Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stealing a gem from my esteemed colleague....

I just received the best set of tips, from Beatriz Bonnet and our friends at Syntes Language Group in Denver, Colorado. I'm including an excerpt here.

When you're marketing to Hispanics, and considering translation:

Identify your audience. The US Hispanic population is extremely diverse and encompasses natives of all the Spanish-speaking countries plus part of the US-born first generation of Hispanics. It includes all races and socio-economic backgrounds as well as many different cultures and sub-cultures. Therefore, translating for a mass market audience requires a different approach than translating for a restricted, more easily identifiable audience.

If a construction company, for instance, hires only workers who are originally from Mexico, it is easy to tailor the translation of a safety manual just for them and write it in “Mexican Spanish.” On the other hand, if a consumer goods company, for example, is trying to reach the widest possible market and is advertising through mass media, then the most neutral Spanish possible is needed to appeal to all the Spanish speakers in the United States and, most important, in order not to offend any one constituency.

In addition, defining the audience in terms of demographics will help to determine the style used in the translation, as well as such factors as whether the formal you (usted) or the informal you (tú) should be used.

Thanks to Beatriz Bonnet for this fantastic introduction for anyone looking to appeal to Spanish speakers in the U.S.!

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