Global Spanish
Thread poster: Citec
Citec
Local time: 06:13
English to Swedish
+ ...
Jan 5, 2005

My dear customers are wondering if there could be a way to write global Spanish i.e. Spanish that's not specifically Castilian nor Latin Spanish, but some "unlocalized" version. What do you Spanish experts think about this? Is it possible or would you rather suggest the use of one or the other (or both for that matter)?

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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:13
Want to sell? Localize! Jan 5, 2005

Citec wrote:

My dear customers are wondering if there could be a way to write global Spanish i.e. Spanish that's not specifically Castilian nor Latin Spanish, but some "unlocalized" version. What do you Spanish experts think about this? Is it possible or would you rather suggest the use of one or the other (or both for that matter)?


Hi Citec,
There have been multiple threads on this topic; most of them in Spanish, but a few in English. Just perform a search for "Latin American Spanish" and you will find a few ideas.

In short, the answer to your question is no. There is no such a thing as "global" Spanish. There is not even "Latin American" Spanish. Each Spanish speaking country has its nuances (sometimes there are important language variations within regions of a same country). You could probably get away in most of Latin America with one version of a technical text but, if you are trying to sell something, whatever it is, such efforts will be badly hampered if trying to cut costs by having a single "global" Spanish version. In my opinion, localizing is a vital part of any marketing strategy. Regards!


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 22:13
English to Spanish
Les Luthiers Jan 5, 2005

Hello and happy new year for all.

Just to give an example, an argentinian troupe of comedians localize their scripts and songs for every country they perform in.

It's fun/shocking to compare recording of their shows in the original Argentinian Spanish against, for example, the Mexican version.

You can get away with a single translation for Latin America, but if you want the full meaning in many cases you need to localize.


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
The beautiful thing Jan 5, 2005

The beautiful thing about Spanish is that it is such a well-regulated language, and Spanish-speakers from all areas and backgrounds can understand one another perfectly well.

The other beautiful thing about Spanish is the incredible variety encountered in different countries, regions and population groups. They all put their own seal of uniqueness on the language.

That being said, there are subject areas in which local differences may have little or no involvement, and others in which they are vitally important. Therefore, the recommendation to localize is often appropriate.


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ecuatraddesign
United States
Local time: 23:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Versions of Spanish Jan 5, 2005

I tend to get this question as well (even though I work primarily into English). I always say that it is often easy to tell whether something in Spanish was written by someone of a particular nationality. This tends to happen when a language is spoken over such a vast area. While it is possible to "neutralize" Spanish somewhat, it is difficult to do so completely.

In an ideal world, a separate version would be made for every country, but this is usually not feasible. If I had to decide how to go about doing several localized versions of Spanish, I would break it down the following way (very roughly):

1. Mexico and Central America
2. Northern South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia)
3. Southern South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Chile (debatable, since in my experience Chilean Spanish shares some characteristics of Northern and Southern South America)
4. Spain
5. USA- a unique problem, since Spanish-speaking immigrants in the US hail from so many countries. Some companies who advertise in Spanish make different versions of their ads for different markets.

A few other things to keep in mind (these are observations more than opinions):

1. Mexico is the largest Spanish speaking market. Mexican Spanish is widely understood, especially in the USA.
2. However, South Americans often consider Mexicans and Central Americans to be culturally inferior.
3. Spain is the second biggest country. Spaniards do tend to be somewhat linguistically snobbish and their writing style is very different than that of Latin Americans.
4. When translating for the USA, it is important to find a translator who writes excellent Spanish, and at the same time knows what to render into Spanish and what stays in English (and who has no qualms about using "Spanglish" when comprehension is of the essence).

Hope this helps.


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Andrea Torre  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:13
Member (2004)
French to Spanish
+ ...
Have a look Jan 6, 2005

at this thread http://www.proz.com/topic/25790
if you understand Spanish...
I asked exactly the same question as you...

Andrea


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:13
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
universal/global versions of local languages Jan 9, 2005

Citec wrote:
My dear customers are wondering if there could be a way to write global Spanish i.e. Spanish that's not specifically Castilian nor Latin Spanish, but some "unlocalized" version. What do you Spanish experts think about this? Is it possible or would you rather suggest the use of one or the other (or both for that matter)?


See the following articles on the topic of universal Spanish, universal French and even universal Creole:

The Quest for El Dorado: A Single Spanish for All
Localizers seek common terms to use across Central and South America
by Patrice Martin
MultiLingual Computing & Technology
#42 Volume 12 Issue 6
http://www.multilingual.com/FMPro?-db=archives&-format=ourpublication/featuredarticlesdetail.htm&-lay=cgi&-sortfield=Magazine%20Number&-sortorder=descend&-op=eq&search=spanish&intro=yes&-recid=33308&-find=


Localization Issues from Latin America: addressing country-to-country cultural differences requires listening to clients
by Mercedes Pellet
MultiLingual Computing & Technology
#42 Volume 12 Issue 6


Business Cultural Differences: France and North America
by Lori Thicke
MultiLingual Computing & Technology
#56 Volume 14 Issue 4
http://www.multilingual.com/FMPro?-db=archives&-format=ourpublication/featuredarticlesdetail.htm&-lay=cgi&-sortfield=Magazine%20Number&-sortorder=descend&-op=eq&search=america&intro=yes&-recid=33495&-find=


French Is More Than One Language
Local cultural and linguistic differences affect French translation
by Corinne McKay
MultiLingual Computing & Technology
#56 Volume 14 Issue 4
http://www.multilingual.com/FMPro?-db=archives&-format=ourpublication/featuredarticlesdetail.htm&-lay=cgi&-sortfield=Magazine%20Number&-sortorder=descend&-op=eq&search=french&intro=yes&-recid=33493&-find=


Is there a Universal Creole for localization efforts?
In LISA Newsletter, Volume X, No. 3, August 2001 (pp. 39-42).
by Marilyn MASON & Jeff ALLEN
go to: http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm
accessible in HTML and PDF format in section "How many locales for localization?"

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:13
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
opposite of Global French Mar 16, 2005

Jeff Allen wrote:
See the following articles on the topic of universal Spanish, universal French and even universal Creole:


Also see the following short 1-page article:
What Are the Differences between French Spoken in France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and Africa?
http://news.bowneglobal.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/hmvz0IfIXl0Fw40F13P0Et

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/localization.htm


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Nahuel Hospital  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 00:13
English to Spanish
sorry but this is not true Mar 28, 2005

[quote]Henry Hinds wrote:
"The beautiful thing about Spanish is that it is such a well-regulated language, and Spanish-speakers from all areas and backgrounds can understand one another perfectly well."


We cannot understand each other perfectly well, I am from Argentina and I cannot understand very well people from Mexico or Chile, thet's why translations into Spanish must be done in a neutral and standard dialect, that dialect is Castilian, if you translate something into the Mexican dialect of Spanish, it would be difficult for an Argentinian or an Uruguayan to read it though we would understand it in the end.


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