Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation

Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation

Est. Reading Time: 3min
Category: Translate
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
By: Babak Vosooghzadeh

In order to perform error-free Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation, many issues such as context analysis, language localization and nuances, cultural cues, grammar rules, language size and formality have to be considered.

Spanish Language around the world

Spanish is the most spoken language after Mandarin in the world, and 460 million people are native Spanish speakers. Moreover, it is the official language of 22 countries in North, Central and South America, Caribbean, Europe, and Central Africa. 

This has led to different versions of the Spanish language and culture throughout the world. Certain phrases and vocabulary in Spanish have different meaning depending on the location. Therefore, before translating from English to Spanish, the location of the target reader has to be determined in order to identify the specific version of Spanish and to complete the language localization process. Basically, different Spanish language nuances have to be taken into account in order to maximize transparency. Similar translation process applies for Spanish to English translation.

Furthermore, In order to translate cultural terms from Spanish to English (or vice versa) and to resolve expressions that could have more than one meaning, the relationship between words and phrases has to be analyzed for the whole text in the source language instead of relying on a fixed set of cultural term equivalencies between Spanish and English or relying on the meaning of isolated words or phrases. This context analysis is extremely critical for error-free translation.

Read more: 5 Things You Need to Know About Death Certificate Translations

Spanish Grammar Rules

It is important to note that English and Spanish have notable differences in grammar rules. For example, depending on the tense, a verb in Spanish is modified into six different forms and similar to French, Spanish is a two-gender language with different endings for masculine and feminine objects. Also, the subject-verb-object format is used in Spanish but in order to place more emphasis on the subject, the structure may be modified to verb-object-subject. Moreover, grammar rules are usually less strict in Spanish but there are some restrictions on employing adjectives. Therefore, the translation process has to sort out all of these differences in syntax.

Language size is an important issue in Spanish. For conveying the same information, on average, Spanish uses 30% more words. This implies that in translating English content or advertisements for a Spanish market, the size of the text may increase. If this poses a problem due to limitations in advertising space or if there is a desire to use the same length in both languages, then translation has to be performed in a manner that would result in fewer words without compromising the advertiser’s message.

Read more: Video Translation and Online Marketing

Formality is another important concern in Spanish, and different sentence structures are used to reveal the extent of seriousness. On the other hand, sentence structures in English usually do not reveal the formality of the text. Therefore, when translating content from English to Spanish, the intent and the target audience have to be identified in order to provide the proper translation that would include the information on formality.

Spanish Global Market

Calgary Translation Services provides error-free translation between Spanish and English by handling cultural cues and language nuances, by localizing to the required language version and having a deep understanding of the subject matter and context. For businesses, these features are essential to maintain an image, avoid legal trouble and costly inaccurate translations, reach a wider audience, gain a foothold in the Spanish global market and ultimately improve business prospects in this huge market. 

About the author

Babak Vosooghzadeh

As a new migrant to Canada, Babak realizes the important role of international trade and proper translation in Canadian economy.

He has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University (1991) and has an Accounting Assistance Certificate from Columbia College, Calgary (2020). He has 30 years of experience in the communications and energy sectors, and has submitted more than 70 technical and marketing articles in LinkedIn and ResearchGate to promote Canadian businesses in different sectors. His business-related articles include topics on diversified prescriptive analytics, financial transactions, economic feasibility, incremental innovation and upstream marketing. He is also an advocate for international trade.