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Spanish text translation

Hey there everyone.  I know this isn't really software related but I'm hoping some of you might have a good resource to share and that it's okay to ask this here.  Have any of you ever used a professional service to translate website text into Spanish? If so, who? I've got a client who wants their site translated into Spanish by a professional. When I google it, I get lots of hits and lots of different pricing. I'm just wondering if anyone has had any good experiences they could tell me about.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Thanks Trollop.  Did you use them?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

My wife was born in Cuba, grew up in Havana, Madrid, and Buenos Aires and is a certified English-Spanish translator. She does some freelance translation for software and web use. If you'd like a quote send me an email.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

I worked previously for Hillsborough County, Florida ( We did a lot of research into methods of translating our site into Spanish. Though we ended up going with a automated service (WorldLingo - you can see the translations at the bottom of the page) we did do a significant amount of research on manual methods. If you email me, I'll be more than happy to provide you with a contact there who can get you more information than you would probably care to know.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

It really depends. Is this just general banter, or something more vertical. Don't let a "general" translator handle domain specific texts.
e.g. for telecoms, prefer services such as over "ordinary" translators. It might cost a tadd more, but will save you from major embarrasments.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, August 23, 2004

please don't use any automatic translator, that sucks.

also be careful when selecting translate to "what" spanish, the southamerican spanish is plaged with words not used in Spain, so act depending of your client base, but i think spanish-from-Spain is better to share to the complete spanish people.

Monday, August 23, 2004

"please don't use any automatic translator, that sucks."

It also sucks when you have about 10k pages of content that have to be not only translated, but maintained on a regular basis by non-spanish speaking web staff.

"also be careful when selecting translate to "what" spanish, the southamerican spanish is plaged with words not used in Spain, so act depending of your client base, but i think spanish-from-Spain is better to share to the complete spanish people."

I agree with this wholeheartedly. In Tampa we have a large spanish speaking population - but that doesn't mean they all speak the same Spanish. We had a lot of complaints from the Spanish community that we weren't using a specific dialetic. But again, with the number of pages, and number of people who needed to use it, we picked a dialetic that hit the middle as best as we could so a majority of the people could understand it.

The winning point for WorldLingo was their use of a custom dictionary and skip tags. For example, one of our commissioners had the last name of Storms. Without the skip tag, that would be translated, not left as a proper name. In addition, we could specify domain-specific words to be translated how we wanted them to be translated.

From our research, manual translation is the way to go *if* you can afford it, and *if* you can keep up with it.  The company we went with allowed us to have our site translated in something like 13 different languages for about half the cost and time to translate our entire site. But, again, we were a much larger site, so YMMV.

Guillermo - OT slightly, but did you take a look at the site? We worked very hard to make sure that it could be understood by most people, and I would be interested in what your opinion was of it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

My message about automatic translate to spanish was for the OP.


your website reports: "Server Error
We're sorry, but an error has occurred while processing your request"

- also some images with error when mousemove (i.e. business)

- along with square miles would be nice including the population.

- the spanish translation are really bad, but maybe better that nothing in all...

Monday, August 23, 2004

You can use an automatic translator and then get a native Spanish speaker to inform you what sucks, and get that translated professionally.

However, I would suggest doing it all manually unless you don't have a budget and don't care about appearing ridiculous. You should be able to get a passable translator for about ten cents a word, but the problem is you might have to pay a fair mark up fpr the agency.

The Spanish term for a sworn translator is "traductor jurado" and for general work that should be sufficient guarantee since they have to take an exam. However I am only familiar with translation into peninsular Spanish; if you need American Spanish in any of its various forms, then you will have to look for the appropriate qualification. There is an official postgraduate school of translation at Madrid, and the standard is very high - I remember reading a book written by the Chairman and it was top quality. You could contact them and ask for alumni. But don't expect it to be cheap. Translatiion is as difficult as programming, and the salaries for professionals will probably come to about two-thirds the equivalent of programmers salaries.

Stephen Jones
Monday, August 23, 2004

Machine translation is almost always instantly recognisable as such.  And it carries a pretty strong message - "this company doesn't care about your language."

Given that the average wage in Spanish-speaking parts of the Americas is considerably lower than English-speaking parts, I would have thought it would be perfectly possible to find human translators willing to offer quotes competitive with the licensing costs of top-range machine translation software.

Monday, August 23, 2004

I agree with Guillermo.  You have to identify first your potential clients. Being a spanish native speaker (from South America), I can distinguish different styles i.e. I can tell if a text is written by an Argentinean or by a Mexican, but I can understand all of them (with the exception of span-glish written by “hispanics” from the US which is dreadful). If you are targeting a specific country you may want to look for a native to translate your texts.  If you are targeting more than one country you can use standard spanish, that is, you avoid using any local colloquial expressions, etc.  I’d recommend a professional for that. I have used online translators before and believe me they don’t work. I use them as dictionaries no more.

Cecilia Loureiro
Monday, August 23, 2004

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