An Inside Look with a Captionmax Translator

Hit the Hay? An Inside Look with a Captionmax Translator

Eladio Canibano, a translator with Captionmax for nearly two decades, chuckles as he thinks of all the colloquial phrases in the English language that he finds a suitable translation for each week.

“Oh, there are so many of them! I mean, when they say, ‘Hit the hay’ in a television program, they clearly don’t mean go find some hay to hit.”

Captionmax’s Localization team works with translators around the world to provide translation in over 100 languages, and Eladio is a lead Spanish translator. A native Spanish speaker, Eladio loves what he does with Captionmax because every project is different and brings unique and interesting challenges, and he knows that he has a hand in helping others fully comprehend what they are watching.

“Research! Yes, we live and die by our research,” says Eladio. Research is necessary to grasp the differences in Spanish dialects, in selecting the correct terminology in each language, and in utilizing linguistic skills to identify what translated word will encompass the greatest meaning to the largest audience. From learning the pronunciation of the entire roster of a soccer team, to researching each component being demonstrated in a corporate product video, to keeping up with the cultural references and jokes in our favorite sitcoms, Eladio and his team of translators are meticulous in their research to ensure that everything they translate will have the same meaning across all languages.

So, what are the steps to doing his job? Eladio and his team start with an English transcript of the program or content to be translated. This transcript serves as a template for the translation, and it highlights proper names, colloquialisms, and company/program-specific language that may require extra attention. The file is then translated in the desired language, reviewed for accuracy, and any final aspects of research are concluded. Once the translation is complete, the team works with the production department to create necessary file types for distribution.

What are some pointers he gives companies looking to have their content translated?

  • Allow enough time at the end of your video production for quality localization. Research and review are important to any quality content translation.
  • The translators don’t know your company’s in-house lingo and acronyms or your program’s shorthand jargon. Sayings like, “It’s stored in the cloud,” is understood in English, but is translated to something very different in Spanish. Or if Superman is the star of your program, the translators will need to identify a name that has the same meaning and impact, and ensure it stays consistent through each episode.
  • Remember “hit the hay?” Just think of how many of figures of speech there are in the English language…kick the bucket, bite the bullet, the list goes on. And each of these are translated differently depending on the Spanish dialect selected. For instance, “hit the hay” would have a very colloquial translation of “irme al sobre” in Spain. But in Latin American Spanish (LAS), it would translate to “tirarme en la cama.” These are three very different translations that are dependent on native speakers to give the most accurate translation for intended meaning.
  • Consistency is important. Captionmax keeps a style guide for each client to ensure that uniquely translated words and name pronunciations are consistent across all content pieces.

To have your next piece of media translated, contact Captionmax. 

Interested in learning more?