Free English to Spanish Translation Guide: Find an English to Spanish Translator
Looking for an English to Spanish translator? Our free English to Spanish translation guide offers objective advice that can help.
When running a translation agency, we found that many translation buyers were missing the information they needed to make the right decisions. They did not know:
In some cases, we wound up turning potential clients away because they didn't actually need the services of a translation agency. We were able to save them a lot of money by showing them less expensive options.
This free English to Spanish translation guide will put you ahead of the game, allowing you to avoid common mistakes and deal with your translation partner as an informed consumer.
Table of Contents
Choosing a Translation Option
Comparison of Professional Translation Options. Should you use a translation agency, or should you save money by hiring a freelance English to Spanish translator directly?
How to Choose a Translation Agency. There are so many agencies out there, all advertising similar-sounding services. Here's how to find the right one.
How to Choose a Freelance Translator, Part 1 - Language and Culture. Should your English to Spanish translator be from Spain, from Mexico, or Argentina? Is a college degree in Spanish enough qualification?
How to Choose a Freelance Translator, Part 2 - Subject Area Expertise. What background in the field or subject matter of your translation does your English to Spanish translator need to have?
How to Choose a Freelance Translator, Part 3 - Credentials, References, Tests and Samples. How to read between the lines of a translator CV, how to test a translator's skills.
Do You Really Need a Subject Specialist? Depending on the subject matter of your translation, a specialist English to Spanish translator can be expensive and difficult to find. Here's advice on when it's worth finding a specialist, and what to do if you can't.
When to Hire an In-House Translator. If your company frequently needs Spanish translations, hiring an in-house English to Spanish translator might seem like a logical step. But does it really make economic sense?
Free English to Spanish Translation Tool. Get a free English to Spanish translation with a click. And read important advice about the right and wrong way to use any online English to Spanish translator.
Translation Project Management
Essential Project Management Steps. These basic steps will help you maintain control of your translation project and reduce the risk of serious problems.
Calculating Word Count. Document word count is the basis for translation pricing, so it is important to get it right. But calculating word count is not as straightforward as it may seem.
How to Prepare a Document for Translation. Proper preparation of your document before you send it to the translator can help avoid misunderstandings and save you money and time.
What to Tell Your Translator. Here are some things your translator needs to know ahead of time in order to do the job right.
Localization Checklist. Sometimes, translating the language is only part of the job. Is your text really appropriate for a foreign culture? Here is a checklist of points to look at.
How to Manage Revision. For important translations, it's often a good idea to hire an editor as well as an translator. But if not managed correctly, revision can add to your costs without improving the quality.
How to Track Revision. If you hire an reviser to check or edit your translation, you need to be able to track this person's work. Here's why and how.
Free English to Spanish Translation Guide - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Here, you will find answers to some of the most important questions about Spanish translation.
Q: Do I have to worry about differences between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish?
A: There are differences in the Spanish used in different countries, especially in terms of vocabulary. These differences are likely to be more significant in a colloquial or literary text than in a technical document.
The Spanish used in the U.S. varies depending on the part of the country. In Texas, Spanish-speakers are likely to be of Mexican origin, while in Florida, more Cuban Spanish is spoken.
When translating from English to Spanish, it is ideal if you can find an English to Spanish translator who is a native of the same type of Spanish as your intended audience. In all cases, you should inform the translator of the target country or the region where the translation will be used. An Argentine translator may make different vocabulary choices for a translation that will only be used in Argentina versus one aimed at a wider audience.
While there is no such thing as "universal" Spanish, if a translation is for multiple countries or regions, your English to Spanish translator can take that into account and try to keep vocabulary and tone as neutral as possible.
Read more advice on choosing a translator from the Free English to Spanish Translation Guide
Q: Where should I go for my Spanish translation?
A: There are many sources of translation, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs. A good freelance English to Spanish translator can provide a high-quality translation at a lower price than an agency. A translation agency will manage your whole Spanish translation project for you, offering added convenience and quality assurance.
On the other hand, if you do not need a precise translation but only a general understanding of a website or text, then a free English to Spanish translation tool might be a viable option.
Read a more detailed comparison of different translation options from the Free English to Spanish Translation Guide
"I think sometimes people are reluctant to hire a freelancer because they think a 'company' with a company name will give them a greater guarantee of professionalism, but this is a misunderstanding because, although most agencies are very professional and very strict about hiring only professional translators, there are some that cut costs by working with translators who are just starting out and have less experience or by hiring people who aren’t full-time professional translators and are doing this to make some extra cash."Q: What about free English to Spanish translation?
- Eva Obregon, Spanish to English and English to Spanish Translator
A: Free machine translators are an excellent tool to help you understand the general meaning of something written in a foreign language. However, we do not recommend using a free English to Spanish translation tool for any kind of outgoing translation. In other words, if someone else is going to be reading your translation, it can be highly risky to depend on a machine translator. Machine translations can sound awkward, silly, nonsensical, or even mean something different from the original.
Get a free English to Spanish translation online with this free English to Spanish translation tool
Why you can't trust a free English to Spanish translationQ: How much does a Spanish translation cost?
Think twice before entrusting your translation to a free English to Spanish translator. For an example of how a machine translation can go wrong, look at this sentence from a Spanish Wikipedia article about the performer Madonna, which has been translated to English using one of the most popular free online translation tools.
"Its eagerness of overcoming as artist lead to papers protagonists to him in films as She avoids, by which gained the Globe of Gold to the best actress."
What happened here?
- The Spanish pronoun "su" can mean "his," "her," "its," or "their." The machine did not "understand" that the pronoun was referring to Madonna, so it chose "its" instead of "her."
- "Papel" in Spanish can mean both "role" (as in a movie role) and "paper." The machine made the wrong choice.
- "Evita" is both a name and the Spanish word for "to avoid." The machine incorrectly translated this movie title.
A: Translation pricing is usually based on on a rate per word. In our price study of twenty U.S.-based Spanish translators, we found an average English to Spanish translator rate of $0.11 per word and an average Spanish to English translator rate of $0.12 per word.
Per word rates are most frequently multiplied by the number of words in the original language ("source words"); however, in some cases, they are applied to the words in the final language of the translation ("target words"). This is an important distinction for English to Spanish translations, where the number of target words is often more than 20% higher than the number of source words.
In general, freelance translators charge less than translation agencies. The actual amount can vary significantly depending on the translator or agency, the difficulty of the job, and other factors.
See average translation prices in the Free English to Spanish Translation Guide
Q: How long does a Spanish translation take?
A: This varies, so it is important to discuss timing with your Spanish translation partner and agree on a deadline ahead of time.
Typically, a freelance translator might be able to translate about 2500 words per day. An agency can take longer, since some time generally would be added for administrative tasks and quality control. However, the actual amount of time needed for your particular Spanish translation will depend on a number of variables, including the difficulty of the text, the amount of terminology research required, and the experience, carefulness, and availability of your English to Spanish translator.
Click here for more tips about translation timing from the Free English to Spanish Translation Guide
"When I’m translating, I spend hours looking at resources, finding the exact word that has the exact shade of meaning that is comparable to the source language."Q: What is a sworn or certified translation/translator?
- Eva Obregon, Spanish to English and English to Spanish Translator
A: The term "sworn" translation or "certified" translation normally refers to a translation which can be used as a valid legal document because a translator has taken legal responsibility for its accuracy. However, the requirements for a "sworn" translation depend on the country/state where it will be used and what it will be used for, so if you are asked for a sworn translation, be sure to find out what qualifies in the specific case.
The term "certified translator" is used in different ways. Sometimes, it means that a translator is qualified to certify translations for official purposes in a particular country. Other times, it simply means that the translator has passed some kind of translation test administered by a private or public organization. If a translator tells you that he or she is "certified," ask for more details.
English to Spanish Translation - More Resources
You can find related information on the American Translators Association website.
You can find an English-language version of the Spanish Association of Translators, Copy-editors and Interpreters website here.
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