Cuba is opening up (business, culture and tourism) to a significant portion of the world once closed to it — and by world, we mean the United States, which has had a less-than-cordial relationship with the island for decades. The thawing of relations, culminating this year with President Barack Obama’s March visit to Cuba, signals a boon in renewed ties. That should be a plus for anyone working for (or with) an English to Spanish or Spanish to English translation service, or dealing with Spanish translations and Caribbean-based trade in general.
The U.S. Treasury Department, just ahead of Obama’s visit, announced an easing of the long-standing travel restrictions to the island, making the path for Americans traveling to Cuba that much easier. And with postal services between the United States and Cuba resuming, sending packages between the two nations via direct mail is now possible, rather than routing the mail through a third country as was the norm in the past, enabling future e-commerce opportunities between the two countries. Following the postal ban, and a halt to formal diplomatic relations back in 1959, the U.S. imposed a severe Cold War economic embargo on Cuba, in an attempt to isolate the communist island, and its leader at the time, Fidel Castro. How times have changed!
The Obama Administration’s shift in its Cuban policy has eased tensions and warmed relationships considerably. Even so, a good amount of diplomatic work still needs to be hammered out before businesspeople and professional translation services can harvest all of the benefits. The loosening of the travel ban allows for U.S. educational tours to Cuba, but not for general tourism. Travelers coming from The United States will have to travel in groups, and log their educational travel itinerary. And while many sanctions have been diminished or done away with, the economic embargo is still officially in place. Only the American Congress can lift it in full.
The Growing Need for Spanish Translation Services
Very few things happen overnight, yet still, an incredible amount of diplomatic progress has been achieved in a short time. For anyone working with Spanish language translation, or websites in Spanish (especially Cuban Spanish), new opportunities are abound. Political signals are pointing to good things as far as tourism and business between Cuba and the U.S. are concerned.
Cubans will be able to collect salaries in the United States and Americans will be able to head to Cuba for educational purposes, business trips, and down the road, simply for fun. Cuba is only 90 miles south of Key West, FL. Once that marine route opens up to the general U.S. public, Cuba will be a few hours boat ride from FL. Enthusiast U.S. boaters reaching Cuba will be able to refuel and continue on to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico or to many Caribbean Islands! All of this adds up to opportunity for the Cuban business and hospitality sectors, as well as for their American counterparts requiring more Spanish to English translations to cater to the language needs of non Latin-American U.S. tourists and businesspersons.
While many Americans are acquainted with Mexican and Latin-American Spanish, it looks like translation agencies and translation clients are going to have to get ready for a steady increase in the demand for Cuban Spanish (outside of Florida). The Spanish spoken in Cuba opens in a new window is descended from the Canary Islands (not Castilian Spanish), as massive numbers of emigrants left those islands (back in the day) for Cuba. Influences from the Canary Islands, not to mention a rich influx of words and cultural ideas from other Caribbean islands, have helped make Cuban Spanish a very distinct dialect of this Romance language.
With the new relationship between America and Cuba set to improve (of course there will be some obstacles along the way), the need to work with a good Spanish to English translation service that knows its way around the idiosyncrasies of Cuban Spanish will grow as well, which is where GlobalVision can help you, in all kinds of ways.