Although we know that producing translations that are localized as specifically as possible can be fruitful, many people find it may not be realistic to have their project localized for all of the different varieties of Spanish spoken in different locales. In 2010, Spanish was ranked number two in terms of number of native speakers worldwide, falling second only to Mandarin.
There are many different countries with Spanish speakers, and oftentimes, a company may want to release its product to an audience that spans across many of these different locales. While each area has a different dialect and therefore could require specific changes in the finalized, localized product, it is not always within someone’s budget to go through this process each time for every locale, and therefore, may pose the question, “Is there a universal Spanish I can use? Something everyone will understand?” The answer to this is both “yes” and “no” and may also depend on the text.
Universal Spanish can be a challenge, given all the different local expressions and variations in the Spanish language. Specifically, it uses more generic terminology and avoids the use of colloquial and more informal phrases that vary from country to country. It also takes into account terminology and phrases that may be considered offensive in certain countries.