December Newsletter


This month we really got involved with the hashtag #ExportingisGREAT – so great that TranslatorsVillage founder and CEO, Blanca Gonzalez, is now an ambassador for the International Export Network. Blanca has been representing TranslatorsVillage at  this December event and is looking forward to attending Chamber International events in 2016. 
"Being a member of this group will help us to better understand the gaps that companies face, when deciding to export and to share our experience in Exporting with them. We attended our first session in December and learned about new products developed by Chamber International and UKTI: Looking forward to participating in webinars and future events."
Not only that, but we have been working with volunteer translators to contribute aid towards the Syrian refugee crisis. We collaborated with English/Arabic to Farsi translators and produced signs that were to be put up around refugee camps, in particular on the Greek island of Lesbos, trying to make life a little easier for those making the long journey from Syria.
At TranslatorsVillage this month, we have been honing our digital, movie-making skills once again to enter an Elevator Pitch competition run by HSBC. Making short films for our YouTube channel and to share on Twitter and Facebook  is great fun and it is an area that we are going to grow over the next few months. In fact, we are already working on another video, with the help of all our wonderful translators, which will be published in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our social media accounts for updates!
TranslatorsVillage Elevator Pitch
Finally, we are launching a campaign to find out what your New Year's Resolutions or wishes are. You may have seen a video that we shared on Facebook this week about a woman who read a book from every country in the world in a year. Hearing about other people's goals and ambitions are so inspiring and we want to share these on our website's homepage. From eating more healthily to learning a new skill, whatever your goal or wish is for the New Year, we would love to hear from you!

here to find out more about our New Year's Resolutions campaign and how you can be involved and feature on our homepage.

The TranslatorsVillage Team wishes you happy holidays and all the best for 2016.

New Year's Wishes and Resolutions

Eat healthier, learn something new, get fit - what's yours?

New Year's Resolutions are a great way to start the year, and here at TranslatorsVillage we are already thinking about ours and what we want to achieve in 2016.

We would like to invite all of our fantastic translators to be a part of our New Year's Wishes campaign. We want to hear what your plans are for next year, whether it's learning a new skill (or language?), visiting new cities or eating more green vegetables! Or perhaps instead of a New Year's Resolution you have a Wish, something you would like to see happen in the forthcoming year.

No matter what it is, we would love to hear from you. We will feature a selection of New Year's Wishes/Resolutions on our homepage at the end of the month and into the New Year, alongside the translator's information. 

So if you would like to share your goals and be in the spotlight, get in touch with:

1) Your New Year's Wish/Resolution(s) in your native language
2) Your New Year's Wish/Resolution(s) translated into English
3) Your name and your native language

We're looking forward to hearing your goals and feeling inspired.

The TranslatorsVillage Team

Guide to Buying Translation: Part 2

This is the second part of our information bulletin on how to buy translation. At TranslatorsVillage, we believe that is should be easy and simple so we have put together this guide to help shed some light on the process. Read about the key information you will need including costing and the information you will be required to provide to ensure the best quality translation.

5. What will I pay?

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. The rates of experienced professional translators will be higher than those that are less experienced or do it as a hobby or as a favour. If you get a friend or colleague to translate because they know a bit of the language you risk misunderstandings that may lead to financial disadvantage or even to creating offence. In the unlikely event a professional translator makes a serious error they will have Professional Indemnity Insurance to claim against.

As with all professionals the rates charged by translators vary considerably. Rates also vary between languages. For some more common languages (Italian, Polish, Spanish), there are more translators so there is greater competition and rates may be lower than for more complex or less widely spoken languages (Arabic, Danish, Swedish).

6. Asking for a quote.

When asking for a quote you should provide the following information and don’t forget to ask relevant questions to help you make the most informed decision:


  • Text to be translated: Formal report on important developments in the solar energy industry in United Arab Emirates

  • Source language (from): Arabic

  • Target language (to): English (UK)

  • Volume: 7,375 words

  • Required date: 28th December

  • Required delivery format: MS Word

  • Other information: Translator can liaise with our Technical Manager re industry specific terminology, etc. 

This information will be required by any translation company before any provisional quote can be provided. Even then, if the actual document received for translation is different there may be changes to the cost.

7. How is a text translated?

A qualified and experienced translator will read the entire text initially to understand

  • What it is about?
  • What audience it is meant for?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What are its tone and register?

They need to do this in order to help them ensure their translation contains the same message and meaning as the original. Translators aim to ensure that their translation has the same effect on the foreign reader as the English version would have on a native English speaking reader.

In order to retain in their translated version the same meaning as in the original they clearly need to change the words but they may also need to alter some phrases, word order, verb tenses or structures.

One effect of this is that they may use more or fewer words than the original. This can have consequences especially for websites, marketing materials etc. where the text needs to fit within the overall design and space allocation.If you are designing a website or some webpages that are intended to be translated it is a good idea to allocate a little more space for text than the English version takes – just in case…

Some translators use translation software packages on their computer to help with translations. These packages produce suggested translations for a text, based on actual translations completed and checked previously. 

The translators use what the translation software package provides as a guide but then reviews it in detail and revises or re-writes passages that are not correct or that could be better expressed. No professional translator will just send you a translation done using their software. They use it to get suggestions and save some time as the software often incorporates dictionaries of specialist terminology, allowing them to choose the appropriate term rather than look it up separately. They will then produce their own translation and re-read and review it until they are happy with the final result. 

Even using available software translation can be a slow process and there is a limit to the volume of translation that can be completed to a high level or accuracy in a normal working day. Depending on the subject and complexity of the text and its format and structure professional translators can deliver anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 words per day of high quality translation.

In our next and final instalment of our guide to buying translation, we will be looking at cultural difference and localization – a crucial part to consider when choosing a high-quality translation. 

Until then!

Our Guide to Buying Translation: Part 1

When you need a document, text, communication or article to be translated it can be difficult to know how to get it done. Many non-linguists will consider that anyone with a minimal knowledge of the two languages involved (translations go from the Source to the Target language) should be able to translate anything with the help of a dictionary. Unfortunately that isn't the case. That is the equivalent of saying if someone knows how to drive a car they will be competent to repair the brakes as well.

A competent linguist may well be able to provide the “gist” of a text but how confident would you be that they had not left out any vital detail or been truly faithful to the original? Understanding the general message is a long way from recreating the full meaning, tone, register and intended impact of the original text.

A few things about translating.

1. All linguists are NOT translators

Translation is a very particular skill that excellent linguists can learn and develop. You have to be an excellent linguist to translate well – but not all excellent linguists are translators.

People who are truly bilingual from birth or learn another language through school, college, university must still train specifically to be able to translate. It is never sufficient to just know the languages well, you must know all the pitfalls, techniques and skills of translation.

Even those who teach languages are not necessarily good translators unless they have undertaken appropriate training.

If you need something translated you should ensure the translator has qualifications and experience.

Ideally they will have a qualification such as an MA in Translation or a Diploma in Translation from the CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). They should also be able to demonstrate experience of translating for professional purposes, that is, translating documents, texts, websites etc. that are published or in the public domain or are used by professionals in their particular disciplines.

2. Translators should only translate INTO their native language.

This is true. However good your “second” or other learned languages are you will only ever have sufficient mastery of your own language to deliver the highest quality translation. So, with the possible exception of some bilingual individuals, translations should be done by someone whose native language is the Target language – the language INTO WHICH the translation must be put.

3. Translators should be experts in the subject matter.

Most professional translators will specialise in a particular field or subject area, such as legal, technical, health, engineering, finance, etc. They will have gained experience within a particular field through a previous career or by focusing on that area during their translation studies. A good, professional translator will want to see a text before agreeing to translate it, to ensure they are competent to handle the subject matter. If they feel they are not sufficiently competent to do a job well they should decline it.

This is where using a good Language Service Provider or Translation Agency is valuable. They retain data on the particular subject matter of all their translators plus information on the quality and reliability of their work.

4. Online translation software is good enough.

For getting the “gist” of a text then yes, some free online translation programmes are quite useful. But it will still be many years before they are good enough – especially the free ones – to have sufficient confidence in them to have the translation they provide published or used as the basis for any important decisions or actions.

As no two languages are completely alike in terms of their grammar or lexicon (range of words) translation is never just a case of exchanging one word with another. Word order and syntax are also different for every language.

A “literal” translation is one in which the words of the Source language are put into Target language using the words that seem to be the closest, without considering how the two languages are structured. Quite simply it means that a literal translation of the basic Spanish greeting of “Buenos días” is “good days” whereas a faithful translation is “Hello” or even “Good morning”. “Good days” is a word for word translation and gives some indication of what the “message” is, but it is not a form of greeting anyone would use in English.

If you read a text that sounds peculiar due to word order or strange phrases it may have been translated literally.

Look out for our second part to our Guide to Buying Translation coming soon...

Some Advice and Guidance for Exporting

Exporting is fantastic, but it can seem like a lengthy and daunting process. At TranslatorsVillage, we strive to make life as easy as possible and we believe that languages should not be a barrier when breaking into foreign markets. This is why we have put together a brief guide for buying translation services...

When you need a document, text, communication or article to be translated it can be difficult to know how to get it done. Many non-linguists will consider that anyone with a minimal knowledge of the two languages involved (translations go from the Source to the Target language) should be able to translate anything with the help of a dictionary. Unfortunately that isn't the case. That is the equivalent of saying if someone knows how to drive a car they will be competent to repair the brakes as well.

A competent linguist may well be able to provide the "gist" of a text but how confident would you be that they had not left out any vital detail or been truly faithful to the original? Understanding the general message is a long way from recreating the full meaning, tone, register and intended impact of the original text.

A few things about translating you might find useful:

1. All linguists are NOT translators

2. Translators should only translate INTO their native language

3. Translators should be experts in the subject matter

4. Online translation software is good but not for everything

We are happy to share with you few things about translating you might find useful.

1. How is a text translated

2. How to know the translation is good quality

3. How to deal with "cultural" issues

4. What to ask for when asking for a quote.

5. What is website localisation

6. When to pay for translation

At TranslatorsVillage we know about language and translation and we are always available to provide informal advice about effective communication in English - or any other language.

Just contact us if you have are interested in getting our answers to the above questions or for any further guidance.

November 2015 Newsletter

                                                          November 2015 Newsletter

Our monthly newsletter, after what we planned as our networking month, could not contain better stories and adventures. Great experiences, great lessons to learn, great way to do things differently and getting excellent feedback from all people. What an amazing learning experience.

International Translators Day

The starting point of our adventure. We decided to celebrate with your yearly  “Language Awareness Flashmob”. Not many attendants, which shows that we need to improve our organisational skills in this area, but such a precious feedback, that we are already planning 2016!

In 7 years in Leeds, the piano in the picture, at the Leeds Train Station, is the first message (after short term messages for the Tour de France) we have seen. We have to admit that the translation may not be the best quality I have seen, but at least it is a start!

We've always said that languages ​​and music were closely related. Here we go!

Leeds Business Week

What did I like most from the opening day? Hearing debates on issues that most concern us all, from different angles. We liked the message of Making Noise that reminded me the film shown at the Leeds International Film Festival twice: Sound of Noise. All is connected.

Seven years in Leeds now, a city that fascinates me, I can only endorse what was said by the panel: Leeds is diverse, but most important it is agile: the mix of the can do mentality and the passion for everything undertaken is a real gift with a great potential.

We were asked what we can do individually to help to improve areas we all know need extra support one way or another. I think we all can help with what they are best at, connectivity, education, mentoring. We can help to improve global communication. Making noise in the global arena. Leeds has many things to export and that will help to have a better Leeds.
And we have thousands of more experiences to tell about this amazing week. Thanks again to Yorkshire Mafia and to all participants for sharing their ideas (and some pictures) with us.  We wrote a short summary in our blog, but much more coming soon.


Thomas Friedman, in The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, wrote, "The world has been flattened ... global collaboration and competition – between individuals and individuals, companies and individuals, companies and companies, and companies and customers...have been made cheaper, easier, more friction-free, and more productive for more people from more corners of the earth than at any time in the history of the world."
As companies have gained increased access to new potential customers around the world, the need for support has increased.

Growing our digital presence internationally

MundoSpanish, an online platform that provides an excellent service to all companies that are in contact with Spain one way or another. Great model to help the digital arena to expand with the traditional touch of person to person approach. Congratulation to the prize they collected on Wednesday; well deserved. We don’t realiae how important it is to people to know about us, but not as a company, but as individuals. Thanks MundoSpanish for helping with this effort. In exchange we helped with the English version.

Being digital is great, it is easily accessible, immediate and visible to everyone, great advantages difficult to benefit from if not handled properly. Our online presence provide all of those and we provide the human side of it, incorporating online models of interaction into your processes with offline support.

Welcome to Globalization. Communicate effectively with culturally diverse people.                                                  Which language is right for you?

Keep up to date with TranslatorsVillage news on our other social media platforms:

_________________________________________________________________________________Translators, please, don’t forget to update your availability, so clients might benefit from your presence at TranslatorsVillage.

Arguably, Blanca Gonzalez has a worldwide passport, history and even DNA. She says that as Asterix, she fell into the cauldron of translation at birth and grew up inspired by languages at a time in Spain when there was little knowledge of what was beyond the Pyrenees. After starting her career and holding different positions and responsibilities in the industry for two decades, she opened her own corner shop, her own ‘village’ of translation:  TranslatorsVillage.

This online initiative developed in Leeds for the world, is a platform that brings together more than 1,000 translation professionals over the five continents; a community, a tool, an online marketplace that allows you to compare candidates and prices with a common denominator: all jobs have the seal, the filter, accountability and guarantee of the company. "If you search for an English to Spanish translator on the internet, you get back 73 million results. How do you choose the right one? I thought that a translation should not be more difficult than choosing a holiday destination, booking a hotel or a plane ticket. And that's what drove me to create TranslatorsVillage", said the Spanish entrepreneur who, in this project, has two English travelling companions: Graham Webb and Katie Lovell.

The three main differences in approach for this platform are:

1. They don’t operate as an agency making revisions that, sometimes, imply "impossible deadlines with dubious results."
2. They are a channel of translation and interpretation professionals from countries where services are offered in different ways and with disparities that can be very costly both in terms of quality and price.
3. TranslatorsVillage is a ‘real time’, transparent online marketplace that allows for an efficient hiring process whilst reducing unnecessary surprises and avoiding fluctuations in costs or results.

With these advantages and the backing and support of a solid brand, the portal offers the best translation proposals according to language combination, sector, availability and budget. Not only this, but there is an average reduction in price of between 30% and 40% compared with prices from agencies, assures this experienced professional. They also have a support centre to locate a professional if there aren’t any available or personally advise to, and telephone support to hire via the traditional offline channel. "We want to open paths that allow any person or business that need a translation to be put in touch with the best translator available. For that, we identify and work with experienced professionals who share our values ​​and philosophy. We like to think we deal with people, not companies,” Blanca said in an interview with MundoSpanish.

Given the rise of increasingly dynamic global trade, TranslatorsVillage has specialized in this area with an Exporters Translation Pack that enables companies to pay a fixed monthly fee to continuously translate all materials needed to enter or establish themselves in foreign markets. With regards to the most in demand languages for Spaniards, there’s no surprise that English takes the number one spot, followed by Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. There is also a growing demand for Arabic and Eastern languages, ​​a trend in line with new markets for Spanish companies. In terms of the subject areas, it is very diverse but legal texts, contracts and proposals, menus, e-learning and texts belonging to the digital industry all stand out.

With this contribution to the translation industry, Blanca Gonzalez explores the legacy her father gave her, and evolves to blend into the environment of the 21st century. Age-old tradition and new technologies. “I'm always looking for innovative ways to help people benefit from and enjoy the wealth of multicultural experiences”, concludes this lively entrepreneur, who was born in Germany and after travelling through several countries, says she does not feel expatriate, but a "nomad" ... and now perhaps more than ever, because the cloud lets you to be in any and every place all at once.
Translated by TranslatorsVillage

TranslatorsVillage en MundoSpanish

Podría decirse que Blanca González tiene un pasaporte, una trayectoria y también un ADN internacionales. Dice que, como Astérix, se cayó en la marmita de la traducción al nacer y creció inspirada por las lenguas en un momento en que en España ni se conocía lo que había más allá de los Pirineos. Tras iniciar su carrera y pasar por diferentes puestos y modalidades de la profesión durante dos décadas, esta salmantina ha montado su propio rincón, su propio ‘pueblo’ de las traducciones: TranslatorsVillage.

Esta iniciativa online, desarrollada desde Leeds (Inglaterra) para el mundo, es una plataforma que reúne ya a más de 1.000 profesionales de la traducción en los cinco continentes; una comunidad, una herramienta y un marketplace online que permitecomparar candidatos y precios con un denominador común: todos los trabajos tienen el sello, el filtro, la responsabilidad y la garantía de la empresa. “Si se busca un traductor inglés español en internet se obtienen 73 millones de resultados. ¿Cómo elegir al adecuado? Pensé que una traducción no debería ser más difícil que elegir un destino de vacaciones, reservar un hotel o un billete de avión. Y eso es lo que me motivó para fundar TranslatorsVillage”, asegura esta empresaria española que en este proyecto tiene como compañeros de viaje a dos ingleses: Graham Webb y Katie Lovell. 
Las tres principales diferencias de la propuesta de esta plataforma son:
1. No operan como agencia aplicando márgenes ni realizando revisiones que, en ocasiones, implican “plazos imposibles con resultados dudosos”.  
2. Son un canal de traducción e interpretación hacia profesionales de países donde los servicios se ofrecen de forma diferente y con disparidades que pueden llegar a ser muy altas en calidad/precio.  
3. TranslatorsVillage es un mercado online ‘a tiempo real’ y transparente que permite contratar ágilmente, reducir las fluctuaciones arbitrarias y evitar desmanes en los costes o resultados.
Con estas ventajas y el respaldo de una marca responsable detrás, el portal ofrece la mejor propuesta de traducción según país, sector, disponibilidad y presupuesto, y consigue además un abaratamiento medio de entre el 30% y el 40% sobre el precio de las agencias, asegura esta experimentada profesional. Además, disponen de un centro de soporte, para localizar un profesional si no hay ninguno disponible o asesorar personalmente, y asistencia telefónica para contratar por el canal offline tradicional. “Queremos abrir caminos que permitan que cualquier persona o empresa que necesite el texto traducido se ponga en contacto con el mejor traductor disponible y para ello identificamos y colaboramos con profesionales experimentados que comparten nuestros valores y filosofía. Nos gusta pensar que tratamos con personas, no con empresas”, sentencia Blanca en una entrevista con Mundo Spanish.


Además, dado el auge del comercio cada vez más global y dinámico,
TranslatorsVillage se ha especializado en este ámbito con un ‘Pack Exportadores que permite a las empresas disponer de una cuota fija mensual para traducir progresivamente todos los materiales que necesiten para su entrada o consolidación en mercados exteriores. Respecto a los idiomas más demandados por los españoles, no hay sorpresas y el inglés es el predominante con diferencia, seguido por el italiano, portugués y francés. Además, hay una creciente demanda de árabe e idiomas de países del Este, un tendencia en consonancia con los nuevos mercados de las empresas españolas. Respecto a la temática hay una gran heterogeneidad, pero destacan los textos del ámbito digital, legal, e-learning, menús, contratos o propuestas.
Con esta aportación al sector de la traducción, Blanca González ahonda en el legado que recibió de su padre y lo evoluciona para adaptarlo al entorno del siglo XXI. Tradición milenaria y nuevas tecnologías. “Siempre estoy buscando formas innovadoras para ayudar a las personas a beneficiarse y disfrutar de la riqueza de las experiencias multiculturales”, concluye esta inquieta emprendedora que vino al mundo en Alemania y tras recorrerse varios países, dice no sentirse expatriada, sino “nómada”… y ahora quizá más que nunca, ya que la nube le permite estar en todos y en cualquier sitio a la vez.  

2015 Flashmob - How did it go?

The 2015 Language Awareness Flashmob at Leeds Railway Station
This year was the first time that I had actively taken part in celebrating International Translation Day, and what a way to do it! The whole event, right from planning and organising through to actually doing it was a joy and I had so much fun.
What we may have lacked in quantity, we more than made up for in quality as our “flashmobbers” were enthusiastic, patient and resilient when interacting with the busy Leeds commuters. As a student of Portuguese, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice my speaking skills during the flashmob by asking people if they knew where the University was. The first couple of people I asked didn’t have a clue as to what I was saying and shrugged apologetically. However, my third unknowing participant responded in a lovely Brazilian accent! He proceeded to walk me out of the station and show me the road I needed to take to get to university whilst explaining that was from Chile and his wife was Brazilian. I thought to myself, what were the odds of actually asking someone that speaks Portuguese at the Leeds Railway Station? Just goes to show how multilingual Leeds is!
I proceeded to do a lap of the station (since I couldn't just follow the helpful Chilean man back inside when he had gone to such lengths to show me where to go) and I thought I would ask just once more. Outside the Queen’s hotel were two men waiting for a taxi. It turned out that they were two Scots who were visiting Leeds and suggested I ask the hotel’s Doorman, as they didn't know the area at all. The Doorman was brilliant; overly helpful with giving me very thorough directions and he even tried to learn a bit of Portuguese!
As I piece together the footage to create a short video, I witness over and over again the receptiveness and tolerance of Leeds commuters and general public, and I am inspired by how multilingual the Leeds community is. I was also encouraged by the universal desire to help and to engage with one another, regardless of any ‘language barriers’ and I think fellow flashmobber Juan hit the nail on the head when he said “languages are to unite, not to separate”.

The final video will be published very soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the teaser video here.

Leeds Business Week 2015

Pulling the petals off a daisy is an activity children are told has the same results as reading through a crystal ball: it allows us to see reality and therefore better controlling our future. I have no statistics on how reliable this is, probably very little because this action is never mentioned in professional life ... and yet we do it every day. Should I attend this event, what benefits does it report to me or to my business, how do I measure the success rate ...

If the mountain does not come to Leeds, Leeds must go to the mountain. Leeds Business Week is the product of Yorkshire Mafia’s efforts to create an environment that helps small businesses grow. The first time they organized this event they had a daisy around. Did it show the success it has today?  As a new entrepreneur, I attended previous years and this year my daisy told me to put a stand in one of the venues.

The week has had a wide range of choices: debates, presentations, seminars and always the enthusiasm of sharing experiences in a friendly atmosphere and affordable to everyone.

Big questions, request for more collaboration, large companies working with small and all wanting to help fill the gap progress makes with its giant footprints. Big and small working hand in hand in the region : what a treat to watch closely the pilot models Google and Vodafone are starting in Leeds and to  talk directly with business people regardless of size and status. We all have something to learn and something to share.

IMG_0154.JPGYou remember the smile you had when your daisy said what you wanted to hear? Well that's the smile we have now in our faces. Our special thanks to Yorkshire Mafia for organizing the event and make us all feel at home.


Language Awareness FlashMob 2015

Whether you are a native English speaker or you if you speak a foreign language, participate in this event on September 30 2015.

Here is a link to the pilot we did last year… FlashMob 2014. This year we plan to go bigger and better! With Leeds acting as European City of Culture in 2023, language really matters to Leeds and it is important that we make everyone aware of it.

Purpose of this flash-mob: 
    • to create awareness of cultural diversity and to show the importance of the international community in Leeds.
    • to celebrate International Translators Day

First rule: Be quiet. Spread the word about this flash-mob exclusively among people who are native English speakers that are keen to get and invite them to join.

More information: if interested in participating, please register in this event and you will receive further instructions.
Information to atendees will be released on the following schedule:
    • WE23-What is a Flash-mob?
    • THU24-What to wear?
    • FR25-At what time?
    • SA26-For how long?
    • SU27-What to do?
    • MO28-What are the rules?
    • TU29-Where?