The rules of US Spanish?
Thread poster: Diego Achío

Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 12, 2012

Hello everyone,

I am currently working on a US Spanish translation and I came across some particular doubts which I was hoping to solve by asking the community.

As US Spanish is very similar to Latin American Spanish I took this particular job, and so far I have had no problems with the translation of it but then I started to have a lot of questions in my head about if I should translate it all or leave some very specific terms in English.

Let me tell you about my situation.


Let's say there is a new company offering services in the U.S. and they have their English website, but they launch a marketing campaign in Spanish aimed to the Hispanic population in the U.S.

As they charge monthly bills, they send their bills via priority mail to their costumers, but they won't send a Spanish bill to the Hispanic population, they send the English bill to everyone, also, they don't want to translate their website into Spanish, and there are some options which can only be used in the web.

As the translation of this marketing campaign goes on, I find some strings like these ones:
(they are hypothetical)

- If you want to find the price of our services, use our Online Price Checker tool.

And so I wonder... If the website exists in English only, if I say "nuestra herramienta en línea para verificar precios" they will understand that this tool exists in the website, but if they don't happen to speak English perfectly or they have troubles fully understanding it, there is no way that they will know that this tool exists as "Online Price Checker tool" in the website.

So I go for "Utilice nuestra herramienta online para verificar precios (Online Price Checker tool)."

So I keep on translating and then I find a FAQ and it says:

- What does bill in advance mean?

If your bill says Febraury 20th, we will charge from Feb. 20th to March 19th.

- What are Extended Business Service Area calls?

Extended Business Service Area calls are made[...]


So I wonder "ok, in their English bill, there will come a text which says "Extended Business Service Area calls" and somewhere there will be a text which says "Bill in advance"". So I begin to wonder if I should actually translate those terms or simply provide translation such as:

- ¿Qué significa "bill in advance" (factura adelantada)?

- ¿Qué son las llamadas con área de servicio "Extended Business"?

I would appreciate your comments and advices about this!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 06:13
Chinese to English
Keep the English, put the Spanish in parentheses afterwards May 12, 2012

I run into this sometimes, and that's my solution.

Sometimes it gets really complex when there's a correct English version, a "Chinglish" version (simplified English version that Chinese speakers use conventionally), and one or more Chinese versions... You just have to ask the company what exactly they want: are they more concerned with maintaining consistent terminology, or do they just want to get the message out in the most comprehensible possible way.


 

EngtoSpaTrans
United States
Local time: 16:13
English to Spanish
English only or English (Spanish translation) May 12, 2012

Hi Diego, if the website is not translated, then you can leave those terms in English only or English first, then Spanish translation in parenthesis, as Phil suggested; that is something to ask the client about. The only other detail is that for US English, decimal or thousands punctuation is the same as in English (no change from decimal period to decimal comma). Good luck with the job!

Álvaro


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:13
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
This requires a bit of adaptation. May 12, 2012

It's great to see the thought you're putting into this and you're definitely on the right track. I would just make a couple of minor suggestions:



- If you want to find the price of our services, use our Online Price Checker tool.

And so I wonder... If the website exists in English only, if I say "nuestra herramienta en línea para verificar precios" they will understand that this tool exists in the website, but if they don't happen to speak English perfectly or they have troubles fully understanding it, there is no way that they will know that this tool exists as "Online Price Checker tool" in the website.

So I go for "Utilice nuestra herramienta online para verificar precios (Online Price Checker tool)."


How about specifying something like "en inglés solamente" in the brackets after the name to save them clicking like mad all over the place to find the Spanish translation.

I would either discuss it first with the client or deliver with the addition highlighted and let them know what I've done, explaining that if ever they don't want the addition they can simply remove what I highlighted.


So I keep on translating and then I find a FAQ and it says:

- What does bill in advance mean?

If your bill says Febraury 20th, we will charge from Feb. 20th to March 19th.

So I wonder "ok, somewhere there will be a text which says "Bill in advance"". So I begin to wonder if I should actually translate those terms or simply provide translation such as:

- ¿Qué significa "bill in advance" (factura adelantada)?

I would appreciate your comments and advices about this!



I think it looks a bit strange to put the translation of "bill in advance" just after the term and before the question mark. Chances are the Hispanic reader will only need a translation to be able to understand what "bill in advance" means. So I would integrate it into the answer:

¿Qué significa "bill in advance"?
"Bill in advance" significa "factura adelantada" en espanol. Es decir, si tu factura...




(please pardon my Spanish, I only studied it for 6 months and I don't have the right keyboard here either!)


 

Diego Achío  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
Member (2010)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks a lot! May 14, 2012

I tried that, but I couldn't reach them... In the end I just followed my instincts and they liked the results!

 


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