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Neutral Spanish

One of the most important questions a project manager can ask when preparing to organise a translation is about the intended audience.  Is the Chinese translation for mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan?  Is the Portuguese translation for Portugal or Brazil?  Is this Spanish translation aimed at Spaniards or Spanish speakers in South and Central American countries?

These variations on one language are more in-depth and important than some people may realise, and as such, it is important that any translation is specifically carried out with the audience country in mind.  This often means translating a text into one language twice, one for one country, and one for another.  However, if a client only wishes to invest in translating text once, yet wants to appeal to both South American and European markets, for example, what can be done?  Should they choose between the two, use the same translation for both markets, or is there another way?  This is where “Neutral Spanish” comes into play.

The idea behind this concept is that vocabulary and terminology be defined early in the process, so that only terms that will be understood in both target audiences are used in the translation, thus ensuring that the final translation is suitable for use in both Spain and South American countries that use Spanish, such as Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina.  The large number of Spanish speakers who reside in Central America may be included in the client’s target market as well, so their variation of the language must also be taken into consideration. (more…)

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