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Translating Your Materials

Kristin Arnold

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A client wants me to provide my English workbook in Spanish. What's the best (and most economical) way of getting my workbook translated -- and keeping my intellectual property rights?

-- Myelita Melton

  1. Use a certified translator. Just because someone speaks Spanish doesn't mean that they can provide you with accurate document translation -- especially if it's technical. The American Translators Association can help you find a contact in your area.
  2. Know the level of Spanish that your audience needs. Readability is a big issue today.
  3. Ask for references from any company you consider. Also ask for samples.
  4. Translation is more expensive that most companies realize. It is an investment and an art. To translate well and to set formatting in the same way as the original document is time consuming work.
  5. The Good, Fast, and Cheap Rule: If it's good, it won't be fast or cheap. If it's fast, it won't be good or cheap. If it's cheap -- well, you get the picture. The faster a document is turned around the more expensive it will be. It's always best to take time to have the job done correctly.
  6. I highly recommend Choice Translating in Charlotte. They work in 84 languages and provide a variety of technical services.

-- Joachim de Posada

I suggest you go to Elance and put out a bid. Get some people to bid and test them. When you have a couple of finalists, in other words, you tell them to translate a paragraph, you send the paragraph and both their translations to a native Spanish speaker and have him/her tell you who to choose.

-- Ed Rigsbee

Talk to Carlos Conejo (carlos@mculture.net), who writes, "The price is $90/hour. You keep the rights. We sign Non-disclosure agreement if your wish."

-- Jean Palmer

I have a friend, Kathleen Diamond, who started a translation company, Language Learning Enterprises, a number of years ago and it is very successful. I have no idea how much they charge but it is in DC so you could easily check it out.

-- Ava Diamond

I met a woman who does translations when I spoke recently. I've never used her, but really liked her. Her name is Maya Leon Meis, 303/422-6702, projects@voiceproductions.tv.

-- Keith MacLean

I think without a doubt the best place for translators is ProZ.com. It is a freelance site just for translators. You can even post 100-word sample of your work and many translators will give you a sample of their work along with price per word quote. If you know any Spanish speakers, you can then have them rate the translation on a scale 1-10. Then choose a translator you think you work well with, gets a high score from a Spanish speaker and has a low cost per word. I get Japanese translation work done and I get 30 applications per job, I am sure with Spanish you should get at least that many to sample.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions