Seven Steps of the Spanish Translation Process


The translation process may seem like a mysterious, daunting, and even foreign concept for many beginner translators, which is why we have devised this easy 7-step translation process for you. Please use and reference it whenever you are unsure of which step is next in your translation process. Feel free to share it with friends too!

Spanish Translation Process in Seven Steps

Step 1: The Preparation:

Spanish translators must begin the translation process by asking the following questions: What is the nature of the text that needs to be translated? Is it literary, technical, descriptive, informational or communicative? Who is the target audience? They must also be prepared to ask hard questions about their ability; for example, are they capable of handling this particular translation? Will they have enough time to complete the Spanish translation? Will they need any special dictionaries or any special reference material? If a Spanish translation of the text already exists, translators must peruse that previous translation.

Step 2:Reading the Source Text:

Spanish translators must read the source text more than once. They must be sure they comprehend the text entirely and not in patches. They should be in frequent touch with the author of the source text or the client to clear their doubts and ascertain their requirements. Repeated readings of the source text should allow translators to arrive at its true meaning and form an idea of the style. It should draw translators´ attention to special features of the source text and the range of idioms, metaphors, proverbs, and allusions that the author may have employed.

Step 3:Research:

If the text is simple and straightforward, then translators are spared the pains of additional research. Otherwise they might have to do some background reading; they may have to study recent publications on the subject in the source language, the target language as well as in translation; they must examine already existing translations of similar subject matter; they must look up the meanings of unfamiliar words, idioms and proverbs.

Step 4: Tackling Difficult Parts:

If confronted with difficulties in comprehension, translators should re-write in their words the parts that are difficult to understand. The same approach must be employed in the case of similes and metaphors. If any part of the source text needs amplification, this too needs to be carried out at this stage. But all the re-writing must be done in the source language. Re-writing will ensure that translators have understood the true meaning of the text.

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Step 5:The First Draft:

While making the first draft in Spanish translation, translators must work with units of meaning that make sense. A unit of meaning may be a phrase or a sentence or even a paragraph. But it is never a chapter in its entirety. At this stage, translators should aim for accuracy and not elegance of expression. Once the first draft is completed, translators should work on the title.

Step 6: The Second and the Subsequent Drafts:

Translators should read and re-read the first draft, looking out keenly for any kind of mistakes and distortions.

Step 7: The Final Draft:

After ironing out the errors, translators should concentrate on editing the Spanish translation. Editing will consist of all activities that will improve the face value of the translation, that is, format, margins, punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc.

Following all these steps of the translation process will yield a text in Spanish translation that is professional as well as polished. It will also allow translators to achieve a balance between faithfulness to the source text and readability in the target language.

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