Cifuentes Translations
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Father’s Day Translation Special

Henry Cifuentes Linguistic Validation

Our team is a family. That means we won’t let Father’s Day pass by without giving you a peek into Henry’s journey into translation and linguistic validation. See what Henry has to say about his experience working with his family in Cifuentes Translations. Happy Father’s day to all the fathers out there!

How did you get into the translation profession?

I always loved writing and words. Translation involves a lot of writing and dealing with linguistics.  My first experience with translation/localization in a professional setting happened a few decades ago. During a stay in Paris, I participated in translation project regarding a TV spot for a major French automotive company. It was a pilot marketing test: our task was to watch a video and read a script for an advertisement spot that had been developed originally in French and come up with a version that would be culturally and linguistically adapted to the US market. Fast-forward some years later, my wife became a professional translator and inspired me to get the proper training to get into the field. Once I started as a professional translator, I immediately loved the fact that I could spend more time with my loved ones and be able to work from home, have my own schedule and work in a profession that I was passionate about.


These days you spend more of your time on linguistic validation. Can you tell us more about that process?

Linguistic validation is a process that “filters” a translation to its best possible version. It may seem excessive to have a 300-word document go through 2 or more Forward Translations to come up with a draft first version, then a back-translation, cognitive testing, expert review, etc., but I am always amazed about how many little bugs are caught in the process that would otherwise go undetected. The final product is always impeccable. I also enjoy the high level of interaction with people, other translators, and professionals from several other sectors.


What does a typical day look like for you?

I have always been an early bird, which comes in handy since most of my clients are in Europe and I live across the Atlantic. I make it a point to go for a hike and do some meditation before I start work. Then I check and process my email, look at my agenda and start working on the scheduled activities. My work involves a lot of project management activities, so I often have to deal with unexpected situations. For example, text that has been added to an ongoing project, an FT or BT that needs additional editing, things like that.


What’s it like to work with your family?

It is very rewarding, in particular when we work together on a project and we get to share and discuss ideas, steps, concepts, etc., I thrive on this interaction. Lately, I have to travel a lot for Cognitive Debriefings, so I do not get as much face-to-face family time as would like to, but we always interact via the Internet.

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