Translation courses ES-EN in Spain
Thread poster: JCdizzystar

JCdizzystar
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
May 19, 2015

Hi everyone,

Could anyone give me any information on translation courses for native English speakers in Spain? Or online courses? I've been searching for information online but I can't see that any one qualification stands out above the rest and I don't want to waste money on a course that isn't respected.

Any advice or opinions would be gratefully received!

Thanks


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:59
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Well May 19, 2015

I can't speak for Spain, but in Portugal, there are no such courses designed specifically for native English speakers. There are translation courses/workshops/etc. for any kind of user of the source language.
Somewhat makes me believe there is no such specification in Spain either.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Why bother? May 20, 2015

The only ones I know of are run by private academies and (if you ask me) aren't really worth the paper they're printed on. It would be interesting to know why you think a translation course or official qualification is necessary. Also, for example, what your intentions/aims are, your current educational achievements, etc. If your native language is English, it would be interesting to know your current level of Spanish mastery too.

In my opinion the best way to learn is hands-on, i.e. by working.

[Edited at 2015-05-20 07:05 GMT]

Rather than try to be discouraging, I'd say just have a go at it anyway. After all, you can only gain experience by working. However, I do recommend (although this may be terribly old-fashioned) reading The Translator's Handbook by Frederick Fuller, as it's a practical guide to translating from French and Spanish with a lot of examples of tricky issues. If you manage to find it and enjoy reading it, I reckon you'll probably enjoy translating too...

And I'd avoid anything to do with "translation theory"... which in my experience has little relation to the practical reality of translation as an "industry".

[Edited at 2015-05-20 11:53 GMT]


 

JCdizzystar
Spain
Local time: 03:59
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Translation course May 20, 2015

Thanks for your replies,

I'm a native English speaker with a degree in Spanish but no translation experience. I'm considering a career change to translation, but before making any big changes I feel I need to try my hand at translating, which I would rather do via a course.

I'm not really to start selling my services to anyone as I'm inexperienced, and I need to know that I actually CAN translate, and whether I enjoy it. So I would like to do a course for beginners, and then if all goes well I can consider professional qualifications. I am hoping that someone out there can say to me, "I did such-and-such a course which helped me get started, and then I gained some professional experience and went from there". I'm not in a position to do a masters or a full-time course, so I'm ideally looking for a part-time online course. It's interesting to know if such courses are well regarded - you say they are not - but even if they don't hold much value in terms of qualifying someone to become a translator, I feel that for me it is necessary for me to learn how to translate and see if I like doing it.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Respected, or simply useful? May 20, 2015

To be honest, most clients, particularly direct clients (rather than agency clients) just want a nice warm feeling; to be confident that they'll get a good translation. Very few of them will put much faith in a particular qualification, in fact they might well choose a totally unqualified translator over one with an MA in Translation simply because of that feeling.
JCdizzystar wrote:
I would like to do a course for beginners, and then if all goes well I can consider professional qualifications. I am hoping that someone out there can say to me, "I did such-and-such a course which helped me get started, and then I gained some professional experience and went from there".

I can say that, certainly. Have a look at the one in my profile. I did FR>EN, but they do ES>EN, too. Not too expensive, flexible time-wise, interesting reading matter, clearly 'real' texts, many subject areas covered, mixed assignments (multiple choice questions, short answers, discuss problems, translate part/all of a text), loads of feedback...

I felt at the end that I actually knew what a professional translator's job consists of, rather than simply being able to sort of translate French into English. I was still very much a beginner, but one with a bit of an idea. It gave me the confidence to look the client in the eyes (virtually, anyway) and say, "I can", with fingers firmly crossed. Has any client has ever been impressed or put off by that very basic certificate? I have no idea - it's never been mentioned. However, on a site like ProZ.com you need to be able to fill in as many boxes as possible in your profile. But really its value to me was personal, as self-confidence is absolutely essential for all freelancers.


 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Commend May 20, 2015

Personally, I think that your plan to make sure that translation is the field for you, and that you *can* translate, before you take on paid work is a good one. It's people who don't do this sort of due diligence that bring down the professional reputation of translators as a whole. I recommend the on line course at the University of Cardiff. There was a new topic every week, an (arduous) related translation, and careful evaluation of my work. After we had completed each assignment, the instructor posted his version, which gave me some useful perspective. Another option (which I personally know nothing about) would be to find a working translator who would pass on some assignments to you (assuming his or her NDA would allow it) and correct them (with tracked changes) in exchange for payment from you, or perhaps in exchange for your help with formatting tables, copying numbers, and such. In the Exchange section of this ProZ.com site you can post requests for mentorship, but the details of each arrangement would vary greatly, I assume.

[Edited at 2015-05-20 14:08 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:59
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Just hire an editor to give you feedback May 20, 2015

JCdizzystar wrote:

and I need to know that I actually CAN translate


If that's all you want to know, there's no need to enroll in a course. Just find something to translate in a field that interests you and/or in which you might wish to work (no need for it to be too long, a few pages should suffice), translate it, and hire a professional translator to edit it for you. The cost will probably be manageable, and their redlines and comments should tell you everything you need to know. If you think that would be too embarrassing, you can always tell them that you had it translated but want a second opinion about the quality.icon_wink.gif

[/quote]


 


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Translation courses ES-EN in Spain

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