Main errors when translating from English to Spanish

Translating might not be the easiest thing to do. I mean, at first it seems like: Oh, I can do that. You look deeper, then you find out the translating from English to Spanish is not really a piece of cake. Why? Well, there are some words that just sound better in English. Think about translating jokes. Simply do not try this at home. Some things are better left in their original language. Below are some of the main errors that you should avoid when translating form English to Spanish.

  • Do not translate jokes

I know that I have mentioned this above, but is really really important not to try this at home. Well, of course you can try it at your own risk. However, here is why you should not in any circumstances try to translate jokes, whether it is an English to Spanish translation of from any language to another. Some cultures have different humor than others. What may seem funny to Brits, might not amuse the Spaniards. In addition, some of the humor might be lost in translation. If you are brave, you can try this at home, but do not say that I have not warned you.

  • Do not translate word by word

When translating from a language to another, in this case, an English to Spanish translation, we should avoid translating word by word. Why? Because some words may change their meaning according to their context and also because we might also encounter expressions along the way. What is the best way to translate then? It is quite simple: you have to read the full sentence, sometimes the sentences before and after, and then translate according to the context. This way, you will have a fool proof translation.

  • Pay attention to false cognates

As mentioned above, it is really important to be aware of your context. Double check word meanings before making a fool of yourself. You probably already know the most common mistake: I am embarrassed (=Estoy embarazada, which means I am pregnant, instead of estoy avergonzada, which is the correct translation). A simple mistake like this one can have a huge impact on your whole English to Spanish translation. In addition, it will make your translation seem less credible and people will have a hard time hiring you again. It is better to be safe than sorry. Double checking is a must.

Translating from English to Spanish might not be the easiest thing to do. However, if you avoid these three mistakes you are one step closer to mastering the whole thing. It might not be as easy as you think at first, but in time, you will acquire the necessary skills. Just remember, if you are not sure about your translation, you can always hire a proofreader to double check your work. After all, who knows better than a native if your text is correct?

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