Wednesday, 23 April 2014

El proyecto SmileUrbo []

Hace poco tiempo, hice una traducción voluntaria en el proyecto “SmileUrbo” que organiza el organismo

SmileUrbo es un juego interactivo y promueve la cooperación entre ciudadanos que se encuentran en situaciones de la vida real. Por ejemplo, se aprende gestionar los presupuestos de una ciudad.

El texto original era muy distinto de todo lo que había visto.

Traduje el documento por partes, según las "rondas" o "niveles" de los juegos, a diferencia de textos o artículos más típicos.

Empecé de verdad la traducción en etapas. Respiré el texto, me metí en la piel del urbanista, y me puse a trabajar.

Para más información sobre el proyecto de SmileUrbo, echale un vistazo aquí:

En el próximo sitio, encontrarás más información sobre esta organización sin fines de lucro haciendo que este mundo sea un mejor lugar:

The SmileUrbo project []

A few people have asked me whether it is worth carrying out voluntary translations and I say it's a definite yes!    Especially starting out, it is a great way of expanding one's portfolio and gaining recognition for your work. And remember: a voluntary translation does not mean a low quality translation.

I recently worked on a translation of the award-winning project, "SmileUrbo", led by It is an interactive, role-playing game which aims to build cooperation between people by creating scenarios faced by real-life communities, such as how to manage a town's budget.

The Spanish source text was different to any other I had already translated. I had to translate the document in sections, according to different rounds of the game, rather than the usual article with continuous prose. However - the approach wasn't any different - "live the text", get into the shoes of a town planner and then translate!

For more info about the SmileUrbo project, please click on the link:

And please also read more on the not-for-profit which funds projects which make the world a better place :

Sunday, 13 April 2014

"The case for language learning" - or not?

I was just reading the Guardian article entitled "The case for language learning"

The article cites a recent survey ( in which language skills are less sought-after by UK employers than other skills such as technical, oral communication or literacy skills. However, there still is a shortage and this does need to be addressed.

In my professional career, staff from other departments have approached me countless times as the in-house language expert, when translating business correspondence. Indeed I have enjoyed helping out, though when I am not around staff either use an online language translator or if absolutely necessary, a human translator.

Later on in the report, increased operating costs and outsourced work are listed, among others as the impact of skills shortages.

So while I would love to see language skills feature higher on the agenda, it appears that there is an opportunity for external translators like me to pick up this business and benefit from the language skills shortage.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Good evening all,

A couple of months in the making, welcome to the long-awaited launch of my new web site:

Many thanks to all who have helped me in the creative process!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

You tube if you want to...

Travelling through Germany, I happened across this sign in the hotel bathroom.

Can you spot the mistake?

While I confess that I am a stickler for good spelling and grammar, I am more understanding if the final message is clear enough.   However, I would point out an error if it leads to a different meaning or if it's just plain nonsense.

So I followed the sign to the letter and I placed my towel "in the bath-tube" (or technically speaking, on the shower tube).

I politely pointed this out at the reception as a helpful suggestion and added, "By the way, I'm a translator. Here are my contact details - you never know when you might need one."
The receptionist seemed slightly bemused, laughing nervously but thankful.

And who knows, while a business deal would be a plus, I feel that I have helped the English-speaking hotel guest with that first-world problem of where to put the used bath towel if it needs to be washed.