Spanish Translation: The Need of Neutral Language

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on May 14, 2009

The Hispanic population has grown significantly within the last couple of years and so has the need for Spanish translation. However, meeting the needs for language translation in Spanish is a trickier process than one may think. According to an article put out by Chief Marketer, Chanin Ballance points out that “[s]poken in some 23 countries by more than 450 million people, the language we know as ‘Spanish’ is in truth really more a family of closely related languages. […] If you have visited Madrid and Mexico City you know this firsthand. The idioms, slang, pronunciation and even grammar in one differ noticeably from those in the other.”

This is all very true-- one region such as Columbia can have term or phrase that differs from that in Mexico. So, what do we do to meet the language liaison for Spanish? The answer is “go neutral.” Univision, a widely known Spanish channel, and other Spanish media have developed a “neutral Spanish” within their programming that meets all different backgrounds of Spanish speakers. In short, they have created this sense of Layman’s term within the Spanish language. Ballance says that “Latin American Spanish tends to disregard local grammatical and vocabulary differences in order to standardize the language.” It’s easiest if you can identify the exact region and location of Spanish needed for any translation, but sometimes this gets to be a bigger task than necessary. Because Latin American Spanish can meet all standards and acts as a common language, it is widely used in translations today.

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Topics: Spanish