SPANISH TRANSLATION SERVICES

As with every language, Spanish and English both have their various nuances and it’s important to understand these particular differences to offer effective Spanish to English translation services. With Spanish speakers spanning Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia-Pacific, it is estimated that more than 427 million people speak Spanish as a native language. This makes it the language with the second largest group of native speakers in the world. Offering accurate Spanish to English translation services is a part of Auerbach International.

Spanish is the official language of 22 countries and is expected to be a first language of 50% of the United States population within 50 years—in fact, there are more native Spanish speakers in the United States than in Spain itself! Spanish is the third most used language on the internet, growing 1,312.4% in the last 15 years. It’s one of the top ten languages for mobile app localization and also fuels a significant gamer population. Latin America has a rapidly growing game industry, with the highest year-on-year growth for games in the world for a $4.1 billion total revenue.

According to research by Nielsen, companies looking to market to the Hispanic population in the United States should devote just as much attention to localizing their content, even for bilingual English and Spanish speakers. The reason? People prefer reading and making purchases online in their native language.

The biggest differences from translating Spanish to English is found within grammar, vocabulary and punctuation.

SPANISH GRAMMAR

Auerbach International provides English to Spanish translation services as well as Spanish to English translation services. Both English and Spanish utilize the same subject-verb-object sentence structure. However, Spanish grammar rules are much more lenient and allow for different structures to be used, while English does not. Also, in Spanish, the subject that is to be emphasized is often placed at the end of the sentence. A good Spanish to English translator is able to recognize these syntactic differences in a text and rearrange them in a logical way that flows well in English, although, this isn’t always easy to do. There are six different spellings for each verb tense in Spanish, depending on the subject, but English verbs are altered by suffixes for each tense.

Take “bailar” (to dance) as an example. The verb in English is only modified in the third-person singular (he/she/it dances), whereas it conjugates into three subjects and numbers in Spanish, making six versions of the verb in each tense. So, we say “Yo bailo, tú bailas, él/ella baila, nosotros bailamos” to mean “I dance, you dance, she/he dances, we dance”. As with adjectives, they usually come after the noun in Spanish, but before the noun in English. Spanish adjective endings are also altered by the gender and number of the noun (masculine or feminine, singular or plural), but English adjectives never change (tall boy, tall girl, tall boys, tall girls).

SPANISH VOCABULARY

Quite a large portion of the Spanish language is derived from Latin, just like French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian. English on the other hand is an Anglo-Saxon language that has been influenced by Latin, but to a lesser extent. As a result, many words that may be common, everyday words in Spanish, have cognates in English that are used only formally. Due to this, the Spanish to English or English to Spanish translator must be aware of the level of formality and the context of the document in order to decide whether to keep the more formal cognate or choose a more appropriate alternative. This is especially important when translating verbs. Usually if the cognates in English are used, the result would be too formal; in many cases, it would be better to look for the corresponding phrasal verb.

SPANISH PUNCTUATION MARKS

As simple as it seems, some of the punctuation rules are exactly the opposite between English and Spanish. For instance, all punctuation marks in Spanish must always be placed outside of quotation marks or parentheses, while in English, within. This is something that often causes much confusion. In Spanish exclamation and quotation marks include an opening mark. For example, “Hello! How are you?” would be ‘¡Hola! ¡Cómo estás!’ in Spanish. Also, the uses of colon, semicolon, dashes, and brackets differ between the two languages.

If the translation involves more literary texts and dialogues are to be translated, the linguist must be very knowledgeable because punctuation of dialogues has very strict rules in Spanish. As you can see, English to Spanish translation services or Spanish to English translation services have to consider many factors and pay attention to many details and nuances of both languages while translating a text. Our Spanish to English translation services only employ linguistic experts who have proven experience in all of these aspects in their particular language pairs.

GENDER IN SPANISH

In English, nouns do not change form and take pronouns depending on whether someone or something is masculine, feminine or neuter (he, she, it). Spanish is a two-gender language meaning all nouns and adjectives are assigned genders, like in French, and can be considered masculine or feminine. Such genders are arbitrary. Generally, objects that end in “a” are feminine, while those ending in “o” are masculine. But this is not always the case.

Understanding the roles grammar, vocabulary and punctuation marks play is extremely helpful when translating from Spanish to English.

ENGLISH TO SPANISH TRANSLATION SERVICES

As with any language translation, making English content fit into a Spanish context has many challenges. Spanish is particularly difficult because of its close ties to Italian and Portuguese, which differs from English’s Anglo-Saxon roots. Before starting a Spanish translation, the translation team must decide whether the translation will use formal or informal forms of address and pronouns. This would depend both on the target audience and the tone of voice of the client.

THERE IS NO ONE TRUE SPANISH

Just like there are variations in the English spoken in North America, the UK, and Australia, there are major differences in the multiple regional varieties of Spanish, such as European Spanish, Spanish among countries of the Americas, as well as dialect differences within Spain and Hispanic America. It can easily be said that there are as many Spanish languages as countries in Latin America adding Spain, but even within each country there are more varieties.

While these differences are most apparent in pronunciation, there are significant differences in grammar, formalities, as well as names of food, clothing, and everyday objects. The Auerbach International solution for offering English to Spanish translation services is to understand where the readers/clients are located so we can identify which specific Spanish form and vocabulary should be used.

SPANISH IS LONGER THAN ENGLISH

When offering English to Spanish translation services, you probably didn’t notice the length differences between the languages. Research has shown that Spanish translations are 20 to 30% longer than the original English text source. This poses challenges, such as in magazine articles or brochures, when the English text does not allow much open space and the number of pages cannot expand.

Auerbach International understands the challenges when translating from English to Spanish and/or Spanish to English and will take into account this language expansion without losing the original message.