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Client Testimonials

"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

A1 Translations: Frequently Asked Questions
 

How much will it cost?

altTranslation prices vary.  While high prices do not necessarily guarantee high quality, low prices will almost certainly not give you the quality of translation that your company, product or service demands.  After all, if a translator is charging little more than a cleaner or babysitter, they are unlikely to be giving your job the attention and care it deserves.

 

Who should translate?

Always use a professional.  Professionals only translate into their native language.  Professionals get their work checked and proofread to ensure top quality.

Translations are often done by non-native speakers struggling away with a grammar book in one hand and a dictionary in the other.  The results are often only good for a laugh and not appropriate for a professional company or organisation.

While using a friend or relative, eg a languages teacher or a languages student may appear attractive and less expensive, you are unlikely to get what you want.  Their skills are rarely the same as those needed to produce a smooth, stylish translation.

See also:

F**cked translations

F**cked translations make Spain a laughing stock!

The translator and the cleaning lady‏

 

How important is style?

For translation of correspondence received in a language foreign to the client, for example, a rough gist translation may be sufficient, but for a reply or for promotional material such as leaflets, brochures, websites, etc, accuracy and style are very important.

What about translation software?

There is no substitute for a human being.  A machine, such as a computer, cannot possibly hope to understand the nuance or tone of a text, or take into account the style or grammar of the original.  It may not even select the correct word or phrase.  We’ve all seen countless examples of translations which are, quite frankly, nonsense.  Take many tourist leaflets, some websites, countless restaurant menus, even expensive neon signs!

See also:

More translation howlers!

Scum sauce?

 

Do punctuation and accents matter?

Yes, of course, and different languages have different conventions.  For example, French has a space between a word and the colon that follows, and writes quotation marks « ..... ».  In German, quotation marks are  „ ..... “ and in Spanish hyphens are used.  In German, all nouns begin with a capital letter, and in Spanish and French neither months nor days of the week take an initial capital. And do not use a mere “n” in Spanish when an “ñ” is required, otherwise you risk getting nonsense or causing offence, eg in the USA a bilingual banner celebrated 100 anos of municipal history. Año is year; ano is anus!

Do bilingual people make good translators?

Not necessarily.  Bilinguals, while they may speak two languages fluently, may not always be good at moving information between the two, especially in writing, and they may not be skilled at translation.

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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Phrase of the Week...

CUANDO LAS RANAS CRIEN PELO.

Pigs might fly! (lit: When frogs grow hair!)

Clients of A1 Solutions Spain

Daimler-Benz AG

Car Manufacturer, Stuttgart, Germany

Clients - Past and Present