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Language Localization

October 29, 2009 1 Comment »

In a previous post, Justin had mentioned that there are language differences in countries where English is the official language (e.g. in England, the Unites States, Australia and Canada). There are also differences in countries where Spanish is natively spoken, for instance Spain, Latin America, and even Spanish speakers in the United States.

Although a large part of the Spanish language is shared by its speakers (what we call “Neutral Spanish”), there are many words, phrases, idioms, and mannerisms that are not found in all linguistic varieties.
Before we begin translating a text (novel, document, web page, etc.), it is important for the client to define the target audience in order to localize the product for that specific market, by accounting for the differences of each market.

 

What does localization mean?

One word can be used to talk about the same thing in different parts of the world. For example, peanut can be maní in South America, cacahuate in Mexico, or cacahuete in Spain. Although the national varieties of a term may be understood, even if it sounds odd, some may not recognize the term or will find it to have a negative or offensive connotation, which leads to a misunderstanding of the text. A translator who is a native Spanish speaker or a specialized translator will identify the difference and know which version to choose in order to produce a translation adapted to that target audience without losing the meaning or the tone of the original. However, if you want to cover a broad spectrum of Spanish speakers, a neutral version of Spanish is the solution. But we can continue to discuss that some other day.

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One Response to “Language Localization”

  • Commented on October 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm

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