Last updated on February 3rd, 2023 at 05:52 pm
Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world and is the official language of 21 countries, with over 500 million native speakers. The prevalence of Spanish speakers across the world makes professional Spanish translation services and working with a Spanish translation agency a necessity for companies that engage with that sector of the population.
For companies in the US, having materials and products available in Spanish is not just a best practice, but a necessity when they serve Spanish-speaking populations or are interested in marketing the products and services to them.
Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US, and in 2022, the US had the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Any business that doesn’t offer English-to-Spanish translation of materials leaves a large portion of potential business on the table. Latin American countries are also important trading partners for the US, and communicating in their language is a surefire way to start a relationship on the right foot.
Numerous companies around the world cater their products and services to Hispanics, and they prepare Spanish content by using professional Spanish translation services. Spanish is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and Spanish speakers are in many countries across the world. Having a Spanish-language translation option allows you to speak to a potential audience of millions of people.
The best professional translation services retain native Professional Spanish translators, people who are fluent in Spanish and speak it as their primary language. This immersion in the language and culture ensures that you get high-quality translations done by people who understand the language inside and out.
The Spanish language isn’t a monolith. Dozens of dialects fall under the Spanish-speaking umbrella, and it’s crucial to understand which one your audience speaks. Just as there are dialects within the English language between America, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, so are the differences between Latin American and European Spanish. While the general rules of grammar are the same, there are words that are spelled differently and have different meanings, phrases, and slang terms that vary in each country or region.
Spanish originated in Spain and was spread across the world during the colonial period. Wherever Spanish speakers landed, their language was blended and morphed into a combination of Spanish and the regional tongue. As a result, Mexican Spanish is distinct from Argentinian and Dominican Spanish, which are all separate from the Spanish Spoken in Equatorial Guinea, where Spanish is one of the official languages. Even within Spain, other languages like Catalan and Basque coexist with Spanish.
Partnering with a professional translation company will offer knowledge, and diversity of multilingual resources to ensure the right team of translators is selected for your translation project, so you don’t have to worry about navigating regional dialects.
A Spanish translation services company will ask you to elaborate on whether you need European, Latin American, or Spanish to be used in the US. There is also another option, called International Spanish. International Spanish is a “neutralized” form of the language that uses fewer specific nouns and verbs to make translation broadly applicable to Spanish speakers across the globe. The benefit to this option is that only one translation is necessary, but the downside is that your translation will not be localized and may come across as foreign in some cases.
In a nutshell, come prepared to answer the questions of your translation service provider. Explain your needs and budget. Give enough details on your target audience, and country, as well as who is going to use your Spanish translation, and how it is going to be used.
After all this information, the need for Spanish Localization is clear. Not only are Spanish translation necessary, but they must also be localized to speak directly to your specific audience. If you use a general Spanish translation across multiple Spanish-speaking countries, your message will not resonate in its intended way, because it might not be clear or close to them.
As an example of a message that is not clear, I can tell you that that happens often. I was recently in Argentina for a month, and I am from Venezuela. Multiple times, I had to reflect on the tv commercials, and marketing billboards since the Spanish sounded strange to me. They use different words and expressions that are not familiar to me.
The localization process takes into account the differences in the Spanish dialects, as well the cultural norms and sensitives of each region. Mexican culture is different from Puerto Rican, which is different from Cuba and Costa Rica- the list goes on.
In addition to the nuances within Spanish dialects, there are also design challenges to be aware of. Spanish is an expressive language, and sentences are often longer than in English. An English-to-Spanish translation may see text expansion of up to 25%. When designing websites, marketing materials, and print pieces, remember this fact. Failing to consider this expansion can lead to frustration and rework when the time to revise the Spanish version was not accounted for.
Below are areas where you may need Spanish translation services:
What differentiates a certified Spanish document translation from a non-certified translation, and when and why are they necessary?
A certified translation is a document that comes with a certificate of accuracy, which is a sworn statement from professional Spanish translators or Spanish translation agencies attesting to their ability to translate a document for official government purposes (or any other language). These are most often needed in the US for immigration purposes but may also be necessary when dealing with other government entities, legal procedures, and business affairs.
Documents that may need a certified translation include:
Partnering with a professional Spanish translation services agency makes your translation project run smoothly. Whether you need English-to-Spanish translations or Spanish-to-English, a language services company has the expertise, professional multilingual team, and tools to manage every part and piece of your project. At JR Language, we go the extra mile to exceed your expectations at affordable prices with workable turnaround times, keeping you informed every step of the way. Contact us for a quote today— we’d love to hear from you.