Being bilingual alone does not a translator make

Being bilingual is not the same thing as being able to translate between two languages. It may seem like someone who can speak both languages should have all they require to function as a translator. In reality there are plenty of people who speak English as well as Spanish but couldn’t qualify as an English to Spanish Translator. Spanish to English translators need to not only be familiar with the words themselves but also the context and cultural connotations. When it comes to translation it is important to be able to convey the intent of what is being spoken, more than the actual words themselves.

London Translation Blog

English to Spanish Translators: “Direct” Mistakes

If you focus on only translating the words directly, then you are going to miss out on what the speaker is trying to convey. For instance, it is pretty normal for someone to refer to something popular in English as something that is “hot.” Of course, if the English to Spanish translators only focus on the words themselves then someone is likely to think the temperature has increased. Even though the word itself was translated correctly, the intent was not conveyed correctly. You would actually want a word that is a synonym for popular rather than hot.

While my above example of English to Spanish translators making a mistake is likely to only end up in a slightly annoying confusion, it could be much worse. Take as an example a man who has food poisoning and is rushed to the hospital. The hospital has no Spanish to English translators, so they rely on his bilingual sister to translate what is being said instead. His family is trying to convey to the doctor why he is ill and use the word “intoxicado” to describe his food poisoning. The sister translates this directly into “intoxicated” for the doctors, who then treat him for an overdose. Of course a native English speaker knows that poisoned and intoxicated while almost being synonyms do not actually mean the same thing contextually. Had there been a proper English to Spanish translators he would have gotten the correct treatment faster, and would have gotten to keep the four limbs he lost.

Another important thing to keep in mind when looking for English to Spanish translators that not every form of Spanish is the same. The forms of Spanish spoken in Spain and Mexico while having the same name, are in substance very very different. If you took two people, each who only spoke one form of Spanish, you would need a translator for them to communicate as well. It is important to find out what forms of the language any Spanish to English translators you are looking to hire actually specialize in. Otherwise you could end up with a translator who can’t actually translate from or to the language you need them for. Always be smart, ask questions, and make sure whoever you hire is capable of providing the service you require. Our English to Spanish translators will always let you know what languages, dialects, and forms, they can translate accurately for.