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The Sobremesa Coterie - Spanish Translating Group - Landing Page

The impetus for this immersion group comes from a well-established group called Mar Plateado Spanish Immersion Team (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2824354). This is a community of people interested in finding well-written and challenging articles to translate – often literature, history, arts and science –, and for the most part steering clear of Wikipedia articles. Possible exceptions to that guideline are well-written Wikipedia articles that do not have English versions.

The group will serve, primarily, as a place to share and discuss such articles/stories with other group members, and to coordinate efforts to translate them. Hopefully, it will also help learners with similar interests to find us.

In addition, another reason for its creation is the number of 'haunted houses' present in the immersion section. These are articles that have never been completed, relegated to the dark and musty corners of Duoland by people who lose interest in the article, or point piranhas who float hither and thither in search of prey.

Sponsoring a document:

To sponsor a document is to take upon oneself the task of coordinating efforts on the translation, and to see to the document's completion. You may sponsor an article that you have uploaded yourself, or pick one that you find interesting from the articles already uploaded to Immersion. Please begin by translating the filler content, such as the title, references, etc. – anything that might attract XP-seekers.

You may also upload a document and press “Remove Document” right away, if you wish to work on it alone. This hides the document from view in Immersion, upon which you may translate the document in part or in its entirety, and then re-enable the article for review by this group and the community. Please do not remove a document that other group members have already begun working on, as it is quite like taking a toy away from a child.

Articles that the group are working on, and their progress, will be documented in monthly threads, to prevent this one from getting inundated, and in the interest of compartmentalising our discussions.

The sponsor may specify desired formats (for dates), styles (for punctuation) and register. The sponsor can also decide when to declare an article 'complete', but do strive to get every sentence looked at by another pair of eyes.

Etiquette for translating and reviewing documents:

(1) There is a preference for idiomatic translations. Avoid literal translations if you can think of a better way to capture the 'flavour' of a sentence, phrase or word. This is bound to cause some disagreements over interpretation. In the event that there is disagreement regarding the 'flavour' of the original, the person who suggests the idiomatic translation disagreed upon bears the onus of proving its equivalence, and if that proves to be difficult or insubstantial, we shall revert to the most natural-sounding literal translation possible.

The goal should be to produce a translation that reads smoothly in the target language. None of us can compare to Edith Grossman, Gregory Rabassa or Susan Bassnett, but let's try to approach their greatness, one step at a time... asymptotically.

(2) NEVER downvote. None of the members of this group will tolerate downvotes. Duolingo is a learning site, and downvotes are a big slap in the face of a translator who put effort and thought into a translation. If we disagree with a translation, we discuss it in the 'discuss' tab of the document in question, and brainstorm together.

(3) General etiquette applies: give credit where credit is due. Upvote translations that you find to be good, even if you find that it needs a minor correction. Try to always 'share credit' with the previous translator.

(4) Put in a comment with every edit, except for obvious punctuation or typographical errors. It's easy, and is the only way forward for collaboration amongst friends.

(5) Every individual article, and everything pertaining to the translating thereof, ought to be discussed in the 'discuss' tab of the same article.

Those who started this group have worked well mostly because we are serious about learning, but light-hearted in dealing with each other. Differences are not always resolvable and we gladly accept that. Arguing is fun but now that we are in a group, our arguments may annoy others if carried on too long. We're in a safe learning environment here, not a cutthroat professional one, where our head is on the chopping block for the quality of our translations, so let's be cooperative and supportive of other group members.

If you read through this and want to join a very friendly community of translators, just put in a comment here :)


August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

Hala, venga! A trabajar, chavales y chavalas :) Buena suerte!

July 30, 2014

This discussion is locked.


The Sobremesa Coterie is currently on hiatus due to various reasons, everyone.


Please count me in


certainly! Come join us on the August thread, a very august venue for our humble beginnings. The link is further up on this very page :)


I'd love to join :)


Hi Ana, I notice you did lots of work on the lead casket story :) You're welcome to join! Follow the link above to get to the August session (our first!) to get right in the thick of it :)


I would like to join :)


I would like to join. I like your ideas very much!

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