After Mandarin Chinese, Spanish is the planet’s most common language (spoken as a native tongue), with over 400 million native speakers worldwide. When looking into how a professional English to Spanish translation services can help your business grow, especially in the technical translations sphere, it might not always be clear which type of Spanish a company should choose when it comes to general translations, or localization services. Here are a few pointers to help you sort through the vast array of English to Spanish translation options available to you.
Castilian Spanish Versus Latin American and Mexican Spanish
Broadly speaking, there is the Spanish of Spain (the ‘mother’ country), often referred to as Castilian Spanish opens in a new window or just Castilian (Castellano), and then all the rest. Castilian is the Spanish from the center and some of the northern parts of Spain. And while there are other languages and dialects in Spain, Castilian is the standard form of the language. In the Americas, there are many different Spanish dialects, ranging from Mexican Spanish (very common in the U.S.) to Argentinian Spanish, which has been heavily influenced by Italian (due to Italian immigration to Argentina) as far as accent and vocabulary are concerned.
A good way of looking at these differences when you have to translate software into Spanish, or are dealing with Spanish medical translations, is comparing Spanish to English. Just as an American can understand most British accents, but might have a hard time with the Glaswegian accent in Scotland, someone only exposed to Mexican Spanish might have some problems (accents, spelling, terminology) with Argentinian Spanish, but of course would still be able to read, write and communicate.
Time and distance pulls dialects and languages apart, although modern communications have been bringing them back together. Everyone watches Game of Thrones, right, despite all of the different English language accents in that series?
English to Spanish Technical Translations
When it comes to wide-reaching (budget friendly) English to Spanish technical translations, Latin-America Spanish terminology opens in a new window is usually the best option. Spain might be the birthplace of modern Spanish, but the Spanish-speaking populations of Latin America greatly outnumber the 46 million people or so living in Spain now. Companies like Microsoft typically localize for Latin American markets first, before localizing for Spain, which makes more economic sense.
If your company does happen to be targeting a specific Spanish-speaking market, like Spain, Mexico or Chile, for example, it would probably pay off to invest extra funds in local translators who can help craft text that appeals to the target country (or region within a country) your doing business with, which in turn could help build your brand.
When a tech or medical company employs a professional English to Spanish translation service to translate software to Spanish, or work through medical English to Spanish translations, using Latin American Spanish as a baseline is a good approach. Down the line, a regional editor can fine-tune the documents. For example, if your company is filing for regulatory approval for a medical device in Spain, a Spanish editor from Spain can put a Castilian polish on a translated Spanish text before it’s sent off to various regulatory bodies. The same principle can be applied to Argentina, Columbia, Mexico or any other country with strong local Spanish variations.
Choosing what type of Spanish to use in your English to Spanish translations depends on the size (and number) of the Spanish-speaking markets your company is going to be involved with. A Spanish translation service with decades of experience, like GlobalVision, can be your matador in the bullring and tailor Spanish language solutions specific to your company’s needs.
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