Tag Archives: Spanish translator

Tools to take your translation skills to the next level

Translating texts from a language to another might come natural to some people. Most of them are raised bilingual, and it is basically effortless. However, most translators learn a language either at University or by going to some courses. No matter where you have learned a language from, you can always improve.

Sometimes, no matter how good of a translator you are, it might seem like you could have an even greater translation of the text. There is always a possibility to improve. In addition, you might just want to use some tools to either help you improve or to save you some time. For this reason, I have come up with some tools that have helped me when I had to work as English to Spanish translator.

  1. Translation Memory Software

This type of tool is probably one of the most known. What does this type of software do? Well, it basically splits the text that needs to be translated into some parts that are known as segments. The person translating the text keeps on translating, and at the same time, this software saves your text in a database that contains segments of text that have already been translated. If the program identifies a new segment of text that looks like a segment that has previously been translated, it suggests a translation that can be reused. It is possible that some of the programs do not use a database, but preloaded documents that are used as reference.

Here are some examples of translation memory programs: Trados, Similis, Meta Texis.

  1. Language search engine software

This type of search engines have a similar mechanism to traditional search engines, except for the fact that they do not search for the results on the Internet. They use a big database of translation memory to retrieve results. The main goal of these programs is to find in this database, some segments of texts that have been translated before, and which happen to match this new text that is going to be translated. One example of such program is: Linguee.

  1. Terminology management software

Another type of tool that can come in handy for translator is terminology management software. What does this type of tool do? Well, it basically lets the translation automatically look up terms from a new document in a database. A few of these programs even let the translator the possibility to add in the database some pairs of words that are synonyms. In addition, the translator has the possibility to see if the terms are translated correctly (according to the synonyms provided in the context), and then make the necessary adjustments. An example of this type of software is Termex.

  1. Alignment software

These types of programs give the translator the possibility to create a translation memory by using the same text. This means that the program analyzes the text in order to see whether there are some segments that repeat themselves. In addition, you can save the results and import them in a translation memory software, so that you can use it again in the future. An example of such software is: You Align.

  1. Other useful tools
  2. Proofreading software

Sometimes, you rush into translating a text. You write the translation fast, and, of course, some errors might slip. You might not even notice them. Maybe it is just a matter of a comma, or a matter of a simple accent that can change the whole meaning of a sentence. You can take cambio (= I change) and cambió(= he changed). By using a proofreading software, you can make sure that some errors that you might have not noticed are avoided.

  1. Grammar checking software

Proofreading sometimes mostly focuses on the spelling of the words, and not as much on the grammar. If you are a perfectionist, like I am, you could try to use these two types of programs together. After all, the quality of your work is what defines you. If you are a freelancer, like I am, the work that you do is your portfolio, and you want to keep your clients, by providing the best possible results. You should try using Gramarly, and I have even written a review about it, that you can read on my blog.

  1. A good dictionary

There are many online dictionaries available. I personally, prefer some that put the words into context. Such an example is Leo. After I look for a word to see the translation, what I would also normally do is to look it up on that language’s official dictionary. For example, for Spanish it is RAE (Real Academia Española), and for English OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Of course, you can use whatever suits you better. You can even rely on a physical dictionary, but it might take you more time.

As you can see, nowadays there are many different options for translators to use in order to take their skills to the new level, or even save them some time. Of course, there are many more useful tools that translators and freelancers alike can use, some of which are reviewed in this blog.

What I would advise you to do, is to at least try the tools that I have mentioned in this article. If for example, a program has a free trial, give it a go. It might even end up being the tool that you have always needed and did not even know that it would help you. After all, most of the greatest discoveries were made by accident. These tools might just be your happy accident.

So, I guess that now you have a few more aces down your sleeve. If you already use one of these tools or have tried them before, write me a comment in the comments section, and maybe we can compare opinions about it. Until then, I wish you “happy translations” and may you finish them fast and correctly. If not, use a proofreader.

Tips to improve your translating skills

Translating a text from English to Spanish might not be up your alley. It might seem easy at first, but the deeper you go, the harder it gets. However, you know what they say, with practice comes improvement. Work hard and anything is possible. If you want a shortcut to achieve a better English to Spanish translation, then, this is your chance. This article provides you with some tips and tricks to get you in a better translating shape. Seems great, right? Read on to see for yourself.

  • Read more

As simple as this tip might sound, it is key to improving your English to Spanish translating skills. Reading various texts from different domains will help you widen your vocabulary. You might ask yourself: why do I need to know the word for “bobby pin” in Spanish. Then, one day, you get to translate a text which has this word in it and you find yourself spending a few minutes trying to find it in the dictionary. Improving your vocabulary beforehand might seem a bit tedious, but it pays in the long run.

  • Learn expressions

I do not know how to stress this more. It is really important to know idiomatic expressions. The more you know, the less likely you are to make a fool out of yourself when translating them. You can try looking up whether some expressions in English have an equivalent expression in Spanish. This way, the text will not lose its meaning. Do not translate expressions word by word. It is a major mistake. Expressions are essential as they are a key part of the language. Please keep this in mind when you make your English to Spanish translation.

  • Try translating the same text back and forth

This could be a good exercise if you are starting to translate texts. The best thing that you can do is to try an English to Spanish translation and then translate the text back into English. See if it makes sense. Does it have the same meaning? If the answer is yes, then you are making the right move. If however, the answer is not positive, then you might just have to work a bit more on your translating skills. Trying out this exercise a few times will definitely make you a better translator. I guarantee it.

Making an English to Spanish translation could seem easy, but it can also come hard. However, there is always place for improvement. This is why you should try out these tips. See if they work. This might just be your shortcut to being a better translator. You never know. One step at a time, your skills will improve in no time. However, if you want something even faster, you can always hire an English to Spanish translator. After all, it is the fastest way to have your text ready in no time. Until then, you can practice your translating skills.