Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Do We Need Another Version of Spanish for the U.S. Market?

One of the most complicated parts of developing a content strategy for a project at UPS is dealing with the translation impacts. Translations not only add to the cost of a project, but significantly impact the project plan and project complexity.

When translating content into Spanish, we currently support four versions - Castillian Spanish (Spain), Puerto Rican Spanish, Mexican Spanish, South American Spanish. Whenever we talk about adding the ability for customers in the U.S. to view content in Spanish, the "which version" question comes up.

The Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. is just as diverse as the English-speaking population, maybe more so. I've long argued for another version of Spanish for the U.S. market that is neutral to country of origin.

Should Web content in the U.S. be translated using one of the existing varieties of Spanish, or do we need a new, neutral, version of Spanish to support a more diverse population?

Here is an interesting article that supports the "neutral" argument.


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