Ensuring an Accurate Translation of the Spanish Language

At CQ fluency, one of the most common issues that we hear is that a company contracted another company or individual to translate material to Spanish, only to be told later that the content wasn’t correct. Most often the reason is not a technical one, it is a cultural one. While the translation was technically an accurate Spanish translation, it did not take into account the culture and dialect of the audience, and wound up missing the mark in communicating the message.

The number of Spanish Speakers in America is growing significantly, and with that growth comes the increased need for accurate Spanish translation. Understanding the cultures that this growth comes from is imperative in ensuring an accurate translation.

 

Understanding Linguistic Differences

As of 2015, the United States actually has more Spanish speakers than Spain, according to the New York Post, and Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the United states, and the number of Spanish speakers has almost tripled in the past 30 years. However, there is often still difficulty in accurately translating that language. This is because although Spanish is technically one language, there are a significant number of differences in how it is spoken depending on the specific region and culture of the audience.

For example, if you’re translating the sentence, “we want to help you,” in one Spanish dialect, the pronoun used for “you” may be formal, whereas in another dialect, “you” may be informal. It is crucial to properly translate these subtleties to ensure accurate translation – again, not only through words, but through culture and etiquette.

 

How Spanish is Spoken in the United States

There are currently 5 major sub-types of Spanish spoken in the United States. These are Mexican, Caribbean, Central American, Colonial, and Spanglish, with Mexican Being the most common.

At CQ fluency, we understand the importance of understanding the audience in communicating your message – including how they speak the language.   This includes translating appropriately to include pronunciation variations, grammar, and vocabulary differences and more to ensure that your message is understood clearly and effectively.

In other instances, a translation in one Spanish dialect may not make sense in another Spanish dialect. Words can have different nuances that are unique to the culture – or two different regions may use two different words for the same concept. The possibilities for confusion and mistranslations are apparent, so at CQ fluency, we can help translate ideas to improve lives.

Trust CQ fluency to decipher the proper dialect

The number of Spanish-speakers in the United States is ever-increasing, so it is imperative that companies provide accurate translations for Spanish-speaking customers.

At CQ fluency, our culture is passion, and our passion is culture.  We have a very diverse group of individuals who all share one common trait:  We are all curious by nature. It is that high level of curiosity which drives us to both understand different cultures and to help people to better understand each other through our Cultural Intelligence (CQ) process.

Speak to a member of our team. If you manage translation services or are looking to learn more about what cultural adaptation can mean for you, our team of experts can help.