How to Translate English to Spanish

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So you want to translate English to Spanish? Good for you. A large portion of people living in the United States are Spanish speakers and many speak only Spanish. Therefore, there is and probably always will be a market for this type of service. That is the good news. The bad news is that there is competition. Lots of it. So if you want to make it as a translator you will need to stand out among the crowd. Following are some suggestions how you can accomplish that.

Be a native Spanish speaker who can fluently read, write and speak English and Spanish. A high level of education in Spanish is also acceptable if you are immersed in the Spanish speaking culture.

Speak, read and write Spanish at every opportunity. You should be doing this professionallly and personally to help you understand the nuances of the Spanish language in its written form.

Be familiar with the different Spanish speaking cultures. Keep in mind that Cubans speak Spanish differently than Mexicans. You will need to become familiar with the different idioms and slang between Spanish speaking cultures to be a well rounded translator.

Contribute translations at no charge to businesses serving Hispanic consumers. This not only adds to your experience but it helps establish you as a committed and professional Spanish translator.

Make sure you get a business license if required in your hometown. Check your local Recorder's Office for specific information on how to obtain a business license.

Work by contract only to help avoid any miscommunication.

Market yourself through your website, flyers and business cards. Networking groups are also a great way to meet business contacts. It will be up to you to let everyone out there know what a great translator you are!


Edit your document. It should flow and be polished. Remember to keep your target audience in mind when editing. In other words do not use language that will not be readily understood by your audience. Your translation should not distract from the business or service provider. You are merely the messenger between the two languages. Try to avoid summarizing or adding comments or words to clarify the document. If you have any questions about the document you should get clarification from the writer or representative of the document.


When using translation software remember that you will have an inaccurate and literal translation. You will need to edit very carefully.