Let us announce the eleventh winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!
This initiative is our way to way to say thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.
In this ocassion we would like you to meet Virginia Santos, our translator and a real polyglot! Have a cup of tea and take a moment to read this very interesting interview!
What do you start your work day with?
Unless I have an urgent project that must be finished or is due that same day, my working day starts with, I must admit, a certain amount of laziness and self-reproach: “I am getting up far too late again! This is because I went to bed too late once more! I’m hopeless… and it took me one hour to eat breakfast!” … Then I start to approach the work with caution: I turn on the computer, and I look for some song, some information that I’m interested in… until it comes to a point where I tell myself “enough of this idleness!!!” And at that point I start to work with full focus, to the point where I can spend many hours translating without realizing it.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in translation?
Actually…never. I have always been, as far as I can remember, very excited about languages, and was heading in that direction in a natural way, without giving it much thought . In addition to that, this job fitted in perfectly with my lifestyle: it allowed me not only to work with languages all the time, but also to travel abroad with scholarships to continue studying them and to attend courses on many other subjects with freedom of schedules… Every day I thank Heaven for all the good things that this job brings me.
Virginia, you translate into Spanish from Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, German, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian. How did you become so interested (and proficient) in all these languages?
It’s impossible to answer this question in a few lines…
My interest for languages goes back to the time when, under circumstances which would take me too long to explain, suddenly something “clicked” inside of me and I understood that languages are like mathematics (which I loved): absolutely logical, perfect, everything they are and happens to them has a reason for being and needs to happen; and that, each language, in its own way, is beautiful, they are all beautiful , insurmountable, boundless. They are like doors to the infinite, perfect and complete forms of seeing and interpreting the world…This wonder of the phenomenon (I would almost say “miracle”) of language and of each language in particular, has reaffirmed and strengthened itself with each new language I have studied, including the Slavic languages.
In the case of the Slavic languages, what fascinates me particularly about them is the etymology of the words: the concepts are very clear and very structured. There is so much order and logic in them that I have been able to encompass with relative ease, not only the whole Slavic branch, but through them I have come to better understand Latin (the construction of which is very clean, perfect, very similar to that of the Slavic languages) and as a consequence I have been acquiring a deeper understanding of Castilian, which is my own language. That is, thanks to the Slavic languages I have come to understand myself better and I have realized how my mother tongue reflects my own construction of the world.
The Slavic world also fascinates me because of the enormous richness of realities that it embraces: several continents, many and very diverse climates, numerous geographical regions (north, south, east, west), diverse religions, very different political systems, even various alphabets… It is a grandiose world. At a more personal level, I owe very much to this Slavic world: specifically to many flesh and bone Slavic people and to many experiences lived in those countries that have shaped me and are an intimate part of me.
And as far as proficiency… it is relatively simple. If you love what you do because it makes your life richer every day and if you add to that a personality (my own) that is perfectionist by nature (for better or for worse) and a dedication of time and effort which is almost unreasonable… it is inevitable to acquire proficiency!
If you hadn’t become a translator, then what do you think you would have done?
I wouldn’t know what to answer. There are many jobs that I like and that I am very strongly attracted to, but the truth is that I have found them because of my job as a translator. Translation takes me into many worlds and allows me, as well, to continuously study new things about other subjects that I am interested in.
Concurrently with my job, I have been trained in foot reflexology, pedagogy, body theology and many other things, with which I would like to work. When I now think about professions I like, I think that I would very much like to work as a childhood teacher or with babies, as a language teacher at university or as a foot reflexologist; and, of course I intend to keep on studying because there are many other topics that I am interested in and that I would like to investigate.
There is another job which I hold sacred and that I respect more than any other and it is the job of the home-maker. The real home-maker, the one who “makes a home”, who creates the warmth and the excellence in the quotidian “small big things”. I dream of that job because I believe that if more intelligent women dedicated themselves to the task, this work alone, would restore, in today´s world, the humanity and the warmth that it so direly needs.
What do you most enjoy about working with SeproTec?
Many things. In the first place, the people of the team are wonderful. It is super pleasant to work with them; they take into account my circumstances, and they try to adapt the conditions of the project at hand to fit my needs. In the second place, there is a consistency in our collaboration and in the genre of projects, that allows me to work with a lot of systematicity and order. In the third place, I can see that SeproTec is a very serious and responsible company in administrative and tax matters, etc. And last, but not least, I am especially fond of SeproTec because it was the first company to offer me the opportunity to work as a translator at the moment when I had just obtained my degree and had yet a lot to learn. That opportunity meant a lot to me in many areas of my life, it opened many doors and ways, and it is something for which I am exceedingly grateful.
What do you think are the greatest challenges for the translation industry nowadays?
If the challenge is for the translation industry, then the challenge for any industry is always to be more efficient, to make more money… On the other hand, if the challenge is for translation, as a human activity, or for the translators as its architects, I would say that the challenges we face are several:
1. To be able to take advantage of computer-assisted translation tools without dehumanising ourselves, without acting like machines, without killing the language, impoverishing it with clichés and subjecting it to a deadly and vulgar globalization. We must take advantage of all the benefits of technical advances, without falling into mechanicism. We should be able to save the soul of the language: it would not help us to look for greater efficiency and profit, if we were to lose the nuances and subtleties that only a sensitive an educated human being can grasp.
2. To understand that knowledge or competence do not necessarily go hand in hand with degrees or formal qualifications. The obsession for qualification certificates and degrees and the fear of “professional intrusion” impoverish the world, in my opinion, and may be the enemies of things well done. It is undeniable that in the field of translation there are many competent translators that may be initially trained as doctors or engineers etc. It would be absurd to close the doors to them. It is also be the case that university careers in Spain do note even cover all the existing demands of translation. Do we have, for example, schools that train translators from Turkish, Wolof or Quechua? And, nevertheless, the translations from those languages may be needed. I think that reality should govern over formal qualifications, and that the work should be done by whoever does it well, independently of the degrees that that person has or doesn´t have. Socrates did not need to have a degree in Philosophy from the University of Athens to be founder of Philosophy itself… In a world that searches for truth, it is the individual who creates the qualification, and not the other way around.
3. Everybody who speaks, but especially linguists and translators have the responsibility of looking after the language, nowadays exposed to a type of violence to suit specific ideologies and an attempt to manipulate it into a mediocre version of itself; and this is, I believe, happening everywhere. This responsibility compels us to act firmly to maintain its logic, its clarity, its rigour and its Beauty, even when that implies our effective opposition to the clumsy, toxic and chaotic innovations of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language.
Thank you so much, Virginia! Enjoy your SeproTec hoodie
As part of its goal of supporting and integrating the most innovative initiatives within its sector, SeproTec has shown its support for the LocWorld organisation by agreeing to be a corporate bag sponsor of its 2018 events in Europe and the States.
The autumn event will be held at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle from 17 till 19 October 2018 and SeproTec will be exhibiting at booth #215.
Our sponsoring of LocWorld Seattle 2018 confirms our Company’s commitment to all those initiatives which favour the growth and development of the sector and contribute to promoting and defending innovation and good practise in all of its activities.
We can’t wait!
SeproTec Multilingual Solutions, one of the 30 most important translation and interpreting companies in the world (Common Sense Advisory Ranking), has been chosen by EASO, the European Asylum Support Office, to provide comprehensive interpreting service in the 24 official languages of the European Union, as well as Arabic, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Russian, Serbian, Turkish and Ukrainian.
“The refugee crisis affects us directly. We are a multicultural team made up of more than 380 people, and many of our interpreters’ families are affected by the migratory crisis. We are not content with just listening, we want to get involved and help out, and the best way of doing that is focusing on what we do best: building bridges between different cultures and ensuring that we understand each other,” asserted Álvaro Salamanca, Institutional Relations Manager at SeproTec.
SeproTec has worked with Asylum and Refugee Offices for years providing a wide-ranging interpreting and cross-cultural mediation services. This work is essential in the process of welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers. Moreover, SeproTec has worked for the Public Administration in many countries, including those belonging to: the EU, UNICEF, the UN, the Arab League, the African Union, etc.
The company’s team of translators and interpreters strive to eliminate communication barriers. The role of interpreter is not always that of a cross-cultural mediator, nor does it necessarily have to be, but sometimes it is. To play this role the interpreter must have an excellent command of both languages and must adapt his/her speech, messages and non-verbal communication to both parties: the refugee and the host..
SeproTec also has a telephone interpreting service capable of linking clients and interpreters in less than two minutes through a simple call – a service designed to attend to the most urgent interpreting needs, such as for emergency services.
Having been awarded some of the most important contracts in the industry, SeproTec’s forecast in terms of new hires, the most optimistic in the last 5 years, is to reach 500 employment contracts in 2013, among translators, proofreaders, linguists, interpreters, coordinators, project managers, IT technicians, administrative personnel and human resources.
In 2010 SeproTec was recognized by the international association Europe’s 500, which ranked the firm among its “Top 50 European Growth Companies” as one of the 30 fastest-growing European companies, both in turnover and number of employees.
“At SeproTec, we have been committed to employment for nearly 25 years. Today, we are one of the most solid companies in the field and number one in job creation,” affirms Carlos León, CEO of SeproTec, adding that “in 2013 alone we expect to hire some 500 professionals. This provides us with the possibility to continue setting standards in the sector, creating new jobs and offering these professionals all the advantages that come with an employment contract, within reach of only a few until now.”
SeproTec Multilingual Solutions is present in 12 countries. We are one of the top 40 companies in the world within our sector (TOP 100 – Common Sense Advisory Ranking, 2012). With nearly 25 years of experience researching profitable, high-quality solutions, SeproTec stands out because of its use of the most advanced technology thanks to our investment in R&D&i and the fact that we work with leading industry professionals in each and every one of our departments. SeproTec has successfully combined its corporate social responsibility processes with those of quality control and environmental management, and has standardized them all through regulations ISO 9001, ISO 15038 and ISO 14001).
La injusta exclusión de España en la patente unitaria europea – The unjust exclusion of Spain from the single European patentdiciembre 20th, 2012 | Posted by in International | Traducción - (0 Comments)
Paco Martín, Director de Propiedad Industrial e Intelectual de SeproTec nos cuenta que “mucho se ha hablado sobre la patente unitaria europea y de sus ventajas competitivas con respecto al sistema actual, sobre todo en relación con el ahorro de costes a la hora de proteger una invención en todos los países europeos. Sin embargo, la patente unitaria europea no sería tan ventajosa para las PYMES españolas como pretenden hacernos creer, y se verían perjudicadas al restarles competitividad en el sector tecnológico, ya que ofrecerá ventajas competitivas a unos estados miembros con respecto a otros en función de su idioma”. De hecho, la CEOE se ha manifestado en este sentido, no en contra de una patente unitaria, sino del sistema que se ha propuesto en la cooperación reforzada. La discriminación hacia las empresas españolas radica en que las solicitudes, a pesar de que podrán presentarse en español, deberán traducirse al inglés, francés o alemán por parte de las empresas españolas. Igualmente, toda la posterior tramitación, concesión, etc. debería realizarse solo en estos tres idiomas. Por otro lado, en caso de conflicto, como por ejemplo, defenderse frente a una infracción, todo el procedimiento se realizaría fuera de nuestras fronteras en alguno de los tres idiomas oficiales, siendo necesario contar con los servicios de abogados y expertos en dicho país con el ingente gasto añadido que esto le supone a una PYME española.
Si se hubiera querido abaratar al máximo la tramitación de la patente unitaria se habría optado por la solución propuesta de “English only” que, por supuesto, no aceptaron ni Francia ni Alemania ya que perjudicaba sus propios idiomas. Esta solución hubiera evitado la traducción a cualquier idioma y la utilización del inglés como lengua oficial.
Por encima de todo, España tiene que defender los intereses de nuestras empresas y, por qué no, de nuestro idioma, “recordemos que el español es la segunda lengua con mayor número de hablantes nativos después del chino mandarín con muchos millones de ventaja con respecto al francés y al alemán”.
Martín añade que “En resumen, para una empresa española la aprobación de la patente única europea supone un agravio comparativo con respecto a las empresas registradas en países en los que se hable cualquiera de los tres idiomas oficiales. Más del 80 por ciento de la documentación científica y técnica se encuentra disponible únicamente en documentos de patentes. Si eliminamos estas fuentes, se perderá la capacidad de difusión, crecimiento y evolución del español en este campo y nuestras empresas e investigadores tendrán que hacer un esfuerzo adicional por conocer el estado de la técnica en otros idiomas, con los consiguientes costes añadidos que ello conlleva.
Paco Martín, Industrial and Intellectual Property Director of SeproTec, explains that “there has been much talk about the single European patent and its competitive advantages compared to the current system, especially with regards to cost savings when protecting an invention in all European countries. Nevertheless, the single European patent will not be as advantageous for Spanish SMEs as we are being led to think. These companies would be harmed by becoming less competitive in the technology sector, as the single European patent will offer competitive advantages to some member states over others depending on their language.” Indeed, the Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations (CEOE, per its Spanish initials) has objected, in this sense, not to the single patent, but rather to the system that has been proposed in enhanced cooperation. The discrimination against Spanish companies is rooted in the fact that the applications, although they may be submitted in Spanish, must be translated into English, French or German by applicants. Likewise, all of the subsequent paperwork, approval, etc., must be done only in these three languages. Furthermore, in the event of a conflict, such as, for example, recourse against an infraction, all of the proceedings would be carried out beyond our borders in one of the three official languages. It would be necessary to hire the services of lawyers and experts from the country handling the proceedings, with the enormous additional expense that entails for a Spanish SME.
If there had been a commitment to achieving a maximum reduction in patent processing expenses, the proposed English only solution would have been adopted. Naturally, neither France nor Germany accepted it, as it was in detriment to their own languages. This solution would have avoided translation to any language through the use of English as an official language.
Above all, Spain must defend the interests of our companies and – why not? – our language. “Let’s not forget that Spanish is the language with the second highest number of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese, and has many millions more speakers than French and German.”
Martín adds, “In short, the approval of the single European patent creates an uneven playing field for Spanish businesses compared to businesses registered in countries where any of the three official languages are spoken.” Over 80 per cent of scientific and technical documentation is available only in patent documents. If we eliminate these sources, the capacity for dissemination, growth and evolution of the Spanish language in this field will be lost and our companies and researchers will have to make an additional effort to know the state of the art in other languages, with the concomitant added costs.
50 AÑOS DE… LOS BEATLES
En agosto de 1962 nos decía adiós el gran mito de Hollywood Marilyn Monroe al tiempo que cuatro chavales con chaquetas de cuero, vaqueros y tupé hacían sonar sus primeros acordes en una “Caverna” de Liverpool. No sabemos si fue el empuje de la diva, que aquel año se habían alineado los planetas o que soplaban vientos de revolución, el caso es que la historia de la música ya no volvería a ser la misma, había nacido la banda de rock and roll más importante de todos los tiempos: “The Beatles”.
En su 50 aniversario SeproTec ha querido rendir su particular homenaje a la banda recopilando una serie de curiosas versiones en las que los cuatro de Liverpool nos cantan hasta en alemán.
Los encargados de acercar la beatlemanía a costas españolas fueron los integrantes del grupo barcelonés Los Mustang. Con su “Submarino Amarillo” comenzamos este personal Memorial Tryp.
50 YEARS OF… THE BEATLES
August 1962. Just as we were saying goodbye to the Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe, four lads with leather jackets, jeans and quiffs began strumming their first chords in Liverpool’s “Cavern”. We will never know whether it was thanks to the diva’s influence, the way the planets were aligned or an air of revolution blowing in the wind, but whatever it was the history of music had changed forever, and the most important rock and roll band of all time was born: “The Beatles”.
SeproTec has made its own tribute to this 50th anniversary by compiling a number of curious versions of their songs, including one in which Liverpool’s fab four sing to us in German.
Beatlemania was brought to Spain by Barcelona’s Los Mustang. Their “Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine)” is the opening piece of this personal Memorial Trip.
Les Atomes offer us a version of the sweet “Michelle” in the language of love.
Gracias a Les Atomes podemos entonar en el idioma del amour la dulce “Michelle”.
And The Beatles themselves delight us with an incredible “Sie Liebt Dich (She loves you)” from their time in Germany.
Y los propios The Beatles en su visita a tierras germanas se lanzaron con una increible “Sie Liebt Dich (She loves you)”
What do the Beatles sound like in your mother tongue? Take part in our Memorial Trip and send us your video.
¿Cómo suenan los Beatles en tu lengua materna? Participa en nuestro Memorial Tryp y mándanos tu vídeo.
Emma González García
Head of the Interpretation Department
Se acerca la reunión del Comité de Calidad de SeproTec, ya sabéis, informes, indicadores, objetivos, seguimientos, encuestas, proveedores, incidencias, análisis ……………. requisitos y más requisitos ………….…. noto comportamientos extraños, los compañeros me evitan por los pasillos, noto algunas expresiones de pánico “que viene el de calidad” cuando me acerco, el Dtor. de Marketing casualmente siempre está al teléfono cuando voy a intentar hablar con él, otro bosteza (bien es cierto que era una hora propicia para ello) y me indica con gran gracejo “perdona, es que me aburres” mientras tratamos asuntos relacionados con las encuestas a los clientes y …….. ahora que caigo, tengo que hablar con el informático, porque es evidente que tengo algún problema ya que no recibo respuesta a los correos que envío ………… pero de momento (me miro la espalda) todavía no me ha ocurrido lo que al personaje de la siguiente viñeta.
Al final, gracias a la colaboración y trabajo en el día a día de los que tiene comportamientos extraños (que puede que exagerara en el primer párrafo, pero había que introducir algo de dramatismo en la entrada), SeproTec cumple con los requisitos que dictan las normas.
A grandes rasgos estos requisitos hacen referencia a la planificación del Sistema de Calidad implantado, medición, análisis y mejora, competencia profesional de los traductores, revisores y correctores, relación con el cliente, aspectos administrativos, técnicos y lingüísticos de proceso de traducción etc… para SeproTec la mejora continua es fundamental, por ello año tras año aumentamos el nivel de autoexigencia de estos requisitos.
Responsable de Calidad, Medio Ambiente Y Compras
The Seprotec Quality Committee meeting is fast approaching – you know the deal – information, indicators, objectives, tracking charts, surveys, vendors, incidents, analyses ……………. requirements and even more requirements ………….…. I notice strange behavior: my colleagues avoid me in the halls; I notice looks of panic, “Oh, there comes that quality guy” when I approach; the Marketing Director just happens to be on the phone every time I go to talk to him; someone else is yawning (well, okay, it is true that it was an opportune time to do that) and he says to me – oh, he’s just so funny! – “Excuse me, but you’re really boring” as we discuss issues regarding client surveys and …….. oh yeah, I just remembered, I have to talk to the IT guy, because it’s clear I have some kind of problem with my computer – I’m not receiving any replies to the emails I’m sending out ………… but – so far, at least (I turn around and check my back) – what happened to the person in the cartoon below has not yet happened to me.
In the end, thanks to the cooperation and hard work that these people – who have been behaving so strangely – all do here, day after day (it’s possible I exaggerated a little in the first paragraph, but I needed to insert a bit of drama into the introduction), Seprotec meets the requirements as they are outlined in the regulations.
Broadly speaking, these requirements relate to the Quality System plan we have in place: measurement, analysis and improvement; the professional competence of our translators, editors and proofreaders; client relations; administrative, technical and linguistic aspects of the translation process, etc.… For Seprotec, continuous improvement is fundamental. This is why, year after year, we increase the level of our self-imposed standards of excellence in meeting these requirements.
Some time ago we came across a report which is very positive for our sector, and which we have now translated and summarized in broad terms to share with you. The report, prepared by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, asserts that both interpreters and translators will be the professionals most in demand next year.
In a society such as ours, communication is more important than ever before, and crucial for developing our relations and businesses. Every message, whether economic or political in nature, risks being misunderstood, especially when complex ideas are being expressed. It is for this reason that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics asserts that the translation and interpreting professions will see above average growth in the period to 2018.
In a world as globalized as ours today, the well-prepared message has become a vital and fundamental tool for the survival of any organization, regardless of its nature. Messages, if misinterpreted, can lead to disaster for a business or a person, or to whole governments losing credibility. This fact has led many organizations to opt for professional translation and interpreting services in practically all sectors or areas of internationalization.
Another point worth highlighting from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report concerns the main users of these services. It says that multinationals and governments will be the main entities requiring the assistance of interpreters (translating the spoken word) and translators (written translation).
Lastly, we should mention the importance attached by this type of report to organizations such as the ATA (American Translators Association), of which SeproTec is a member, and which is composed of more than 11,000 members, including layout, localization and software engineers, etc. This type of organization certifies translators and interpreters for work in public and private spheres, lending prestige to the organization. For this reason we do not wish to waste this opportunity of speaking up for our profession and pointing to it as a possible way out of unemployment, which is one of the major problems facing so many countries, especially one as vulnerable as ours.