Spanish Speaking Market
company should consider the commercial and
economic importance of the Spanish language,
particularly those in the US. The single most
important export market for the U.S. is Latin
America. With ever increasing Latin American
and local Hispanic markets in the US,
companies are striving to reach Spanish-speaking
market segments which are critical to their
Today's businesses cannot afford to ignore
the attractive markets that the Spanish language
offers. Spanish-speaking people constitute
a huge community that shares products, services,
and culture and offers businesses and institutions
a truly unique growth potential.
|Are There Different Spanish Dialects?
its long history and huge geographic influence,
the Spanish language has developed many local
variations or dialects, as is natural with
all widely spoken languages. This provides
both opportunities and challenges for companies
doing business in the Spanish-speaking world.
The opportunity is the ability to communicate
in a single language with four hundred million
people. The challenge is doing it with so
many different idiomatic expressions. Should
you concern yourself with this?
|Can Spanish Speakers Understand
One Another's Dialect?
answer is yes. Sí, Señor! You
can produce documents that will be understood
by all Spanish audiences. Spanish speakers
will understand the idiomatic differences
of another region because of the extensive
lexicographical and grammatical foundation
of the Spanish language, even when cognates
vary from region to region, even to the point
of having entirely different meanings. A computer
book written in Spain refers to a computer
as "ordenador". In most of Latin
America, a computer is a "computadora."
Will the Latin American understand the word
"ordenador"? Of course! Will he/she
realize that a Spaniard wrote it? Absolutely!
In a technical book or manual, this makes
no difference; however, an advertising piece
or a personalized message directed at the
reader might be affected.
Translator Challenge in the US
U.S., with its large Hispanic population,
is becoming a major Spanish-speaking market.
Hispanics in the U.S. are an assortment of
people with different national origins. This
often presents a challenge for the Spanish
translator. An advertising piece for Cuban
Americans in Miami might be inappropriate
for Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. Hence,
while "neutral" Spanish usually
bridges many Spanish language dialects, in
many instances you may need to localize your
|Should you Localize your Text?
Our clients often request that the translated
text be delivered in European Spanish, Latin
American Spanish or even Argentinean Spanish,
for instance. However, in most cases, you
probably want the document to be widely understood
by all Spanish speakers. While this is suitable
for a user manual, a software interface, or
an international website, for example, if
you want to speak directly to a specific audience
to market a product you might need to "localize"
the language in a specific Spanish dialect.
Localizing a document makes the recipient
feel that the message was crafted locally
and thus the "message" becomes more
relevant to your customer.
promoting a shaving razor in Spain, your Mexican
translation renders the word "rastrillo
de afeitar." Spaniards use "cuchillas
de afeitar". Both will understand
each other perfectly because they draw on
a common language base. However, a marketing
campaign directed at European Spanish consumers
would be better off using "cuchillas
A U.S.-based bank with major business interests
in Chile is preparing its Annual Report for
its Chilean investors and clients. In this
case, the Annual Report probably should be
written with the stylistic and lexicographical
nuances of Chilean Spanish because financial
terminology varies in each country.
|Language Expansion. Why Does the Spanish Translation
grammatical reasons justify this "expansion"
factor. Amongst them is the fact that Spanish
translators often have to use two, three or
even more words to translate a single English
compound word. In general, a Spanish document
will be fifteen percent longer than its English
language and concepts may vary from one country
to the other. Translations might require specialized
Some countries have
specific legal guidelines regarding packaging,
contracts, text formatting, etc. that you
should take into account.
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