Alicia Vaquero
English to Spanish Medical Translations


Alicia Vaquero Allende was born in a tiny village in Zamora (Belver de los Montes) in north-west Spain, and has been living in Alicante (on the east coast) since 2002 after moving from Madrid. She holds a Translation Certificate from the Complutense University (Madrid, 1988) and the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE, Cambridge University, 1985), which she obtained after having lived in England for 5 years. She is an ATA Certified Translator from English into Spanish (American Translators Association, USA, 1999) and has been translating professionally for more than 20 years, specializing in the Medical/Life Sciences industry, with experience in other fields (technical, electronics, computers, IT and tourism), and working from French as well. In 2011 she gained her certificate in Medical Interpretation from Massachusetts University. She has been doing global brand analyses/linguistic surveys for more than 10 years. Her medical/technical background comes from consulting engineers, product specialists or physicians, from having attended various training courses, and from her own thorough research, which gives her the opportunity to learn and acquire more knowledge about the various subjects she translates.

Training, webinars and conferences

During the 5 years she lived in England, Alicia took English lessons (at evening college) and once she was confident enough with the language, she did some refresher courses in French and started learning German. Back in Madrid she studied translation in a course that comprised simultaneous and consecutive interpreting at Estudio Sampere – Escuela de Traductores e Intérpretes, subsequently getting the certificate from the Complutense University mentioned above and the Intermediate Diploma in English (Distinction in Part I) from the Institute of Linguists (London) in 1988. Later, she retook German lessons for several years, studying up to intermediate level (1990-91 & 1993-96) and obtaining a certificate from the Goethe Institut. In order to get more computer literate she did various courses on different types of software (MS-DOS, WordPerfect, DBase III Plus, etc.).

Once she started freelancing, working mainly for translation agencies abroad, she was invited to attend some on-site training on the subjects she was translating (mainly medical), arranged by device manufacturers and the translation agency based in Brussels (Belgium) she was collaborating with. This provided excellent opportunities to attend a pacemaker training in Kerkrade (Holland), another one in Paris about heart concepts, fibrillation and current therapies (atrial defibrillators), and another one on CRT/pacemaker/defibrillator products and their software in Brussels (2005). Another very interesting medical training session arranged by a medical services company in London in 2003 was related to IVD products (instruments, reagents, test kits on HPV, CT, and GC detection).

During those really busy years mainly translating medical documentation, and working during the evenings and over weekends, Alicia managed to attend some other short courses: one in Manchester at the University of Salford (an ITI Professional Development Course) on Translation and Revision Techniques, a summer course by the Complutense University on English for Health Sciences, a conference/information day on Technical Documentation in the European Market (IFE Institute of the Chamber of Commerce in Madrid), and a conference on Training and Career Development in Translating and Interpreting held at Universidad Europea de Madrid. In 2004, she did an on-line course on Website Translation and Correction Techniques (March to June, 80 hrs). Another on-line course concerned Business Management for Linguists. Later on, in 2007, she attended the 1st International Conference on Language and Health Care held at the University of Alicante and the II Jornada Científica y Profesional de Traducción Médica (organized by TREMEDICA, International Association of Translators and Editors in Medicine and Allied Sciences, Washington DC). In 2011 she attended the 4th International Conference on Public Service Interpreting & Translation, University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid) (20 hrs), and that same year (January to May) she also did an on-line course on Medical Interpreting from the Massachusetts University Translation Center (Continuing and Professional Education), Amherst, USA.

When she managed to find some spare time, she could not resist the temptation to attend a 3-year course on Hieroglyphic Egyptian, gaining her Diploma from the San Vicente Ferrer Theology Faculty of Valencia University in 2008. After a second trip to Cairo, a long-held ambition to learn Arabic resulted in her attending the Official School of Languages in Elche (Alicante) to learn Modern Standard Arabic for 5 years (up to 2013). This also led to a couple of Arabic Calligraphy Workshops held at Casa Árabe/IEAM in Madrid in 2009 & 2012.

She continues to take courses (on-line & on-site), as part of the Continuous Professional Education requirements for keeping her ATA Certification (points have to be submitted every 3 years). These are courses related to translation and translation tools, such as Trados, Across, creating a website, LinkedIn, etc., and also other areas of interest, such as: Voice & Dubbing Techniques and Voice, Speech/Narration and Dramatized Reading (Alicante University), Podcasting (workshop), Philosophy for Everyday Life (the human being, other cultures, society), Health Tourism, Emotional Healing, Biological Healing (Dr. Hamer’s Germanic New Medicine Conference), a Nutrition workshop (Food & Healthy Habits), First Aid & Emergencies Workshop at UMH University, Elche (Alicante) (30 hrs), Stress & Time Management in Business and Skills to Improve our Relationships in the Professional Setting workshops, Education Tourism (Guides for Maghrebi Students), Introduction to Sign Language Interpreting and the Profession (6 weeks in 2013), 5 conference sessions on The Archaeological Legacy of Pharaonic Egypt (Alicante University), etc.

Finally, her most recent educational activities include: the 4th International Conference on Corpus Use and Learning to Translate (CULT) (20 hrs on-site, Alicante University, May 2015); SDL webinars on How to Translate a Document Using the Powerful Features in SDL Trados Studio 2014 & Be More Productive with Popular Apps from SDL OpenExchange (March 2015), Introduction to Software Localization & SDL Passolo 2015 (Oct. 2015); QA Checks in Across, a Webinar by Across Systems (Oct. 2016), and a Translator’s/Editor’s Workshop on 'Digital Survival' (PDFs, editing/reviewing, Word macros) held by Cálamo & Cran in Valencia (8 hrs, February 2015).

You can also visit her LinkedIn Profile

Language combinations

English → Spanish        Total fluency (she lived in England for 5 years), ample translation experience

French → Spanish         Good command, translation experience

German → Spanish         Basic knowledge nowadays (she studied up to intermediate level)

Arabic → Spanish            Intermediate level (B2)

Hieroglyphic Egyptian      Amateur (as a hobby, she attended a translation workshop)

Places of residence 

Madrid, London (5 years), Alicante (since 2002).

Hobbies / interests 

Traveling, cinema, Arabic (artistic) calligraphy, Indian cuisine, nutrition, languages, tennis, Formula 1, Pilates workout.

She likes foreign travel and getting to know other cultures and languages, having visited various cities, such as Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Cairo, New York and Kuala Lumpur, to name but a few.