Friday, 31 July 2015

Emerald Lamp: Spanish to English translation, editing and proofreading services


Editing and proofreading

I am a freelance translator translating from Spanish into English. A native British English speaker, I learned Spanish while living and working in Spain and have been translating for about five years. I also have over 15 years’ experience as a newspaper journalist and eight years as a freelance editor and writer.

Academic qualifications include: BA (history), BSc (psychology, first class honours), MA (developmental psychology), Advanced Translator Training Certificate. 

Specialist translation areas: psychology, psychiatry, general medicine, midwifery and healthcare. 

I am also happy (and experienced) translating work on archaeology, architecture, geology, fine art (painting) and literature. 

Formats include: academic articles, newspaper articles, books (fiction and non-fiction), catalogues, reports, websites, and personal documents. 

Whether you represent a large organisation, a small company or simply yourself, I will work with you to ensure that your work is conveyed in natural, convincing, and accurate English.

Editing: I also edit writing in all the above subject areas and more, and also offer developmental editing, academic editing, and editing for those for whom English is a second language. I am a highly experienced editor. 

Previous clients have included UNESCO, academic researchers, medical and healthcare professionals, architectural partnerships, museums and hotels. I have experience translating Latin American Spanish as well as European Spanish. 

I also write a blog on literature and the arts if you would like to see examples of my writing in English: Channel Light Vessel.

Heres a link to my profile on the translators’ website, ProZ, where you can find examples of my translations: ProZ Translator.


“The standard of her translation work was very high. What most stood out to me about her working ethic was her dedication to getting the right term, regardless of the research efforts required. Beyond this, she understood the Spanish texts on both a linguistic and cultural level. Her wide vocabulary and excellent written expression were a clear reflection of her many years working as a journalist and editor.I don't hesitate to recommend Jo as a skilled, reliable collaborator.”
Gwenydd Jones, MA, DipTransIoLET, MCIL, Spanish to English Translator and Trainer, The Translator's Studio.

“Josephine Gardiner me ha ayudado en la traducción y edición de varios ensayos y una tesis en el ámbito sanitario, más concretamente en el obstétrico. Recomiendo sus servicios, ya que siempre ha sido muy atenta, te hace traducciones largas para la fecha acordada, además siempre está disponible para discutir y acordar los cambios necesarios en los trabajos. Mi experiencia trabajando con ella es sólo positiva, así que se lo recomiendo a cualquier persona que necesite traducciones y/o ediciones a nivel académico.” 
Victoria Garcia, client

“It has been such a good experience to work with Josephine. She works really hard and she always have the work done in the date you say. She is really kind and gives you really good advice.” 
Spanish client 

How does it work?

This is simple:

TRANSLATION: Tell me what you need (using the contact box on the top right of this page), send me your document, and we agree a price. I will return the translated document at the agreed time, with editing and proofreading included. 

EDITING: Send me your document, explain what you need, and I will send you back a marked-up version (so you can see all the changes I have made, and my comments) together with a ‘clean’ version.


Prices for translation vary according to the complexity of the document and the amount of specialisation. My prices are about average, or slightly below, for this language combination (source: Proofreading is included in the price.

Prices for editing depend on the amount of work the text needs, but are lower than the translation price (usually about half).

Q: Why do you need a professional translator?

A: Because a good translator must be a first-class writer. 

A translator is not simply a person who knows more than one language. After all, millions of Spanish speakers also speak English, and native English speakers who know Spanish are not uncommon. 

But few of these people understand the special characteristics of both languages well enough to transform a Spanish text accurately into confident, natural, flowing English. 

Translators who combine this with excellent academic and research skills, specialist expertise, and extensive general knowledge are difficult to find.

A good translator must be an expert writer in his or her native language, one who is also sensitive to the particular idiosyncrasies and nuances of both languages.

What happens if you choose a bad translator?

There are numerous examples, especially on the internet, of poor translations of websites or other material into English. Sometimes these involve inaccuracies and mistranslations, but more often the writing is simply clumsy, over-literal, too formal, or inappropriately casual. 

These translations sometimes make native English readers laugh. Naturally you do not want your organisation, or your hard work, to appear ridiculous to the entire English-speaking world. You want the translation to convey exactly what you said in Spanish in a way that seems completely natural, authoritative, and appropriate to your English readers and clients. 

That’s why choosing an intelligent and competent translator in the first place is important - mistakes and embarrassments can be very difficult to rectify later. 

As a professional freelance translator I can develop a thorough knowledge of your organisation or profession, as well as a sympathetic understanding of your writing style. I include editing and proofreading in the price of the translation.

There is an excellent guide to hiring translators published by the American Translators’ Association (ATA): Translation - Getting it Right, which I highly recommend. The Spanish version is here: Todo lo que siempre quiso saber sobre la traducción.

Jardín Señorial by Santiago Rusiñol (c. 1912, Palma de Mallorca).