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What is the difference between translating and interpreting?

Translating is written and interpreting is oral.

Why do I have to work with a translator? I already speak Spanish!

There is a professional for every field. Translators go to university to train for their job and, after graduation, they keep in touch with language issues, as language evolves. Speaking several languages is not enough to become a translator; you have to be an expert in your mother tongue and you have to be up to date.

Why is it useful to have my text revised?

You must have your text revised to assure the quality you deserve. People often pay lots of money for design and advertising and nobody thinks of linguistic quality. However, a text with spelling mistakes, a text that doesn’t communicate what you want to, can be very negative for your image. It is not worth taking the risk. Make sure your texts are perfect because they will also be your image.

Can a translator translate into all the languages he/she speaks?

Not at all. Translators must translate into their native language. Mine are Catalan and Spanish. That’s why I translate from English, French and Portuguese into Catalan and Spanish. If you need a translation into French, English or Portuguese, the text will be done by a native translator in those languages. This way, you’ll always have the quality you deserve.

What about machine translation (MT)?

Machine translation (MT) is still at an early stage. It does not offer enough quality and it is not comparable to human translation. Sometimes MT creates funny mistakes that can cause comical situations that could be very compromising for you. It can be acceptable in some cases, though, provided it is accompanied by a very accurate human revision.

And the computer-assisted translation (CAT)?

In computer-assisted translation, the text is translated by a person, not a machine. That makes it completely reliable. CAT systems allow you to translate formats like websites easily and it certainly helps to assure the consistency of the text.

Can a translator work with all kind of text?

Translators specialize in specific areas. I would never accept a translation about aeronautics, for instance. However, if we cannot do it, we can look for someone who can.

How much do you charge for a translation?

To calculate the cost of a translation, we take into account the following factors: language combination, how many words the text has, fee per word, text format and delivery time. For example, you have a text in Word with 2,000 words, you just have to multiply the fee by 2,000. Some formats need more dedication (websites, PowerPoint, Excel…). They have a 20% surcharge.

Why do you apply those fees?

My fees take into account the market prices and studies made by translators associations.

When will I have my translation finished?

It depends. You normally calculate 2.500 words per person and day, but it always depends on the availability. I work alone, but if you are in a hurry, we’ll find a solution. However, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

What is the difference between working with a freelance or an agency?

Normally, the agency is an intermediary: it deals with the customer but it generally outsources the job to the freelance translator. The freelance translator deals with the customer and also translates the text, which speeds up the process and, most importantly, avoids misunderstandings and commissions.

What does miteny mean?

Miteny [mi'teni] is a Malagasy word and means “speaking, communicate”.

Sara Sicart • Miteny

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