Spanish Translation Advice

Translation at its very core is a simple act. All you really need to do when translating is express the meaning of a text or speech from a source language to a target language. However, like most seemingly simple things, there are many nuances and intricacies involved in this line of work. If translation were as easy as transliteration, then machine translation is all you'll ever need to translate in Spanish or any other language. However, the reverse is instead true, so human translation remains the technique of choice for many a professional translation company or individual translation service. Things to Consider When Making Spanish Translations Then again, always remember that a translation service's most important detail of consideration is the target market of its work. This factor is especially important when translating text into Spanish for the simple fact that there are many cultures and nations (thus, many audiences) that use that particular language. To be more specific, slang, cultural differences, corruption of traditional Spanish words to suit the local tongue, borrowed words from other dialects present in some of the Spanish-speaking countries, and so forth can affect the excellence of a Spanish translation regardless of whether or not the professional translation firm you hired uses a combination of machine and human translation to ensure quality. Survival Tools for Translating Text to Spanish Even though creating a neutral and not-so-colloquial Spanish translation can be easily done (i.e., by outright preventing the use of neologisms and replacing them with general terminology that can be comprehended by any Spanish-speaking region), keep in mind that each country has its own flavor of Spanish, its distinctive way of using tenses, its unique methods of addressing people, its locale-exclusive idiomatic expressions, and so on. Moreover, you and your company need to ask yourselves some pertinent questions regarding this issue before availing of a Spanish translator just to avoid misunderstandings and ease the translator's job. For instance, think about the following:

  • What sort of text is this?
  • What is its target audience? Is it for the general public or is it specialized?
  • What is its particular market? Is it for Latinos, Spaniards, or Spanish-speaking US Citizens?
  • Is it a draft document or the finalized version?
  • What's the meaning behind the text? Under what context does it occupy?
  • Do we have reference material at hand that can help us sort out this document better? Are there any previously translated text, company terminology sheets, or glossaries that we can use to base our translation on?

To reiterate, there's a difference between translating an English language document for a market in Spain and doing Spanish translations for audiences in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, or even the Spanish-speaking community in states like California. Being aware of this simple fact will help you ensure the quality of all your Spanish translations.

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