q + a
Here are a few questions I have been asked about my services. If your question doesn't appear here, please feel free to contact me.
Can I hire you to translate at a meeting/hospital appointment/interview?
You’re thinking of interpreting. Oral or face-to-face translation requires a very different skill set to written translation. However, if do you need an interpreter, feel free to get in touch and I may be able to put you in touch with a qualified colleague in my network.
Can you translate this English document into Portuguese?
Translators tend to only translate into their native language. Even a translator who is perfectly fluent in their second language can slip up sometimes, and when you pay for a professional service you naturally want perfection. Beware of people advertising themselves as “native speakers” of more than one language, there are not as many truly bilingual translators out there as it may seem!
I need a Portuguese document translating into English, why do I need a qualified translator? Couldn’t I just get a friend or colleague who speaks both languages to translate it for me?
Having two hands doesn't make me a pianist. Speaking two languages doesn't make your friend a translator. By not using a professional translator you could end up with a poorly-written document with incorrect terminology and messy English. Why risk it? Would you trust someone who is "good with computers" with installing a new IT system for your business? Of course not; you'd hire a professional.
Or I could use Google Translate for free?
While Google Translate is great for getting the gist of a text, it is not a replacement for a professional human translation service. Only a human can spot the subtleties in a text, make awkward phrases sound natural, and generally make a text sound like it was originally written in the target language. Furthermore, using Google Translate risks the confidentiality of the text in your document.
Which variant of Portuguese/Spanish do you translate?
I am able to translate European, Brazilian and African variants of Portuguese, and European and Latin American variants of Spanish. The only issue is the English: I am a UK native, so if you need your document translating into US English, you will need to find another translator.
Do you provide certified translations?
The short answer is no. Different countries and organisations have different requirements for certified translations, but in the UK it is generally accepted that only a full member of one of the accredited professional translation bodies can provide certified translations. I would advise searching for a suitable translator on the ITI Directory.
If you have any other questions, please contact me.