Earlier this month I offered to provide free translation services through the end of the year to members of the fiber arts community that would like to reach out to the Latino community and make it easier to connect with them by offering materials in Spanish (or vice versa).
So you might ask, why isn't the MediaPeruana Designs site bilingual? Why aren't MediaPeruana Designs patterns available in Spanish?
These are good questions, with a couple of different answers.
First, my primary language pair as a translator is Spanish-English; I am much more comfortable and skilled (and faster!) at translating from Spanish into English. While I can and do work from English into Spanish, it's more challenging (though I do have my husband, lucky him, to proofread everything!). As a mom of 2 young boys trying to run a freelance business, I'm not always up for new challenges!
But if I'm being honest, the primary issue is that right now I have enough of a struggle trying to expand my business among English-speakers. While, barring any unforeseen expenses, MPD is going to turn a profit this year, it's not much. Trying to expand into a new market seems premature at best.
But wouldn't expanding to a new market increase profits? Well, maybe. But it will also take more TIME. I can barely find enough time to run my business as it is; translating everything into Spanish would obviously take even more time. So it's a balancing act--for a larger business, a more popular designer, I'm confident it would be worth it for them; for a relatively unknown designer like myself, it's a big investment that I'm not sure would be worthwhile at this point in time.
To put it into perspective, if I were hired to translate a pattern, due to the nature of this kind of text, I would charge by the hour, and my hourly rate is $35. Now, let's say it would take me 2 hours to translate my own pattern, because I'm already familiar with it. That's $70 worth of work. I have no clue what the market might be for one of my patterns translated into Spanish, but based on sales for some of my lower-earning patterns, I'm going to guess there's a very really chance I only ever sell 5 copies of this pattern. That wouldn't cover even one hour of work, let alone 2.
A somewhat separate issue is my website. My site is hosted by Squarespace, and unfortunately, they don't make it easy to offer a dual-language site. It can be done, but it's not as simple as flipping a switch. First, they offer no automatic site translation, even for the bones of your site, so I would need to translate everything--the navigation bar, the social media icons, etc.--myself. I would also need to manually copy and structure each page of the secondary site. And I struggle to find time for blogging as it is, so translating every blog post definitely isn't a possibility.
I kind of like the idea, though, of having the general content available in both languages. So maybe one day, you'll click over here and the first thing you'll see is a cover page that allows you to select your preferred language--we'll see!
What I can do right now, and what I am happy to do is to offer pattern support in Spanish. I suspect that many Spanish-speaking knitters are quite used to buying patterns and working their way through them in English. What they might be less comfortable with is contacting a designer with questions.
Entonces, les aviso a las personas hispanohablantes que sí hablo español y les invito mandarme un email con qualquier duda o pregunta sobre los patrones de MediaPeruana Designs.