torsdag 5 november 2015

Translating into “International Spanish”

Some languages are spoken in one single culture and country, such as Finnish. 
Other languages may have a few variants, such as French for France, Canada and Switzerland. 
Yet others imply a serious complication when doing international business, and one of them is Spanish, my mother tongue and target translation language.

European Spanish is ideal for Spain, but then every Spanish-speaking country in America has differences – in pronunciation and culture, and also in specific words. For instance, the Spanish spoken in the USA, Panamá, Cuba and surrounding areas has strong influences from English and the USA culture. The Spanish in Mexico has particularly strong regional variations, to such a degree that their common daily Spanish may be something nearly impossible to understand in Spain. Then the South Cone countries have a more or less similar kind of Spanish between themselves (but also different to the one used in Spain). A translation geared to any specific country with its variety of Spanish, while for the most part will probably be understood in another Spanish-speaking country, will feel foreign to them – and in the worst case, the meaning may be different or even insulting.

I can offer you translation into Spanish from Spain (where I was born and raised, and lived most of my adult life), or a more “neutral” variant. My mother is from Argentina and I have many contacts with other Spanish-speaking countries so I am aware of words that can be potentially dangerous, and can avoid flavoring the translation with too much Spain culture.

However, please be aware that there is no such thing as a completely neutral Spanish that will work perfectly in all countries. If you wish to target the people in a given country with best effect, especially when it comes to advertisement and use of colloquial or family language, you will achieve best results with a totally localized translation. In that case I would advise you to turn to a translator that will localize it for that particular country for you, or alternatively, get a translation into Spain Spanish and then proofreaders/editors who will adapt it seamlessly into each of the language locales (say Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, etc).

Feel free to contact me to discuss your particular scenario. I will be happy to offer my professional advice. 

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