How to Translate a PDF From Spanish Into English

by Elizabeth Carrillo
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Adobe Systems created the term "portable document format," or PDF. A PDF uses a universal file format system. When it comes to documents in Spanish, it can be time consuming and/or expensive to find a book or document in Spanish. A relatively large number of books and documents in Spanish can be accessed through a PDF search. The best approaches for translating a Spanish PDF text to English is to do it yourself with an online translation service or hire a professional.

Spanish-English Online Translation

Step 1

Open the PDF document. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the required program for opening PDF documents. Download it for free.

Step 2

Copy and paste the web page address of the PDF into an online translation service, such as Google Translate. The service is free and does not require any type of program download. If the program doesn't identify the original language of the PDF, choose Spanish. Select English as the target language, or the desired language for the PDF. The translation is virtually instantaneous.

Save the translation as a document. While the translation can give the reader a strong sense of the contents of the PDF, the translation may not be 100 percent accurate. This is because of the immediate and automatic nature of the translation.

Professional Translation

Step 1

Hire a professional translator. The translator should be certified through an organization such as the American Translators Association. Professional translators charge a certain fee per word into the target language.

Step 2

Send the PDF link or a hard copy to the translator. She will analyze the document and create a price quote, as well as an estimated completion date.

Pay the translator upon completion of the project. Most professional translators accept cash, credit cards or PayPal for payment.


  • Do not plagiarize materials from Spanish into English. It is still considered plagiarism and can result in serious consequences.


  • A professional translator is the best choice for legal documents.


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About the Author

Born in New York City, Elizabeth Carrillo has worked as a bilingual freelance writer and translator since 2009. She contributes to various websites with articles on soccer and Mexico. Carrillo holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.

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