SeproTec Translator of the Month: June 2018

agosto 6th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | Localización | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)


Let us announce the ninth winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

We have launched the initiative back in September 2017 and this is a way to say Thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.


Meet Sandrine Harris! Sandrine was so kind to answer our questions – so here we go!

What do you start your work day with?

I always start my day with a cup of tea while going through my e-mails and checking my planning for the day.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue translation career?

I became a translator 20 years ago when I moved from England to Reims, France to follow my husband. At the time I was a R&D Manager for a cosmetic company but if I wanted to get a similar job, I would have had to travel over 2 hours as the companies were located in Paris so I did not consider this option having a young child. By chance, I came across a job advertisement looking for a freelance FR-EN patent translator in Chemistry. My scientific background fitted their requirements and it all started from there.

If you wouldn´t have become a translator, then what would you do?

I probably would still be a R&D Manager in a chemistry company and as a consequence not spending too much time with my family.

What do you enjoy about working with SeproTec?

I like all the team members I have worked with so far. Everybody is very nice, so polite, supportive and proactive. SeproTec recognize the good work done and it is great to be rewarded.

 What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I think the biggest challenges are to be better than machine translation tools that have been improving at a fast rate over the last 5 years. To do so, the translator must be fast, reliable, very accurate and provide perfect and high quality translations.

What is your favourite book?

It’s a recent French book and I do not think it has been translated so far: “Juste avant le Bonheur” by Agnès Ledig. I love her style and the positive message she conveyed despite such tragic events.


Thank you, Sandrine, and enjoy your SeproTec hoodie! It’s a real pleasure to work with you :)


SeproTec Translator of the Month: May 2018

junio 25th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog | SeproTec | Traducción - (Comentarios desactivados)

Let us announce the eight winner of the Translator of the Month action at SeproTec!

We have launched the initiative back in September 2017 and this is a way to say Thank you! and recognize the efforts of the industry professionals: translators, the driving force behind every translation company’s success.

Meet Raffaele Tutino, our May Translator of the Month and read our interview with him.

What do you start your work day with?

Usually I start the day checking the news that I can easily find through social apps on my mobile phone, like Twitter and LinkedIn, then I check my email.


When did you realize you wanted to pursue translation career?

After a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature, I attended a master’s degree in Software Localization. During this course I understood that I wanted to become a translator.


If you wouldn´t have become a translator, then what would you do?

Maybe a University researcher in French literature. Fortunately, apart from being a freelance translator, currently I’m also working as a professor at University but in Translation subjects.


What do you enjoy about working with SeproTec?

The project managers are very nice, flexible and they always understand  my needs.


What do you think are the greatest challenges of the translation industry nowadays?

I think it’s important to know how to cope with the ever-changing needs of the translation industry. Translators must adapt to new requirements and trends and they always must stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry. Ongoing training, fexibility and ability to adapt are key factors to success.


What is your favourite book?

“Zeno’s conscience”, by Italian author Italo Svevo.


Grazie, Raffaele! It’s a pleasure to work with you! Hope you’ll enjoy your SeproTec hoodie :)

Do untranslatable words exist?

junio 20th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

Although we may wish it weren’t true, translation is not an exact science. There are around six thousand different languages in the world. Just think of your own language… it only shares a linguistic group with a dozen others. So are there any difficult-to-translate, or even untranslatable words? Of course, there are. Untranslatable words do exist.

The reason is fairly obvious. Cultural groups have their own characteristics and idiosyncrasies. We humans have different habits and daily routines, our own specific sense of humor and ways of living in society that differ around the world. That is why we invent the words we need to describe our circumstances and the events that occur in our everyday lives. Just think about how different life is in Japan and in Spain… Naturally, the languages created by these societies are totally different in both countries, because the people that live in each have devised words to describe the most important aspects of their lived experiences. It is interesting to compare the different cultural aspects of different languages. For example, Arabic is full of words and expressions that describe passion, while the German is brimming with references to food.

The work of the translator consists of finding efficient ways to define those difficult-to-translate concepts. This means that interpreting the meaning of words is very important to those of us who speak other languages.

The following is a list of some of interesting impossible-to-translate words.

Interpretations of untranslatable words

Tsundoku (Japanese). Buying a book but not reading it. Leaving it sitting there with the other books you haven’t read.

Sobremesa (Spanish).  The moments after a meal that Spanish people enjoy so much, spent relaxing and chatting.

Samar (Arabic). When the night flies because you’ve had such a good time with your friends.

Kummerspeck (German). Literally translated it means “sadness bacon”. It describes the extra pounds we pile on when we binge eat to forget our sorrows.

Saudade (Portuguese). One of the best known. Our Portuguese neighbors use this word to talk about that unquenchable desire you feel for someone or something that doesn’t exist, or something once loved but lost.

Kilig (Tagalog). The familiar feeling of having butterflies in your stomach.

Ohrwurm (German). Literally a ‘worm in the ear’, this word describes that maddening feeling of getting a tune stuck in your head.

Trepverter (Yiddish). The witty, clever retort you only think of when it’s too late. It literally means “staircase words”.

L´appel du vide (French). A longing to do something that will get your adrenaline pumping. The French use this expression when they need to jump from high places.

Jayus (Indonesian). A joke that is so bad that you just have to laugh.

Gheele (Tagalog). An irresistible urge to pinch or squeeze something adorable or plump, like a baby’s cheek.

Las palabras intraducibles en los diferentes idiomas del mundo


Fika (Swedish). A get-together to escape from the routine, with coffee and pastries.

Sgiomlaireachd (Gaelic). Annoying people who interrupt a meal between dishes.

Vergüenza ajena (Spanish). That cringing feeling you get when you see other people making fools of themselves.

There are just a few of many impossible-to-translate words and expressions.  If they have piqued your interest, we recommend you read Lost in Translation, an illustrated compendium of untranslatable words from around the world, by Ella Frances Sanders.  But before we go, we have to share one we love. At SeproTec we adore Ya’aburnee, which literally means “you bury me” in Arabic. It expresses a desire to die before another person does, because you just couldn’t bear them to go first.

¿Existen las palabras intraducibles?

junio 20th, 2018 | Posted by admin in Blog - (Comentarios desactivados)

Aunque nos gustaría, la traducción no siempre es infalible. En el mundo existen en torno a seis mil idiomas distintos. Si te vas a tu propia lengua, solo compartimos un mismo tronco lingüístico con apenas unas decenas de lenguas. Esto nos hace pensar rápidamente en la posibilidad de que existan palabras con una difícil traducción, o que resulten directamente intraducibles. Y en efecto, es así: las palabras intraducibles existen.

La razón de su existencia es bastante obvia: cada pueblo comparte una serie de características y peculiaridades culturales que le son propias. Esto significa que los hábitos y las necesidades diarias, el humor y el carácter social de cada rincón del mundo es diferente en mayor o menor grado. Como consecuencia de ello, cada pueblo inventa las palabras que mejor se adaptan y definen los acontecimientos y circunstancias presentes en su día a día. Podemos imaginar, por ejemplo, que la realidad que se vive en el Japón difiere ostensiblemente de la que se vive aquí en España, y que por tanto el idioma, que es un producto de la sociedad, va a diferir necesariamente entre esos dos lugares, ya que los habitantes de cada país se encargarán de reflejar los rasgos más importantes de la realidad en la que viven. En ese sentido, resulta interesante constatar aquellos elementos culturales que recoge cada idioma. Por ejemplo, el árabe hace mucho hincapié en los conceptos pasionales, mientras que el alemán cuenta con multitud de referencias a la comida.

La labor de la traducción consiste en estos casos en ser capaz de encontrar definiciones eficaces para los conceptos que resultan difícilmente traducibles. Es decir: la interpretación adquiere un papel central para que quienes hablamos otros idiomas podamos comprender esta clase de palabras.

A continuación, encontraremos un listado con algunas de las palabras intraducibles más curiosas.

Interpretación de palabras intraducibles

Tsundoku (japonés). Comprar un libro pero no leerlo, dejándolo apilado junto otros libros que tampoco has leído.

Sobremesa (español).  Define el rato de relax y asueto, que tanto gusta a los españoles y que tiene lugar inmediatamente tras el almuerzo.

Samar (árabe). Cuando una noche pasa rápidamente porque has estado disfrutando de la compañía de tus amigos.

Kummerspeck (alemán). Su traducción literal es “tocino de pena”. Define el peso que ganamos cuando comemos compulsivamente para ahogar las penas.

Saudade (portugués). Una de las más conocidas. Con ella, nuestros vecinos portugueses aluden a ese deseo constante por alguien o algo que en realidad no existe, o que quisimos un día y finalmente perdimos.

Kilig (tagalo). Esta palabra define la típica sensación de tener mariposas en el estómago.

Ohrwurm (alemán). Literalmente el gusano en la oreja, esta palabra describe esa molesta sensación cuando una canción se te mete en la cabeza y no puedes parar de canturrearla.

Trepverter (yidis). Esa respuesta o frase ingeniosa que se nos ocurre cuando es demasiado tarde. Literalmente se traduce como “palabras de escaleras”.

L´appel du vide (francés). Es esa necesidad de hacer algo que te dispare la adrenalina, una expresión a la que recurren los franceses cuando tienen necesidad de saltar desde lugares altos.

Jayus (indonesio). Un chiste tan malo que al final te tienes que reír.

Gheele (filipino). Es ese impulso irrefrenable de pellizcar o apretar algo que les parece adorable y muy tierno, como los mofletes de los bebés.

Las palabras intraducibles en los diferentes idiomas del mundo

Fika (sueco). Reunión para desconectar de la rutina, con cafés y dulces.

Sgiomlaireachd (gaélico). Personas inoportunas que interrumpe una comida entre plato y plato.

Vergüenza ajena (español). Es esa sensación de vergüenza que se siente por lo que hacen o dicen otros.

Estas son algunas de las muchas palabras o expresiones intraducibles que existen.  Si sientes curiosidad, te recomendamos el libro Lost in Translation, un compendio ilustrado de palabras intraducibles de todas partes del mundo escrito por Ella Frances Sanders.  Pero aún queda nuestra favorita: en SeproTec nos encanta Ya’aburnee, literalmente “tú me entierras a mí” en árabe. La palabra se refieren al deseo de preferir morir antes que otra persona, por no poder soportarlo.