"Kevin's edits to our gallery texts were brilliant and thorough."
-María Gómez de Aranada, Head of Publications, the Prado Museum
In some fields, like law or construction, a translation’s style is of secondary importance. This isn’t the case for museums: gallery texts, exhibit guides and other publications have to be just as nuanced and engaging as their original-language counterparts, and the translator has to be just as immersed in the subject matter as the original author. A poor translation could irreparably damage a museum’s credibility with an entire population.
The text for exhibitions isn't written by just one person, and they shouldn’t be translated by just one person either. On a linguistic level, I translate everything myself, but I work in dialogue with a network of bilingual experts in different subject areas to ensure that my translations are faithful to the terminology, style and conventions of any given field.
I’ve translated for several major international museums, including the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Vatican Museum, as well as a number of smaller museums. I’m also an active member of the American Alliance of Museums, and if you have any questions about my work, I’d be happy to grab a coffee at their next conference.
You can find my rates here.
You can find someone cheaper. But before taking a chance on a low-cost translator or agency, consider that, in terms of your museum's reputation, a poor translation could look worse than no translation at all, and you may end up paying someone else to do it again. Translators charge the rates that they're able to command.
My prices include revision by a second professional linguist. Contact me for a commitment-free quote.
Depending on my availability, discounts may be available for projects larger than 10,000 words.
editing for museums
I’ve found that many smaller museums prefer to translate their documents in-house, then hire a translator to revise it. This is an effective way to cut costs, since revision is typically much more affordable than translation.
A word of warning: if you opt to do this (it’s not a bad idea!), I strongly recommend getting the documents translated by a native speaker of the target language. Revision is charged by the hour, so revision of a poor in-house translation (which would take much longer to revise) could end up costing more than a translation.
One of the advantages of working with a translation agency, rather than freelance linguist like me, is that they can translate your project into several languages. I’m trying to change this: though I personally only translate between Spanish and English, I collaborate with other reliable professionals to translate projects into most major world languages. If you’re translating into a language other than Spanish or English, please think of me as a one-stop-shop.