Spanish for local and global markets

In the translation and localization business we often come across the terms US Spanish and Latin American Spanish. Are there any differences between them? In what way do they differ from International Spanish and Neutral Spanish? Despite the slight variations that may occur in US Spanish, Latin American (LA) Spanish, International Spanish and Neutral Spanish, they all have one thing in common: none of them actually exist.

Text by José Gambín Igor Zubicaray


Spanish for local and global markets

Many will argue that Spanish is essentially the same all over the Spanish-speaking world and that the main differences can be found in casual speech and not in written formal speech. It is true that as the register becomes more formal, Spanish tends to become more uniform. Everyday words, however, which are the most prone to experience variations due to the constant use we make of them, can also be widely found in written texts.

Translations should sound natural, as though there were no source text. Setting aside certain types of translations (literary, sworn and under certain circumstances, legal translations), the ideal translation should sound as if it were indeed an original text, written by the audience to which it is addressed, and thus containing no “alien” terms. Is it then possible to produce good-quality translations when translating into US, LA, International or Neutral ...