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Slang, Idioms, and More

About a century ago George Bernard Shaw remarked that England and the United States were two countries divided by a common language.  The differences in the Spanish spoken in Spain (not to mention in the different regions of Spain itself) and that spoken in Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, etc. can make it seem like everyone is not speaking the same language either.
When translating from , one of the problems we commonly face is knowing what country or region we are writing for, then adapting our text to the “flavor” of the intended audience. We may also have to take a text in English and put it into a Spanish with Caribbean slang, Catalan terms, or from Buenos Aires. Maybe we’re not sure of the meaning or if the word we know is used in the same way there. Most times a will have to consult a local (if he or she is lucky enough to know one), search in a forum that has speakers from different countries, or look to a special resource, such as the one that I’d like to share with you now: the “Jergas de Habla Hispana” website. I’ve found it to be a useful tool for finding some of those “weird” words that don’t appear in other , and though the site’s creators acknowledge that it’s not all-encompassing, they invite visitors to further enhance it.