Certified Spanish Translator and Interpreter  

The Interpretator

Pros and Cons of Translation and Interpreting Facebook Groups

Posted by rpospina on March 29, 2016 at 9:45 PM

A recent experience after posting a simple question in a Translation and Interpreting (T&I) Facebook group, has inspired me to write this post. I wanted to share my 2 cents in regards to being part of (and making use of) these online forums.


  • Everyone is on Facebook. It's a great tool for networking purposes and for T&I professionals, because of the diversity of members from all corners of the worlds, if you post a question you will get a plethora of answers from which you can select the most suitable for you.
  • Staying current with industry-related news and events. In my experience, I've learned first-hand from some of these groups whenever upcoming events are taking place, a new regulation is being implemented and other location-specific issues are going on.
  • It's a fast, almost real-time avenue to communicate with others; it doesn't matter if you are working on something at odd hours of the night, chances are you will be able to get an almost immediate answer to your post.
  • You can share documents, organize events, send direct messages to other members of the group.



  • Everyone is on Facebook; this means that people from different parts of the world will contribute. If you post a question about terminology or how to proceed under a specific situation, you will get many answers from people that work in parts of the world where vocabulary and standards may be different from the ones you need to abide by.
  • When you post a question, especially if it's about terminology, you will get so many different suggestions that it may be hard at times to get a clear answer.
  • Negative and abusive comments. It looks like some translators' favorite pastime is to find errors in other people's writing. If you have a typo or misspell a word when you post something, you will most likely be hammered in the comments section. This can be a big distraction and discourage future participation within the group.
  • Group features are underutilized. Unfortunately, most groups don't share events or have and interactive and constantly updated bank of documents (like glossaries, lists, etc. which could be quite useful for the T&I professional

These points are only based on my personal experience and are not intended to give a full overview of Facebook groups. Bottom line is:
  • DO become part of a professional Facebook group
  • DO take your time to be selective and find those groups that are more in-line with your area of expertise.
  • DO contribute in a positive way
  • DO NOT engage in negative or unprofessional comments
  • DO NOT use the group as your first go-to point of reference when in doubt about terminology or regulations.









The Global Translation Institute certification program

Posted by rpospina on June 12, 2015 at 9:00 PM

One of the most popular questions from clients requesting the services of a translator is: are you certified? Also, many candidates interested in becoming one ask: how do I become a certified translator?


I've posted a video that covers these specific topics on my YouTube channel therefore on this entry I'll just share my experiences about this specific program:


The Global Translation Institute (GTI)

The GTI is a United States-based company owned by Adriana Tassini; It's also the company that sponsors the Certified Translation Professional (CTP) program. It seems as though the GTI's main purpose is to serve as a gateway to recruit potential candidates for the CTP and to serve as a platform for networking and resources for the CTP alumni.



The CTP program is limited to 200 candidates per year, offering 4 specific examination dates in the months of February, May, August and November each year; there is a 2 weeks deadline (approx.) prior to each examination date to schedule your examination.


In order to schedule your test you must first register for the program by filling out an online form; a GTI representative will contact you shortly afterward to confirm your enrollment and confirm payment. They offer a convenient payment plan for PayPal account users.


Once you are registered, you will have access to the resources offered for candidates which are mostly training modules and videos of interviews with translation professionals, an employer's directory and a study guide.



It is mandatory to make an additional investment to purchase a text book which was also written by Adriana Tassini; the textbook is almost 300 pages long and in 12 chapters it covers basic concepts from what is translation, it's history, language families around the world, the tools used in the industry, business advise for start-ups, quality and ethics, etc. In my opinion, it covers the basics that anyone attempting to start in the industry should know both from a qualifications and from a business point of view. The book will not provide you with techniques or actually teach you how to translate or interpret; What it is, in my opinion, is a useful beginner’s guide to the industry, defining it's most essential components.



The test

The test will be mostly based on the materials covered in this book, so you should schedule your test after you've read the material. The exam must be completed in 3 hours. There are multiple choice questions based on the book's material (about 100 as far as I recall), 2 essays (one per each language of your pair) and 2 short passages (less than one page long) to be translated between your two languages.


The certificate

Once you complete your examination, the GTI will grade your test and if you passed they will mail you a certificate. The validity of the certificate will depend on where you intend to use it because in some countries for example, translators must be registered or approved by a specific institution, so make sure you confirm this before you move forward.


In my opinion and in my particular situation, it was a good investment for me to enroll in this program; because of my location and my resources at the time, it was a convenient and affordable way to get started and to be able to have my skills evaluated by a neutral institution in a proctored environment. You must take into consideration that this is not a translation course or class, but only a certification with the intend to measure and test the skills that you already know.

Jargon and Acronyms of the Interpreting / Translation Industry

Posted by rpospina on March 16, 2015 at 10:10 PM

I dislike the misuse of acronyms and industry-specific jargon; I think that the convenience of saving yourself a breath or two by using them without first explaining what they mean, does not make up for the fact that the person that you are addressing could have no idea of what it's actual meaning. 


Here are my two cents for those who are not familiar with the translation / interpreting acronyms / jargon:



  • CAT – Computer Assisted Tools (or Computer Automated Tools); tools used by professional translators to complete their projects. 
  • CHUCHOATAGE - A variety of simultaneous interpretation in which the interpreter whispers the renditions to a listener. 
  • CONSECUTIVE INTERPRETERS - Listen and then translate after something has been said.
  • INTERPRETATION - The act of rendering a verbal message from one language into another, accurately and completely, meaning by meaning and not word-for-word.
  • LEP – Limited English Proficient (person is implied).
  • LOCALIZATION - The process of translating a product into different languages or adapting a product for a specific country or region. 
  • OPI – Over the Phone Interpreter; an interpreter that provides services remotely, over the phone. 
  • PM – Project Manager; in a language-services company, is the person in charge of coordinating projects and assignments. 
  • SIGHT TRANSLATION - Can be defined as the reading of a text by the interpreter from the source language into the target language, simultaneously, in a manner in which the content of the document can be easily understood by the audience.
  • SIMULTANEOUS INTERPRETERS - Listen and interpret while something is still being said—with very little delay. 
  • TRANSCREATION -  Adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. 
  • TRANSCRIPTION - To put speech or data into written or printed words.  
  • TRANSLATION - The act of moving written text from one language to another
  • TRANSLITERATION - To convert a text from one script into another; for example, a word written with Greek characters, transformed into Latin ones. 
  • VRI – Video Remote Interpreter; an interpreter that provides services remotely, through a video platform. 
  • CTP – Certified Translation Professional; a translator that has earned a certification by passing a test administered by a qualified institution. 


Sources for part of this article:  



Gifts ideas that any translator / interpreter would appreciate this holiday season

Posted by rpospina on December 7, 2014 at 1:05 AM

The holiday season is upon us and it's one of my favorite times of the year, minus the cold weather. Here is a list of gift ideas for translators and interpreters (T&I):


  • An updated dictionary for their language pair. If you know if they specialize in a specific subject (medical, legal, etc.) then a specialty dictionary would be great too.
  • Ergonomic computer accessories. It's a risky move because they tend to get attached to their office set-up but after spending so much time in front of computers and typing, if you give them an ergonomic accessory their hands, wrists, shoulders and necks will thank you for it.
  • Personalized office tools. You can select anything from sticky-notes, a fancy pen, a portfolio, a tablet's cover, notepads, basically any stationery in general and personalize it with the T&I's name.
  • Industry-related books. You can use social media to find out what's trending in the industry, upcoming books and so forth to make sure you get them something new that most likely they haven't read yet.
  • Comfy loungewear. Let's face it, they know you know they work in their pijamas when they're home, so why not update their casual wardrobe with a new set of comfy loungewear.
  • Software. This is where a big chunk of the T&I's budget is spent. Ask them what kind of programs they currently use or need to make sure you make an appropriate selection.
  • Memberships. Most T&Is are members of an association of some sort; this is a perfect time of the year to offer them a gift card that covers the cost of a membership renewal for next year or for a new membership of their choice.
  • Classes. Continuing education is a requirement in any career nowadays so if you've heard your dear T&I talk about a class that they'd like to attend, this would be a gift that would keep on giving.
  • Tablets. Of course! Most fellows within this industry like and need tablets to stay connected, entertained and help them be more efficient so if you have the budget for it, go for the latest version of their preferred tablet.
  • An excuse to get out of the house. Many T&I's work from home and they can get lonely so help them get out there by gifting them with a local group class where they can learn something new and socialize: yoga, dance, cooking, photography, tennis, wine school, gym membership... the options are endless!






The Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Medical Dictionary

Posted by rpospina on October 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM
As an interpreter, about 80% of the sessions I handle are related to the medical industry. A while back I bought the Merriam-Webster's Spanish – English Medical Dictionary and I wanted to share with you my review of this very useful tool.


It has just over 600 pages, but it's compact and light, perfect to bring with you to on-site assignments where access to an online dictionary may not be available.

In the instructions, it has information on how to use the dictionary and gives you explanations of the various English and Spanish sounds as well as orthographic changes and cognates (words that are related in their origin in both languages)

There are over 12,000 terms translated between English < > Spanish, but what I really like about it is that it gives you first the translation into the other language, and then it gives you an easy definition of the word in plain terms; in many cases, it gives you several definitions depending on the context and the translation of each one of them, which is great.

Another pleasant surprise was the Appendixes; each one has a comprehensive list of complete sentences and dialogues that are commonly used in health care settings. They are grouped by category ranging from basic questions for the patients, specialty-specific terminology, appointment settings and vocabulary specific to various diagnosis: diabetes, cancer, HIV, etc.


All in all, I think this is a great tool not only for medical interpreters and translators, but also for any professional within the health care industry. 

Common mistranslated words between English and Spanish

Posted by rpospina on September 11, 2014 at 3:05 PM

As an interpreter, I constantly hear Spanish-speakers from different backgrounds and levels of education; some remain very loyal to our native language and others, due to the influence of the English language, are starting to blend the two into what we know as “Spanglish”.


Spanglish is more than the well-known and obvious expressions such as “yo tengo billes que pagar” [I have bills to pay]; there are many other “additions” to this dictionary that are far more discrete, such as “tengo que llenar una aplicación” [I have to fill out an application]. The latter always makes me question my renditions and wonder if I'm using the right terms.


Now I want to share with you this list I started this as a personal exercise and constant reminder of these common false cognates:

The word: Is not:  It should be:

Apply, (to) Aplicar  Solicitar


Attend Atender  Asistir


Carpet Carpeta Alfombra, tapiz


Cervix Cérvix*  Cuello uterino (o del útero)


College Colegio Universidad, instituto.


Constipation Constipación Estreñimiento


Cup Copa Taza


Defendant Defendido Acusado, demandado


Discuss Discutir Platicar, hablar acerca de [...]


Disorder Desorden Trastorno


Drugs (medications) Drogas Fármacos, medicinas


Embarrassed Embarazada/o Avergonzado, apenado


Expiration Expiración Vencimiento


Facilities Facilidades Instalaciones


Fence Fenza Cerca, verja


Insurance Aseguranza Seguro


Introduce Introducir Presentar


Intoxicated Intoxicado Embriagado, ebrio, borracho


Language Lenguaje Idioma, lengua


Library Librería Biblioteca

To move (in or out) Moverse Mudarse


Nurse Norsa Enfermera


Qualified Calificado Capacitado, reúne los requisitos


Recipient Recipiente Destinatario, receptor


Remark Remarcar Comentario


Sympathy Simpatía Empatía


Truck Troca Camión, camioneta


Tubes (Fallopian) Tubos Trompas


Yard Yarda Jardín, patio

* The RAE dictionary (Real Academia Española) has this term under consideration  for future inclusion: RAE.es


Does my translation need to be notarized?

Posted by rpospina on May 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM

This is a common question among my clients who need official documents to be translated (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.); the answer is: it depends.

If your document was originated outside of the United States and you need a translation into English (for example, for immigration purposes) what is required by most US entities is a certified translation; one that has a certification from the translator that confirms that the translation from the foreign language into English is accurate. In these cases, a notary is not necessary.  

However, if what you need is a translation of a document issued in the United States and this document will be used overseas, then first of all you need to confirm if this country is participating in the Hague Convention of 1961; if the country that will receive your documents is participating in this international convention, then it will require an apostille. An apostille is an internationally recognized form of authentication that validates a stamp or seal affixed to a document. In this case, the translation would need to be certified by the translator who would sign the certification in front of a notary; then you should bring your document to the corresponding official entity to get the apostille. For the state of Florida, you can find specific instructions here.  

These are the most common guidelines, but you should always verify with the instution that will use your document if a notary or apostille is required or not. As a certified translator, I can issue officially certified translations following the guidelines dictated by the USCIS and other U.S. entities and I can also issue certified translations notarized by a Florida notary, so that they can get the proper apostille within the state. 

Eco-friendly Translators and Interpreters

Posted by rpospina on April 23, 2014 at 1:10 AM

It's Earth Day! These are some things that we can do as interpreters and translators to help preserve our planet:


1. When possible, take notes with your computer or tablet instead of pen and paper.

2. Be conscious when printing; use both sides of the sheets for your proofreads.

3. Activate the energy-saving settings on your computer and don't leave your monitor on.

4. If you print your business cards, use recycled paper.

5. Avoid buying bottled water; get a reusable thermos instead.

6. Adjust the temperature of your thermostat or open your windows whenever you can.

7. Buy e-books instead of paperbacks.

8. Recycle your electronics.

9. Get fluorescent light bulbs.

10. Shop local. Shop smart. Select Eco-friendly products.

Interpretator for dummies

Posted by rpospina on April 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM

For this entry, I wanted to start off by offering clarification on what is the difference between a translator and interpreter.

In simple terms, a translator converts text from one language into another. Most translators specialize in certain fields. Also, it is an industry's standard for a translator to convert texts out of a foreign language into their native or mother language as this tends to ensure better results than if it was done the other way around.

There are no classifications for translators per se, only specializations, however some can point out that based on the way their services are provided, they can either be:


  • Freelance translators: Independent contractors who run their own business and work on a “project-by-project” basis.
  • In-house translators: Translators hired as employees of translation agencies.


Interpreters converts spoken words between two languages and most of the time, interpreters have to work converting messages out of AND into both languages involved.


The work of an interpreter can be categorized several different ways:

Based on location:


  • On-site: The interpreter is physically present at the location where the interpretation is taking place
  • Over-the-phone (OPI): The interpreter is contacted by phone. The interpreter can assist people that are at the same location through a dual phone or a speaker phone, or the interpreter can connect other parties on a conference call as well.
  • Video-remote-interpreter (VRI): A growing trend thanks to the smart phones and smart tablets, interpreters can be contacted at a remote location and can see and hear what is happening where the interpretation is needed and of course, the parties involved can see and hear the interpreter as well.


Based on the type of interpretation provided:


  • Consecutive: A speaker states a message (usually 3 – 5 sentences long is the standard) and then after the speaker has finished, the interpreter renders the message into another language. 
  • Simultaneous: Most common method used in conferences or official meetings, the interpreter has to listen, process and interpret the messages while the original speaker is talking, all at the same time (with a delay of just 1 - 2 sentences). Usually a special type of interpretation equipment is needed (microphones, wireless head-phones, etc.)
  • Chuchotage: A French word that means whisper, it's a type of simultaneous interpretation in which the interpreter whispers the renditions into the listener's ears.


Professionals that work both as interpreters AND translators are: INTERPRE-TATORS! Get it? 

10 advantages that only a local translator can offer

Posted by rpospina on April 9, 2014 at 1:35 AM


There are many benefits that a local translator can offer you versus a distant professional or agency. I'd like to clarify that I have done this under two assumptions: 1) that your local translator is indeed a professional translator and 2) that he/she is capable of working with the type of project that you need (based on their specialization or experience).


1. It's easier to get in touch with the translator. It's a lot easier to get in touch with a local translator than trying to reach out to a company based who-knows-where, that will probably get you to an automatic call answering system. With your local translator, you also have the possibility to have a personal meeting and discuss your project.


2. You can bring your documents to the translator in person. If you don't have access to a scanner, fax or smart phone or if you don't feel comfortable sharing certain information online, only with a local translator you have this option. 


3. There are more options to submit payment. Once your project is completed, it 's very convenient to be able to pay not only with a credit card or PayPal, but also with a check, money order or good old cash. As an added value on top of this is the fact that most local translators will give you the chance to pay upon completion of your project and don't require prepayment for each and every service.

4. You can get your documents faster. You can arrange the delivery of the document not only online or by mail, but also by choosing to pick it up from the translator's office or even having the translator deliver the document to you (if they offer this optional service).

5. If a change or correction is needed, your translator is right there! Yes, that can certainly be a relieve. 

6. You can verify the credentials of the translator. You'll know exactly who you are working with and you have ways to verify this person's credentials thoroughly.

7. It's easier to protect the privacy of your information. Again, along the same lines of point #6, because you know exactly who are you working with, you have an additional layer of protection and in the unlikely event that things go wrong, you'll know exactly who to hold accountable. 

8. If you need more documents translated in the future, you know who will do it for you. If you need similar translation services in the future, you will have consistency with the outcome if you use a local translator, who knows you and who knows how to work for you.

9. It's someone that you could add to your local circles.  I am proud to say that I have developed relationships with my local clients that started with the request of a service: Someone that just moved to the area and doesn't know many people, someone that is pleased to find out that we come from the same country, or someone who also has a small local business that can turn me into a client as well.


10. Buying local is simply good. It's sustainable and it promotes the advancement of your local community. 


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