A professional translator told me not that long ago that I was not a “translator, translator.” And she is right. Although I have done translations and interpretations in my life, I don’t do that for a living.
I have a great respect for translators. I actually use translators for some of the work we do at SE2 because I believe we fulfill different roles.
I am not a translator because a good translator or interpreter (the latter is usually one who provides live translation of another person talking to an audience) becomes the medium to communicate one person’s message from one language to another in as pure a form as possible. That means the translator shouldn’t filter, add or omit anything from the original message.
My role as communications specialist in Spanish and English is to provide the best messaging in each language. That means that I need to recreate some English content if I want that same message to have a similar impact in Spanish. Other times, it means that I need to start from scratch to build a better message for a Spanish-speaking audience in order to accomplish the goals of a campaign, brand or ad. That recreation includes the use of a “cultural filter” that goes beyond translation.
So, what am I? You can say I am a bridge, a filter, an editor, a copywriter. I am a communications expert able to listen from one end and able to deliver a similar, although not always identical, message to the other end. That message could be sometimes in Spanish, other times in English and other times in a combination of both.