The purpose of the talk is to show attendees how to avoid getting lulled into the rhythms and syntax of our Spanish source documents, in order to write crisp, stylish English translations. I will be focusing on not accepting a “good enough” translation so that we can create something that sounds like it was written in English originally. Attendees will learn how to set their work apart from rote, boring translations and aim for excellence in writing to meet the needs of higher-paying clients.

I will begin with generally accepted principles of what makes for good English and contrast these with good Spanish writing. Then, using examples from my own work and the work of other translators that I’ve edited, I will cover some typical pitfalls that lure us when we translate from Spanish into English, and suggest some alternatives. These tricky areas include reproducing a heavy, bureaucratic style; accepting the easiest solution; and feeling bound by Spanish-language conventions. Lastly I will provide some general tips for making translations sound more English. The intended audience is both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers, since the latter will gain insights into why their English source texts are written that way, and what to do about it.

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