The Spanish language is characterized by considerable differences across regions and countries. This is evident among Latin American countries, and can be even more drastic between Latin America and Spain. Therefore, carrying out a translation from Spanish requires awareness of the source material’s country of origin, and the corresponding subtleties and nuances of the local language.
Importance of Translation from Spanish
Modern communication and transportation technology have created a higher degree of interconnection among countries, increasing the demand for language Translation services as a result. Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, surpassed only by English and Mandarin in total number of speakers. If only native speakers are considered, Spanish occupies the second place after Mandarin. For this reason, there is a wide variety of situations where translation services involving the Spanish language are needed:
- Latin American students frequently obtain academic degrees in universities from the USA. This involves translating personal and academic documentation from Spanish, while taking into account the student’s country of origin. The complexity of translation increases according to the academic level; high level academic degrees may involve the translation of complex documents such as dissertations or technical publications by the applicant.
- Higher-income Latin Americans normally travel to the USA when they require specialized medical attention which is not available in their home country. These cases require the translation of medical information by a professional medical translator, a task which involves a high degree of responsibility, since the patient’s health and life are at stake.
- Latin America is a very large region of high commercial importance, since it includes economic powerhouses such as Mexico and Chile. Any firm from the USA planning to carry out business in the region will require Spanish translation services, taking into account that each country requires a different approach due to regional language variations.
As demonstrated by the examples above, translation from Spanish has applications in the academic, medical and business fields. All three areas involve precise language and professional translation services.
Why Regional Variations are Important
Whenever a translation from Spanish is required, it is highly recommendable to hire the services of a translator from the same country where the source material was produced, but who is also fluent in the target language. This ensures that regional words and slang will be understood and translated correctly. Latin American culture is characterized by assigning alternative meanings to words: for example, a word can be commonplace in one country and offensive in another. Sometimes, a word can even have multiple meanings within the same country, and the actual meaning can only be inferred from context. It is also possible to find variations of language within the same country, and this tends to increase according to country size. For example, the accent and slang words used in the south of Mexico are very different from those used in the north.
What is the Best Procedure to Ensure Reliable Translation?
When translating from Spanish, the best results are typically achieved with a two-step process:
- The translation can be accomplished with greater ease by a native Speaker from the same country as the source material, due to the previously mentioned reasons.
- Proofreading can be carried out more effectively by a native speaker of the target language, from the same country where the document will be used.
This combination ensures that regional and cultural differences are accounted for, both in the target language and the source language. If the translation involves a highly specialized technical field such as engineering or medicine, the translator and proofreader should have the corresponding expertise and professional qualifications.