient myself in Italy, following signs and posters, because words are similiar to my language. But it is clear that, without knowing at least English, it's difficult to travel around the world. Maybe you can find someone who speaks your language (in my case Spanish), but in restaurants, shops or hotels don't usually speak my language. English gets you out of a trouble.

domingo, 14 de febrero de 2016

How to solve a translation problem: I Cho-cho-choose you (The Simpsons)

Today I show you another example of translation problem that I saw in a chapter of The Simpsons because it has some interesting components.

I put you in situation: it is Valentine's Day and the students of Lisa's class write each other letters and cards. Ralph is the only one who don't receive any card, so Lisa gives him one that says “I choo-choo-choose you” with the drawing of a train. In Spanish, this sentence has been translated in “eres muy chu-chu-chuli”.

Where is the problem? The verb choose in English has been chosen for this card because it is appropiate due to the drawing of the train. When we read it, the sound of this vehicle it can be reproduced. However, choose in Spanish means elegir, escoger, and if it had been translated literaly, we would have lost the joke of the drawing and its sound. The solution was to find a word in Spanish that could reproduce that sound. The chosen word was “chuli” (something like nice, beautiful, funny): we have the sound according to the drawing and it is appropiate to this Valentines card.

Happy Valentine!

jueves, 11 de febrero de 2016

Translation of my author website

Good afternoon.

If you have read this blog before or if you follow me in my Google profile, you'll know that, besides translator, I'm also writer. Today I have started to translate the main page of my website into English and German and little by little I hope than I can keep on translating all sections. 

The idea came after seeing my book on sale in a austrian website, in which all the information is in German. I thought that, if some visitors are interested in my book, it would be easier the access to the translated information. 

I hope that, with the translation, I could have more readers in other countries.