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Spanish dialects in the U.S.

spanish language services

In today’s world, a Spanish translation service that understands your market and your message is essential for effective communication.

Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. CQ fluency provides fast and accurate language translation that speaks directly to your audience. At CQ fluency, we go beyond literal language translation utilizing our in-depth understanding of the Spanish culture and the Spanish language to accurately convey your message down to the slightest nuance.

spanish language translation and statistics infographic

spanish is spoken in 22 countries around the globe

Despite sharing a language, each country has different cultural values and nuances that must be accounted for throughout the translation and interpretation process.

spanish is spoken in 22 countries around the globe

why spanish is often translated “incorrectly”

In our experience, many new clients tell us they have been frustrated by past Spanish translations. They have received translated documents, only to be told by native Spanish speakers that the translations are not correct. This is only half true. It comes from a lack of full understanding of the complexity of the Spanish language.

There are 21 countries and territories that speak Spanish as an official language, and each have unique differences and cultural implications. Translating English to Spanish for an audience from Spain is much different than translating English to a Spanish dialect spoken by those from Mexico. It is important to understand not just the technical language, but the culture it comes from to communicate properly. In the United States, the dialect of Spanish spoken usually differs by region, typically affected by the countries of origin of those that most often migrate to those regions. For example, a heavily Cuban influence in Florida may necessitate a different translation than for Los Angeles, where there is a stronger Mexican influence.

As a result, there is no specific “Spanish” translation in the United States. How something is translated depends heavily on the culture and location. This requires a specific knowledge of audience and culture.

English to a Spanish translation

dialects of spanish

Spanish is clearly nuanced with many dialects influenced by a wide variety of factors and continues to evolve to reflect the changing experiences of Hispanics.

colombian spanish

Seen as “the most neutral” or the “most correct” Spanish by many. Most people can resonate and connect with this dialect and it gives a strong impression. Differences are identifiable, but understood by most. Colombian dialect is viewed with a higher level of “prestige” than other Spanish dialects. A reason for this can be that the Academia Colombiana de la Lengua is the oldest Spanish language academy after Spain’s La Real Academia Española (RAE).

international spanish

Otherwise known as “CNN Spanish”, international Spanish is viewed as a professional tone. This isn’t truly a language but leverages words/phrases that are more widely understood by Spanish speakers around the world (Latin American and Spain). When using this dialect, the challenge is balancing formality with approachability. While this helps cast the widest net possible, there is less of an emotional connection because they exclude any idioms, take a more serious tone and feels less conversational or approachable.

mexican spanish

This dialect is the most widely used variant used by 62% of Hispanic Americans. This dialect sets itself apart in terms of its grammar usage and unique vocabulary. For example, Mexican Spanish, unlike Spain Spanish, does not use second person pronouns in the same manner (ustedes is always used, vosotros is never used., regardless of formality) Galavisión is the most watched U.S. Hispanic network leveraging Mexican Spanish.


This dialect is becoming more widely used as more and more brands opt to use Spanglish. This infuses English, a mixture of various dialects, leverages US standards of measurements decimals/commas, dates/time, temperature, capitalization, etc. While this is suitable in casual contexts, we generally do not recommend it for any healthcare website, pharmaceutical resource, government communications etc. due to the sensitive nature of these contexts.


linguistic differences

The concept of these differences is not far removed from the differences between the English speaking countries. Common examples include an “elevator” in the U.S. being called a “lift” in England, and a “flat” in England being called an “apartment” in the United States. While the languages are nearly the same, they are not exactly the same, and those differences are critical in translation services.

In Spanish, there are similar examples. For instance, several foods are different depending on the region of origin:


Argentina, Bolivia, Chile – “frutilla”
Colombia, Cuba, Mexico – “fresa”


Argentina, Paraguay, Spain – “banana”
Chile, Cuba, Mexico – “plátano”


Argentina, Chile, Colombia – maní
Honduras, Mexico, Spain – cacahuate

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spanish language services

providing holistic spanish language services

One of the key differentiators for CQ fluency is that we understand these cultural differences and are able to translate both language and local linguistic variations and concepts. We are experts in both language and culture, ensuring an accurate Spanish translation every time. This means more effective communication, resulting in improved healthcare and ultimately savings for the providers with greater consumer compliance to policy and/or guidelines.