I was going to write a post like this in the New Year but today something happened to bring it forward.
This morning as I was looking at the statistics about the visitors to this site, I saw that one was a referral from a page. As a professional translator I was not surprised by how bad the translation is. Here are a couple of examples:

As you can see the first example has changed the meaning entirely from “on life in slow spain” to “about the slowness of life in Spain” as well as translating the title. The second example has taken this further and translated the words “Thansgiving Day” thus making the entry useless and the has used the word “store” as a verb instead of as a noun.

What’s all this got to do with the aforementioned crossroads?
Well this site and the podcast take up quite a lot of time and to really make this into a fantastic service we would have to dedicate much more time to it – which is what we want to do as both Ana and I really enjoy creating slow spain. Of course the problem is the day job – Ana is a civil servant and I am a freelance English teacher and translator. Together we also do translations from English to Spanish or Catalan and Ana translates from Spanish to Catalan or vice versa. We also do proof reading and editing in all three languages. We are also working on “Montse guitar sessions” and sometimes do voice-over work.

To try to dedicate more time to slow spain we are looking for ways to “monetize”. Recently we have recorded some phrases for another blog (more to come on this) and I am writing some articles on Spain for some other blogs as well.So I want to offer our services to you our readers and listeners and also to ask if there are other things we should be doing? Maybe you would like us to do a beginners course? Then please get in touch by leaving a comment or though the contact page. Or maybe you would like to contract us to make a video in any or all of our three languages or help in setting up your own podcast. I am now doing a very specialised course for English learners, maybe you would be interested in the same for your Spanish? Another idea is a consultancy about life/legal matters in Spain both for people who live here and those who thinking about coming to make the country their home. From January, Ana will be doing “conversation classes” via skype and, as you can see from the examples above, if you need a translator it’s better not to use a machine, so please consider us.

We have reached a crossroads and we know which direction we want to go in – we would like your contributions also. Don’t hesitate to contact us to talk about a project or idea we could help you with or if you find the slow spain podcast useful, you could simply leave us a “tip” via paypal.

¡Gracias! 🙂


5 thoughts on “Crossroads?

  1. Pingback: Voices en Español » Lost in translation: Why online translators generally suck

  2. Hi Chris,
    Those automated online translators are really goofy. It seems like accurate translation done by computers is some kind of holy grail in the Internet business. Good thing we humans haven’t totally surrendered!!

  3. Pingback: Voces en español » Un ejemplo por el que las traducciones de internet no son buena idea

  4. When I come across a US website that has the “little flags” on it, I check the French translation and report the (bad) quality thereof to the site owners. In one case, the owner kindly told me that because it attracts customers anyway, it is better than nothing and therefore will continue to be used.

  5. Hi Nadine – I don’t think people realise how bad these things are for their image. A large number of Spanish company websites are so badly translated into English that I’m sure that many potential clients must think that if they are so careless in this area, how must the rest of the business be?

    A good example of a professional image added to is that of Voices en Español (see above)

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