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Spanish Major: Can You Translate This?

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Take the "Can you translate this?" challenge! The vast majority of native English-speaking, American college students with a Spanish major never truly learn the Spanish language, which means that only a small percentage ever become even a good amateur translator. Those who have applied to be volunteer translators with us (HeavenlyManna.net) have not shown the skill needed to be entrusted with even general translations. What is the problem?

There are many factors to be considered to answer that question. However, the principle problem is rooted in the fact that the real learning of a language is just not achieved in a classroom. It is achieved in the real world. Bilingualism in the ever-changing real world constantly presents situations that prompt the question, "Can you translate this?"

We believe there is far too little emphasis placed on the need to practice Spanish translation in preparation for careers in the field. Translation is not just an "art." We believe it is the heart and signature of being truly bilingual. We do realize that to be bilingual is not the same thing as being a translator. But, to be a translator is absolute and undeniable proof that you are fully bilingual. Below are is an exercise to help you practice Spanish translation. We ask in references to the sentences in Spanish below, "Can you translate this?"


  1. Uno se acostumbra rápido a lo grande que es todo en Estados Unidos, así que el apartamento nos está resultando un poco chico.

  2. Es un artículo de lectura amena.

  3. La responsabilidad es, en última instanca, nuestra.

  4. Ofrecemos: capacitación constante, sueldo fijo más atractivas comisiones, y prestaciones superiores a las de ley.

  5. Reportaron a un carro color verde accidentado.


We have not provided correct translations for the above sentences as it is our intent to encourage you to submit your answers that we will actually review. This allows all students who are a Spanish major to learn from us. We are translators for Heavenly Manna as well as for other clients. You can also learn from one another as we respond to submissions from Spanish majors, or anyone for that matter, who took the "Can you translate this" challenge.

Translation Training for the Spanish Major


While many universities and languages schools around the country offer translation training, it can be very expensive as is all education in the United States nowadays. Some highly encourage taking the training in order to gain certification or to train to test for certification. The problem with those programs is the requirement to have completed their coursework for a Spanish major. Not everyone wants, can afford, or even needs to do that.

Although professional, certified translators often want to discredit the "amateur" translator who does not hold certification, the criticism is not always valid. We have seen incorrect and bad "professional" translations. And, we have seen accurate, excellent translations by the "amateur." Our "Can you translate this?" challenge is directed to the Spanish major who will not go on to complete expensive translation training at an institution, and to the truly bilingual person who needs to focus specifically on acquiring a very large vocabulary and developing strong translation skills.

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