A professional Spanish translation services company should be able to help its customers identify the best target language (the company’s document translation services team must be sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of individual countries and their regional differences) in order to maximize the benefits and impact of its professional document translations.
Document translation services experts will tell you that this can be particularly tricky when translating from one language into Spanish. It is important to take into account the fact that the Spanish language has a vast geographic dispersion. From Spain to the Philippines and from the US and Canadian border to Tierra del Fuego, the Spanish language is spoken by nearly 350 million people and is the official language of more than 20 countries as well as being the de facto second language of the United States after English, with around 43 million native speakers.
If feasible, and when appropriate, the best and safest course of action is to go for a neutral or not country-specific professional translation. Such a professional translation would assure clear communication and would be perfectly suitable for all Spanish-speaking markets from a linguistic point of view. Such a professional translation approach should use standard Spanish terminology and grammar, instead of a vocabulary and style, which denote a particular geographic preference.
Abiding by the standard linguistic rules and terminology of the Spanish language and producing a professional standard Spanish translation is the best option for most usages. However, one of the issues with this approach is that it does so without the particular local flavor of individual Spanish-speaking countries, such as preferences for verb tenses, regional idiomatic expressions, distinctive terminology, etc.
If using a professional standard Spanish translation is not possible, the first difference to be made is between the Spanish used in Spain (usually referred to as European Spanish) and the Spanish used in Latin America (or Latin American Spanish).
As mentioned before, it is important to remember that Latin American Spanish may be a very nice abstraction, but it is not a language in the real sense of the term. Latin American Spanish is a simplification. There are also very important stylistic and terminological differences among the Spanish speakers in the region. When dealing with certain types of material, such as marketing material, legal material, or sales material, it may not be possible to use the same professional translation for audiences in Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile and the vast number of Spanish-speakers in the United States.
Professional document translation services providers such as ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc. and its legal division, Legal Translation Solutions, will be able to help the customer to determine whether a professional standard Spanish translation is suitable for a given professional translation project or if it requires a more country-specific professional translation, depending on issues such as the type of text to be translated, the domain, the target audience, the level of specialization and the specific market.