If our native language defined us, we’d all be living in Spain. Olé! According to Roget’s dictionary, the term ‘Spanish’ means:
adjective > of or relating to Spain, its people, or their language.
noun > 1. the Spanish people collectively; 2. a Romance language, the language of Spain, standard also in most of Latin America except Brazil.
Good thing they decided to throw in the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries for good measure. To talk about the variations of Spanish is like talking about how many shades of gray the eye can perceive. If you don’t believe me, listen to “Qué difícil es hablar el español”, a song performed by the Ospina brothers from Colombia pretending to be English speakers who, even when they claim to have studied and spent ample time in many Spanish-speaking countries, they just seem to get in trouble every time they talk to a girl. They insist on “how difficult it is to speak Spanish, because everything has a different definition” with the word ‘chucho’ as the best example. In El Salvador and Guatemala it means ‘dog’, in Honduras ‘stingy’; the nickname for men named Jesús is ‘Chucho’; in Argentina it means cold; in Chile it’s a jail-cell, and in Mexico it means clever. No wonder the poor guys –utterly defeated- decide to return to their country.
Here’s the video with English subtitles in case you’re curious.
Translation procurers often rely on their vendors to tell them what type of Spanish they need depending on the countries they’re targeting, though some will just ask for ‘Mexican’ or ‘Puerto Rican’ as if these were two completely different languages, not derivations of Spanish. Although they both come from the same one thousand-year-old mother, they’re indeed kind of different. What is true is that even though global companies may have the budget to translate into 22 different kinds of Spanish, typically, Universal Spanish will be adjusted to be understood across all Latin-American countries, and the original translation will be adapted for Spain.
Although some Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America have some sort of translation presence, there is no question that Argentina is light-years ahead of its peers in terms of educating and preparing translators with approximately 64 ATA approved colleges offering a university degree in translation, followed by Mexico and Chile. Argentina also leads in the application of new technologies, but the most revealing number came from the largest association in the localization industry, GALA, where Argentina has more companies registered (18 local and 4 subsidiaries) than its competitors in Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia with either just one local company or a subsidiary registered. That says a lot!
Let’s not forget Argentina’s geographic convenience, as it is strategically located one hour ahead of New York time and sort of in-between America and Europe. Argentina’s translation industry continues to thrive and is tremendously competitive when it comes to quality, price and speed of delivery, the ‘holy trinity’ of translation procurement.
If you are a global company seeking to localize for more than one Spanish-speaking country, come to Argentina! We know Spanish!
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org