About Helen Eby

Helen Eby grew up in Argentina, the land of the gauchos. She is a certified as an in English Spanish translator by ATA and as a Spanish interpreter by the Oregon Judicial Department and by the Oregon Health Authority. She co-founded The Savvy Newcomer and the ¡Al rescate del español! blogs, both of which are team efforts to provide resources for other language professionals. She is also a founding board member of the Spanish Editors Association.

Interpreting, translating, supporting the profession

We completed another year of translation training! Daniela Guanipa joined me as co-trainer all year. Spanish writing: 10 sessions, September to November. Preparation for the ATA Spanish translation certification exam: 17 sessions, January to May. What do the students who finished the course say? They have become much better translators over the 17 weeks of [...]

By |2019-06-17T20:57:12-07:00June 17th, 2019|Certification, Interpreting, Spanish, Translation, Writing|

Good Spanish writing is not an accident

My book on Spanish writing, in draft form Getting Spanish writing right involves spelling, grammar, syntax... and plain old writing skills, just like in any other language. Except that writing in Spanish is the same as doing so English. Each language has its own rhythm, its own cadence. Tenses have different meanings in each [...]

By |2019-06-12T21:18:35-07:00June 12th, 2019|Language, Language Proficiency, Spanish, Translation, Writing|

Certified Spanish translators watch the details

I am an ATA certified Spanish translator. The ATA certification exam counts errors. It allows 17 error points in a 300 word text, and on point 18... you are out. Why? Back in the ‘80s I was a secretary in Argentina. I worked with a typewriter. When I typed a bid, a business letter or a [...]

By |2019-06-07T20:55:34-07:00June 7th, 2019|Translation, Writing|

Writing, a prerequisite for translation

I am writing a book about Spanish writing. Why? As a translator, I write every day. We can’t translate anything we can’t express in writing. However, writing matters after we are done translating. We also write emails to our clients, Facebook posts, tweets, comments about the issues we find in the work we are doing, [...]

By |2019-05-30T19:38:17-07:00May 30th, 2019|Writing|

Why I support Geoff Koby’s signature drive

Geoff Koby ATA  released a mission statement in the May 15, 2019 issue of Newsbriefs: ATA’s mission is to promote the recognition of professional translators and interpreters, to facilitate communication among its members, to establish standards of competence and ethics, to provide its members with professional development opportunities, and to advocate on behalf [...]

By |2019-05-18T08:53:54-07:00May 16th, 2019|Advocacy, Updates|

Preparing a Translation for Submission to the United States Government

Many documents that are submitted to U.S. Government agencies must be submitted along with a statement indicating that the translator is skilled to perform their task. This can be called a translator’s statement, statement of accuracy, certification, translator’s declaration, etc. I’ll call it a “translator’s statement” here as I dive into the requirements that you [...]

By |2019-04-16T11:47:11-07:00April 16th, 2019|Certification, Ethics, Translation|

The making of a professional interpreter or translator

Interpreters must have oral and reading skills in both languages, and translators must have writing skills in the target language as well. We can’t interpret or translate what we can’t understand or what we can’t say/write. What does it take to be a professional? Translational action, the skill of taking the message from one language [...]

By |2019-03-15T09:17:35-07:00March 26th, 2019|Certification, Interpreting Standards, Translation Standards|

Translation tools

Certified Spanish translators often discuss translation tools. Should we work with machine translation, CAT tools, or something in between? We use our professional judgment to make these decisions. Machine translation The most commonly known machine translation tool is Google Translate, which in fact powers some web pages. I have seen "click here for x language" [...]

By |2019-03-11T21:00:01-07:00March 11th, 2019|Translation|