I’m Paula López Herrera

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

All that glitters is not gold

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard someone say:

  • “Why are you going to hire a translator? Give it to me; I’ve lived in England for a year, I’ll translate it for you“.
  • “Hey, you’re bilingual. Can you translate this email for me?”

So far, so good, maybe you haven’t even heard the alarm bells ringing yet, and you haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, don’t worry, it happens to everyone. But what would you think if I recommend you to tell my friend to sew your sister’s wedding dress because she took an embroidery course last summer? Or what if I suggested to you that a buddy who was in The Boy Scouts when he was a kid and took a first aid course take out your tooth? You don’t have to answer. I already know what you’re going to say. I’m sure you’d think I had lost my marbles and couldn’t be serious. This is exactly what happens to me when I hear sentences like the ones stated before. Although translation is one of the world’s oldest professions, it’s still being questioned. I’m here to try to change it.

We peel fruits, don't we? Well, that’s exactly what translators do with words

Translating entails more than simply transforming words from one language to another; it goes beyond that. Translating is about conveying the feelings and sensations buried underneath the message, leaving aside the original words. And what does this mean? First, it means that while translating, we must “unwrap” the words, removing their peel (signifier) and keeping their flesh (signified).

In an ever-changing globalised world, our words can reach any part of the globe in a couple of seconds. So there’s just one little (big) issue: for our message to be understood everywhere, we need the help of a linguistic professional, a translator.

And if the translation is so important, why haven't I noticed it before?

We can find translations here and there; in fact, we consume translations daily, in the food we eat, in the books we read, in the series and films we watch, in the soap we wash with, and so on. Perhaps you’ve just learned this, or maybe you already knew it; translations always surround us, but we are unaware of it for many reasons:

  1. No one has ever told you before.
  2. You didn’t know they were needed since you didn’t pay for them.
  3. Is all this really translated?

We can use products from all over the world and understand messages from other cultures thanks to translation. Thus, translation makes life easier and further connects an interconnected world.

Translators are made, not born

Some people are born knowing how to paint, and some learn to do it, just as there are born people knowing how to sing and others who gain this talent through practice. When translating, the same thing happens, you aren’t a translator because you have an English father and a Spanish mother. Translating requires specific skills, abilities and techniques that can only be acquired by studying; they aren’t innate. Translators know the quirks and complexities of each of the languages we work with and how to use the words to achieve the same effect.

Perfect recipe

A translator is your best ally if you’ve already written your text and want to take it abroad. The translation is the icing on the cake, i.e., something that makes a good situation even better.

Action speaks louder than words. What people will remember is how your words made them feel. So leave your words in the hands of a translator.

Now, having read all this, do you want to take a look at my translation services?

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