This is a Guest Post by Mirza Fraz Baig
Click here to read his other article, “The Global Importance of English to Korean Language Translation”.
As the third most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin and English, Spanish has its own unique features, noble, elegant and rich in vocabulary. Over 350 million people in the world speak Spanish as their first language. If we include the number of people who are fluent in Spanish as a second language, the total number of Spanish speakers in the world is well over 400 million people in about 24 countries. Most Spanish speakers live in Central and South America. Out of the 13 countries in South America, 9 speak Spanish, of course they have other native languages and dialects but Spanish is the official and most used language. Spanish speakers from disparate areas recognize differences in a variety of ways. It is important to know the different types of Spanish and the best on suited to your target audience so that your project can be translated accordingly.
No Word-for-Word Translation
Firstly, do not think that you have to translate every word literally. Since some phrases, if translated literally, would make no sense. Often, especially with longer phrases, literal translations can change the intended meaning. When you want to translate into Spanish do not be afraid to re-structure a sentence; sometimes you have to so that it reads well in Spanish. Just make sure the meaning is still the same.
Passive Voice in English, Active Voice in Spanish
English allows a number of passive constructions, which are not possible in many of the other languages with similar passive formation. Spanish is an example, as native Spanish speakers are used to impersonal sentences or active voice with or without a subject. Therefore, to make your translation more natural, you’d better convert the passive English into active Spanish in the process of translation.
Try Not to Use Online Translation Tools
If the document you need to translate requires high level of accuracy and technicality, it is suggested that you should minimize the use of online translation tools. For example, you are really taking a great risk to translate you medical or legal document by translation tools. The reason is that you have to keep in mind the fact that computers are obviously not as excellent as humans, so machines are unable to know exactly what types of Spanish you need the translation for, due to there are many varying words for certain words in Spanish. If you want to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding or embarrassment, you really should consult with a professional human translator rather than have a computer or software translate your documents.
Find a Native Spanish Translator
Getting an accurate English to Spanish translation is fairly easy to find. However, getting a translation that can truly incorporate the culture of the country is a totally different matter. Selecting a native Spanish translator can assure you of a true quality translation project with idiomatic language, high accuracy and excellent fluency. A native has intimate knowledge of local culture and language feature, which can minimize the gap caused from language conversion.
Translation Should be Faithful and Accurate
Speak in their language more than just in words, but in the style and the tone as well. Emulate the original style of the author, be it humorous, wordy, with colloquial or scientific language, etc. A professional Spanish translator is a better choice than getting someone who simply knows the language. It will help ensure that the document translation is as appropriate as possible. That is undoubtedly a crucial issue if the Spanish translation is meant for legal or governmental requirements.
Be Careful About the Language Nuances
English is classified as a Germanic language, while Spanish belongs to the Romance languages. English and Spanish are different in pronunciation, word-formation, grammar, word style and so on. Language nuances do matter when making a professional translation. The way documents are organized in one country may not be understood in another, so the best way to minimize these language gaps is to ask a specialist or a native speaker to proofread your translation so that it sounds natural.