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Thread: Help Please

 
  1. #1
    New Member phoenixrose's Avatar
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    Default Help Please

    Hello,

    I do not speak Spanish, but I am in need of someone who can translate English to Spanish for me...in a way that is what one would hear on the streets. I am a writer, working on my fourth novel. As part of that story, I have several areas where the main character converses in Spanish. I used an online translator, thinking that would work, but someone who read it recently told me that the Spanish dialogue was not how it would look or sound in real life...so that left me feeling a little lost. I want it to read correctly...and I want anyone fluent in Spanish to feel it does the language justice.

    If you would be willing to help, it would probably be best handled in a private IM.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MariaLaura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Hey phoenixrose!
    Why don't you tell us a little bit more about the story.
    Online translators are not a good idea, you'll get a very literal translation and most of the times it won't sound "real". If you need short senteces translated into spanish you could post them here and maybe someone will help you! You might want to figure out the flavor of spanish you need (for Mexico, Spain, US, neutral, for Latinamerica...)
    Good luck!!!

  3. #3
    New Member phoenixrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Hello, MariaLaura,

    Yes, I think the very literal translation was the problem.

    The story is about estranged twin sisters. One twin, Kit, was at one time a cop, but after the death of her partner she quit the force. At the time the story takes place, she's working as a private investigator. The point I need a translation for is a scene where she is investigating vandalism at an auto recycling center and runs into some young Latino kids. The exchange of dialogue, as I have it written right now, uses some profanity, so I wasn't sure it would be appropriate to post on an open thread.

    The scene takes place in San Diego, CA, and someone suggested I should use Spanglish...but I just am not sure. That's one reason I felt a site like this would be helpful.

    Later in the book, the estranged twin (Karlie) is brutally murdered...and Kit will travel to Wilber, Nebraska to investigate her sister's death. In the actual town of Crete, Nebraska (which in real life is 10 miles from Wilber) there is a large Mexican-American population. I want to use that fact as part of Kit's investigation, so there will be a few exchanges in Spanish there as well.

    I would really like to work with one or two people who would be willing to share an email address, so down the road, as I have questions...or if I need to change a sentence or two, I can reach them. Working that way, I could email them the section/scene of the story where the Spanish was being used. That would give them a better overall grasp of what was happening, and also they would be somewhat familiar with what I'm doing so if there were questions, or they had suggestions, it would be easier to discuss it.....if that makes sense.

    When I needed to research police procedure, I went to a police forum...when I needed to learn about custom knives, I went to Randall Knife forum. When I needed info about PI work, I went to a PI forum. It's all part of the research process...you always go to the experts for input. So, now that I need help with Spanish...I felt a site like this would be the best place to start.

    I don't need much, only enough to set the impression that Kit is relatively fluent in the language...just a couple of sentences here and there. I just want what I write to be accurate. I'm not sure if anyone here feels comfortable with helping...but if so...I would appreciate it very much.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Veronica's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    How interesting...
    Internet must have really simplified everyone's jobs I guess. I used to do research in an immunology lab and the information to books and papers from all the other labs around the world is very accessible. Just like all the forums you have visited. I'm guessing it probably took months 10 years ago! We've become internet-dependent.

    With the profanity words probably the forum will cross them out, it enters *** for "forbidden" stuff like commercial adds too. But we are willing to help you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MariaLaura's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Sounds good!! I hope we can help!

  6. #6
    New Member phoenixrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Thanks
    Yes, years ago the researching was much harder.
    Even now, some of it is better done in person. With the book I am currently working on, I did visit the sheriff dept in the town of Wilber, NE, and talked with them about how they would handle a murder...as well as other questions that pertained specifically to what I needed my protagonist to do. Also, I have spent hours driving around the area, becoming familiar with how it's laid out, and where I wanted to set the scenes, and street names.

    The internet, however, helps a LOT...and I love the research. Even so, as you get into the meat of writing, there are so many little things that creep up you don't expect. The Spanish on this one, is an example. I guess what I pulled off the online translator LOOKED really good...so I thought I was all set with it until someone who was critiquing the piece caught it and commented on it.
    Last edited by phoenixrose; 12-06-2008 at 11:04 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum User sweetcamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Hi!
    Your book seems really interesting.
    I'm a Spanish native speaker so I'm also willing to help if you need it
    Regards.

  8. #8
    Senior Member exxcéntrica's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    I think the best idea is to post the questions here. You will get more input. Even natives often do not agree.
    As long as you only need help, not whole chapters to be translated, of course.
    Los hombres son superiores a las mujeres porque Alá les otorgó la primacia sobre ellas. Portanto, dió a los varones el doble de lo que dió a las mujeres. Los maridos que sufrieran desobediencia de sus mujeres pueden castigarlas: abandonarlas en sus lechos, e incluso golpearlas.
    No se legó al hombre mayor calamidad que la mujer."


    El Corán (libro sagrado de los musulmanes, recitado por Alá a Maomé en el siglo VI)


  9. #9
    New Member phoenixrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Thanks guys...MariaLaura has offered to help, and I've sent her the chapter I need help with at this time. However, after I go through her editing suggesions, I would be happy to email anyone else a few chapters if you're curious about the book. Thanks again for your willingness to help out.

  10. #10
    Forum User sweetcamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help Please

    Well, if you need any help, just send me a private message
    Regards.

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