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Spanish Localization

Spanish Localization

The Spanish language is widely spoken globally, but because the language is so widespread, each country has developed its own dialect, unique words, and expressions.

The importance of localization and transcreation in translation cannot be overstated when it comes to accurately and effectively communicating with audiences in different Spanish-speaking countries. Localization involves adapting a translation to make it appropriate for the target country, taking into account local cultural and linguistic differences. Transcreation, on the other hand, goes beyond translation and involves creating new content that is culturally relevant for the target country. Failing to do so can also result in the text not being understood by the intended audience and can lead to confusion or even offense. Furthermore, localization and transcreation show respect for the cultural differences of each country and help to foster stronger connections with the target audience. In the globalized world we live in today, localization and transcreation are crucial for effective communication and successful business endeavors. Language Concepts professionals fully combine the art and science when translating, transcreating, and localizing your source text into your target text.

So what are some examples of why you might need to specify which country’s Spanish want your text to sound like? Or which Spanish-speaking country is your content intended for?

For example, Spanish in Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Puerto Rico can differ greatly just to name a few of Spanish-speaking countries.

In Mexican Spanish, for example, there are many words and expressions that are specific to Mexico and are not used in other Spanish-speaking countries.

If a content is addressed to a Mexican audience, it is important to adapt it to fit Mexican cultural norms and values, include Mexican cultural references and use words and expressions that are commonly used in Mexico.

Examples of some words and colloquial Mexican expressions: "preparatoria" (high school), "güero" (blond person), "¡Qué chido!" (how cool!), "güey" (buddy), "troca" (truck), "chulo" (nice), "la neta" (honestly, it is the truth), "¡Está cañón!" (it is difficult, it is complicated), "¡No hay pedo!" (not a problem!), "¿Qué onda?" (how is it going?), "¡No manches!" (I cant believe it!, shut up!), and "torta" (sandwich).

On the other hand, if a company wants to advertise its products in Argentina or address its content to an Argentinian audience, it is important to use Argentinian Spanish and to include Argentinian cultural references in the ad, such as local celebrities or politicians recognizable by locals that may not be recognizable outside of the country.

In Argentinian Spanish, there are also many words and expressions that are specific to Argentina and are not used in other Spanish-speaking countries. Some common Argentinian expressions and words include: “bancar” (support someone/put up with something/someone/be accountable for something said/take charge of a situation), “boliche” (club, bar), “boludo” (stupid, fool), “quilombo” (a mess, fuss), “laburo” (work), “mina” (female, woman), “trucho” (fake), “morfar” (eat), “pibe” (kid), “guitar” (money), “ni en pedo” (no way!), “remera” (t-shirt), etc.

Peruvian Spanish also uses unique expressions and words not used in other Spanish-speaking countries. For example, estar “asado” (to be angry), ser “ayayero” (to butter someone up), “bamba” (a fake product), “cachaco” (from the Military), estar “envarado” (to have influence), ser “fosforito” (to get annoyed quickly), “kión” (ginger), “casaca” (jacket), “al polo” (very cold, usually used for beverages), “al toque” (right away, without delays), “cachuelo” (temp job), “como cancha” (a great deal of/a lot of), etc.

On the other hand, some common Puerto Rican expressions and words include: “aquí en la brega” (I am working), “añoñao” (someone very spoiled), “bembé” (party), “birras” (beers), “bregar” (deal with, work on something), “embuste” (a lie), “enchulao” (in love), “janguear” (hang out), “panas” (friends), “revolú” (a mess), “sorbeto” (a straw), “tapón” (traffic jam), among others.

In addition to more vocabulary and casual local expressions, there are also differences in the way fruits and vegetables are named in different Spanish-speaking countries. This typically developed from language interchanges with other languages present in the region, either from indigenous cultures, colonizers, or colonizers bringing enslaved peoples to the region. For example, the word for avocado is "aguacate" in Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, and Venezuela, but it is known as "palta" in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay. Zucchini is called "calabacita" in Mexico, "zapallito italiano" in Peru, "calabacín" in Spain, Colombia, and Venezuela. Cilantro is known as "cilantro" in Panama, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Mexico, and Venezuela. Corn is called "elote" in Mexico and "choclo" in Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador. Beets are called "betabel" or "remolacha" in Mexico, "beterraga" in Peru, Argentina, and Chile. Beans are known as "ejotes" in Mexico and "vainitas" in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

These differences in dialect reflect the unique cultural and historical influences of each country, and without adapting them in your text, it can sound foreign and unrelatable.

In conclusion, the different dialects of Spanish spoken in Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico and the rest of Spanish-speaking countries highlight the importance of localization and transcreation, rather than just translation. By taking into account the unique cultural and linguistic differences of each country, we can collaborate with you to create complete transformations of your text from source language to target language that are accurate, relevant, and effective for their target audience. This ensures that your message is properly conveyed and understood by the intended audience, which is essential for the success of any communication and business.

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