Spanish dialects and direct translation into English

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Spanish dialects and direct translation into English

When we are asked to provide a direct translation from Spanish audio or video material into English, we always need to listen to a sample first so that an appropriate member of our team can undertake the work. This is because there are many different Spanish accents and dialects – even within the same country.

As discussed in this article, there are literally tons of Spanish dialects and so our media translators need to be familiar with the particular accent so that nothing is missed. The main accents include: Mexican, Spanish, Argentinian, Northern South American, Central American, Caribbean and Chilean.

There are two big influences on Mexican Spanish: indigenous languages such as Nahuatl and Tzotzil, and American English.

Within Spain, the main Spanish dialect is Castilian Spanish, and it has different verb conjugations from other Spanish speaking countries. Castellano is famous for its unique accent, which sounds like a lisp. For example, if a word has a z, ci, or ce, these make a th- sound.

Argentina and Uruguay have unique Spanish dialects with tons of distinct phrases. Since Argentina and Uruguay border the Rio de la Plata, their variation of Spanish is known as Rioplatense.

Spanish spoken in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia is often considered easier to understand, and the Colombian accent has been called the “most neutral Spanish accent.” That’s because in this region, people speak Spanish more slowly and don’t cut words.

Central America is comprised of the Spanish-speaking nations of Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and El Salvador. While each country has its own unique dialect, proximity to North and South America play a special role here. Guatemalan Spanish is closely related to Mexican Spanish, while Panamanian Spanish shares parallels with Colombian Spanish.

Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic have unique Spanish dialects, but they’re all categorized as Caribbean Spanish.

Like Caribbean Spanish, Chilean Spanish is unique and can be considered difficult to understand unless you are very familiar with the Chilean accent.

So you can see how we need to be sure before we start about the origin of Spanish speakers on recorded material! For our direct translation from Spanish to English service, our media translators will listen to a sample of the audio or video material, assess the dialect and then provide a one-step translation of the Spanish into English.

Want to learn more?

If you would be interested in learning more about this service, do please get in touch, and one of our project managers will be happy to help.


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