I’m Paula López Herrera

Conference interpreter, translator, language lover and with a zest for helping others

Related to translation, interpreting and languages

Are you interested in translation, interpreting and languages and don’t know which book to read? Looking for suggestions? Congratulations, you’ve come to the right place.

The world of interpreting is constantly changing. So, if you want to become an expert and learn how to navigate the intricate seas of translation and interpreting, remember that there is always more to learn. Reading books is a terrific way to maintain learning. Sometimes it is hard to choose which book to read, so here is a list of my recommendations. This list of books is not ordered by relevance, as they are all fascinating. But, as we were taught in school: changing the order of the operands does not change the result.

If you are a translation student or already work in this field, I imagine that several of these books have already passed through your hands. However, there may still be some that you are unaware of. As the saying goes, knowledge takes up no space. Grab a notebook and a pen, jot down the books you find interesting and start soaking up the knowledge.


An exciting and entertaining book in which Gabriel Cabrera, interpreter, tells us some anecdotes so that we can all learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid doing them ourselves. As it’s said, it’s by making mistakes that we learn.

Ni fu ni fuck. English by the face

I love idioms; therefore, this book is a must-have on my bookshelf. In this fun book, we call the shots, turn the tables on and are served a menu of English expressions. If you here a specific idiom while interpreting and your legs shake, after reading this book everything will be easy-peasy.

Técnicas de interpretación consecutiva: la toma de notas. Manual para el estudiante
(Consecutive interpreting techniques: note-taking. Student's handbook)

Here Clara Bosch explains in detail what consecutive interpreting entails, its phases and how it is carried out. She also focuses on note-taking, the warhorse issue of interpreting students, showing us a wide range of symbols and examples of note-taking.

Su alteza, el intérprete
(Your Highness, the interpreter)

In this book, Ewandro Maglhães talks about the peculiarities of simultaneous interpreting, debunks some of the myths about the profession and offers recommendations.

El síndrome de la impostora. ¿Por qué las mujeres siguen sin creer en ellas mismas?
(The imposter syndrome: Why do women still not believe in themselves?)

I’m sure you’ve experienced this syndrome since who hasn’t? Elisabeth Cadoche and Anne de Montarlot investigate the psychological origins of this phenomenon, explain how other women have dealt with it and give us tools to help us to believe in ourselves and gain confidence.

El fantasma del libro
(The ghost of the book)

Javier Calvo discusses the translation profession, its presence and its invisibility. A book that talks about everything that goes into translating a book. Even though the world is full of translations, our profession remains relatively unknown and invisible.

Somos lo que hablamos. El poder terapéutico de hablar y hablarnos
(We are what we talk about. The therapeutic power of talking and talking to each other)

Through his personal experiences and extended professional career in which communication has been crucial, psychologist Luis Rojas Marcos demonstrates the fundamental function of language. A fascinating book about the importance and benefits of speaking to communicate with others and with oneself.

Diccionario euléxico para expresarse con estilo y rigor
(Eulexic dictionary for expressing oneself with style and rigour)

Javier Boneu compiles 1800 nouns and matches them with verbs and adjectives that accurately express their actions and qualities. After reading this book, using language to communicate and convince will be easier, more pleasant, and entertaining.

Lost in Translation

Ella Frances Sanders lists some of the words that express universal experiences and emotions that are difficult to translate. It is also beautifully illustrated.

Forewarned is forearmed; when you’ve finished books, you’ll want to keep learning, and you’ll want to keep reading. As Michel Jean Legrand said, “The more I learn, the more I realise, the less I know.” I hope you enjoy and learn from reading these books.

Other colleagues have also recommended books on translation, interpreting and languages. Here are the links so that you can also have a look at them.

  1. En la luna de Babel.
  2. Between Traducciones.
  3. Leon Hunter.

Can you recommend any books on translation, interpreting or languages that you think are worth reading and aren’t on this list? I’ll read you in the comments.

Are you looking for someone to translate one of your books? Take a look at my services.

3 thoughts on “9 must-read books”

  1. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
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