Monthly Archives: September 2009

Machismo in Spanish Writing?

I frequently notice in translations from English into Spanish that the translator attempts to make explicit an author’s reference to both sexes with the following type of construction: Todos los/as niños/as deberán entregar esta documentación. The idea is that in this way, “las niñas” (the girls) aren’t left out of the picture.  However, according to […]

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Overcoming the Global Economic Crisis with Professional Translation

The present global economic scenario is looking pretty dire, and companies all over the planet are looking for clever new ways to maintain their customer base and expand it in new directions. The necessity to reach out into new markets is underscored by the fact that many traditionally solid markets (such as the United States […]

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The Role of Interpreters in Afghanistan

I recently posted on how the US government is addressing a shortage of translators and interpreters in its efforts in the Middle East, most notably Pakistan and Afghanistan. Today, Joshua Foust in the New York Times gives us a glimpse into the reality of how interpreters work with the military in these countries. The stories […]

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Triphthongs in Spanish

A triphthong is a sequence of three vowels making up one syllable. Some examples in Spanish would be: a – pre – ciáis, co – piéis, buey. For a triphthong to exist, two closed atonic vowels (“i” or “u”) and, between them, an open vowel (“a”, “e”, or “o”): anunciáis, guau, miau, confiéis. Sequences of […]

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How to Use Two-Word Nouns in Spanish

In Spanish, in constructions made up of two nouns that form one lexical unit in which the second noun modifies the first as if it were an adjective, usually only the first one will be expressed as plural. Examples: horas punta (peak hours) bombas lapa (naval mines) faldas pantalón (culotte shorts) ciudades dormitorio (commuter cities) […]

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When Translations Get Tricky

It’s common in the translation field to come across projects that evince enormous intercultural differences, obliging the translator to come up with some sort of ingenious solution to the issue.  On the one hand, translators can try to tweak the message of the text to render an appropriate final result, but this is usually frowned […]

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