10 tips for the best translations from English to Spanish (2023)

Your business is thriving and you are ready to go global. They have done some research and the data shows that there is interest in Spanish speaking markets. Next Step? It's time to adapt and properly launch your products in these new markets. What it means to translate your texts and content into Spanish.Let's go!

But where do you start? How to choose a translator? How do you ensure an excellent Spanish translation? Here are 10 tips that will help you answer these and other questions.

1. Find out which Spanish dialect you need

First, analyze your search data to find out which Spanish-speaking areas are getting the most attention. If your potential audience is large enough in multiple Spanish speaking countries, consider getting different translations for each Spanish.dialect.

Spanish is a rich and diverse language and you need to keep this in mind when targeting Spanish speaking audiences, whether they are audiences around the world or a specific market within a country.

The aim is always not to offend anyone, whether with made-up, internationalized Spanish or with local expressions of a completely different variety. And the best way to do that is to work with a different translator for each dialect.

Translate anything with Smartcat

Register for free

2. Select salutation —OfÖOf?

The next step is to determine how formal or informal you want to sound in Spanish. It's very simple in English: you tell your writers that you want something more informal or more formal, and they write the text in language that adapts to the context. That's not enough in Spanish. You must provide the salutation as there are two words forOfin Spanish - the formalOfand the informalOf.

Why not just say you want it formal or informal? Well, tones are often on a continuum and open to interpretation, which means they don't always coincide with the translator's choice.Of.

The solution? You choose from the start. This is the best way to avoid glaring inconsistencies in your translations. Ask a Spanish translator how many times they've seen the Spanish website changeOfforOf. And then ask them how bad that comes across to the reader!

but how canOfdecide which is better when you have no idea how Spanish works? Now that you know the importance of making a decision, talk to your current or potential Spanish translators and ask them what the best option is for each dialect and purpose. And then stick to it.

3. Focus on the location

Which brings us to point three: cultivating the uniqueness of Spanish in any cultural setting.

Don't be afraid to ask your translators to adapt the content of your message to what works locally. For example, if your original English text is a story about a father taking his son to a baseball game, this could work perfectly in Spanish-speaking countries like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, or Mexico, where baseball is a national sport. . . – but people in Spain, for example, will not identify. In these cases, it might be worth adapting the story to an entirely different sport to achieve the same effect. Don't be afraid to encourage your translators to do this. They will appreciate your trust in them and do a better job of it! (In case you're wondering, football would be right for Spain!)

The more creative you are with your localization process, the closer you get to itTranscreation, which is a form of translation in which whole parts can be rewritten or the content can be completely changed to achieve the same effect in a completely different market.

4. Prepare for Spanish to take longer

Due to the nature of the Spanish language and sentence structure, Spanish texts are generally longer than English texts.source texts.

If you work with websites, software or apps, pay close attention. texts in the user interface,Saiten, and sites are usually limited byspace restrictions, the sooner you take this into account the better (ideally in the development phase) to avoid problems like overloading or missing text.

Sometimes translators can get around these problems by using English abbreviations or terms, but remember that the goal of translating your product into Spanish is to provide Spanish-speaking customers with the best possible user experience. So keep space issues in mind to give your translators the best chance of satisfying Spanish-speaking users.

5. Use Spanish equivalents of English terms where appropriate

Like most languages, Spanish borrows words from other languages, especially English. For example,Marketing,Smartphone, mishoware all words used in Spanish, although there are local equivalents. What is best for your translations? good mostlanguage professionalswill tell you that Spanish words are best, but only if there are real Spanish equivalents!

Staying alone in Spanish is difficult, especially in technology, since there is simply no Spanish word for many new concepts and innovations. Solution? Ask your translators to use words that real people use regularly. This becomes more important than ever when it comes to SEO.

Again, it's worth noting that conventions vary widely from dialect to dialect. For example, the acceptance of English words in Spanish is much higher in Mexican Spanish than in Spanish from Spain.

6. Avoid the male gender by default

Spanish is a gendered language, which means that when you're talking about a person, you need to assign a gender to them. Example: "Ask your friend." is gender-neutral in English, but in Spanish you must specify if you're talking about a friend (FreundÖAmiga).

Therefore, the translator must choose or find a solution to avoid specifying a genre, ie. reform text.

It is important to note that traditionally the masculine form is taken as the default gender when unknown. But with sociocultural values ​​changing everywhere, these forms of gender are becoming less and less accepted.

What does that mean for you? Well, unless your audience is specifically male or female, it's safest to ask your translators to keep the language as gender-neutral as possible.

7. Don't be surprised¿Ö¡

There are many strange phenomena in the Spanish language, but perhaps the most unique and confusing if you've never seen it is the use of an upside-down question mark at the beginning of each question and an upside-down exclamation point. beginning of each exclamation.

Unfortunately, these important punctuation marks are removed from many translated texts, either because they were not placed there in the first place or because someone unfamiliar with the language removed them. Anyway, they're there for a reason and it just doesn't look professional when they're absent!

Speaking of which, some other differences compared to English are the use of commas instead of periods for decimals, and only capitalizing the first letter of the first word in titles. Now you know!

8. Minimize your gifts and thanks

If your English to Spanish translation gets around 20% of the likes and thanks of the original, don't think you've been ripped off! Your translator is not sloppy or taking creative liberties. Actually, it's just the opposite: it shows that they're doing their job, because Spanish is less polite by default. Or let me put it this way, it doesn't take that many pats and thanks to denote the same level of courtesy. If you leave them all in, you risk coming across as patronizing or fake at best.

Your translators should already be aware of these cultural differences, but it doesn't hurt to remind them and give them explicit permission to add or subtract as necessary to fit the local context.

9. Beware of fake friends

No, we're not asking you to reconsider the company you keep (but you can do so at your leisure!) If you don't already know, pretend to be friends orFalse friendsthey are words that sound very similar in both languages, but against all logic have very different meanings in each language.

Let's see an example:ashamedin English it is very similarpregnantÖpregnantin Spanish. The problem is that the Spanish word has nothing to do with feelings of shame or embarrassment, it has everything to do with being pregnant! Yes, you can imagine how many funny, confusing and downright embarrassing (so meta!) situations this has led to in the history of Anglo-Spanish relations. Imagine a native English speaker saying, “I ampregnant“. Well, he'll definitely be embarrassed after saying that!

Other Spanish examples includereasonable(Halfconfidential),real(Halfactually),Bomber(HalfBomber, NObombing!), miEngagement(HalfEngagement).

So what do you do with these traps set for you by the language gods? Well, you just have to keep in mind that false friends are very common in Spanish. It's your translator's job to take care of these things, not yours, but it helps to know that deceptively similar words can have very different meanings in another language.

10. If in doubt, just ask!

This applies to any language, but it is very important! Remember that your Spanish translator is at your disposal for any question. Something as simple as "Would that make sense in your country?" or "Is there a better way to get the message across?" can do wonders for the final text in Spanish. Your translators are both consultants and linguists, so ask them what they think is best and trust their guidance.

Speaking of which, it's important to communicate with your Spanish translators... when you're inSmartcat platformRemember that you can contact them via chat or leave instructions and comments in the text editor.

Much luck!

So there you have it! Ten Tips to Help Your English to Spanish Translation Efforts! What do you think about her?

If you're worried about not being able to remember all the points or even wondering why you as a customer should take care of these things instead of letting real professionals do the job, don't panic! You don't have to remember everything and translators should take all of that into account anyway.

However, if you don't really know who to go to for your Spanish translations, it will be very helpful in your search to be aware of some of these basics and to discuss them with potential applicants.

If you are here now, you may be on the right track.English-Spanish translatorfor your business in Smartcat. There are hundreds to choose from depending on your needs and now you know what to look for!

Good luck expanding into Spanish speaking markets and don't hesitate to ask any questions in the comments. We're here to help.

10 tips for the best translations from English to Spanish (1)

Becky Pearse Becky is a writer and translator who enjoys writing about great SaaS and UX products. He has a love-hate relationship with email and struggles at work.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated: 03/01/2023

Views: 6198

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kelle Weber

Birthday: 2000-08-05

Address: 6796 Juan Square, Markfort, MN 58988

Phone: +8215934114615

Job: Hospitality Director

Hobby: tabletop games, Foreign language learning, Leather crafting, Horseback riding, Swimming, Knapping, Handball

Introduction: My name is Kelle Weber, I am a magnificent, enchanting, fair, joyous, light, determined, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.