All about Spanish

Top 4 Difficulties in Translating into Spanish

The demand for Spanish translation is quite high today, both in business and government fields. Even private meetings, for example, with citizens of Spain and Mexico are often held with the participation of interpreters, not to mention a variety of international conferences, business dinners, seminars. This is due to several factors, such as the growth of the Central and South American economy and the increasing interest of domestic companies and individuals in Spanish resorts, etc.


What Are the Features of the Translation into Spanish?

Below are described the most common peculiarities of the Spanish language that make Spanish translation challenging.

  1. Variability

Spanish is widely spoken, which makes it unstable. In different parts of Spanish-speaking countries, there are different variations of it — dialects that differ from each other in both vocabulary and pronunciation. Therefore, Cuban may not understand the Peruvian, Mexican — Argentinean and Guatemalan — Chilean.

  1. Calquing

In Spanish, there are many words and constructions from the Arabic language that are very pervasive, so today it is difficult to suspect borrowings in them. Spanish was also greatly influenced by the English language. Spaniards wisely use the calquing or search for an equivalent in Spanish, so as not to use English words at all. For example, “online” in Spanish sounds like “en linea”. After such transformations, it is very difficult to recognize a well-known concept, especially if the borrowed word is expressed by similar Spanish words instead of calquing.

  1. False Friends

Also, the difficulties are caused by words with multiple meanings. Thus, the Spanish “titulo” isn’t always translated as “title” or “position”, but can mean “right”, “quality” or “dignity”, which can be determined based on the context.

Another so-called “false friends” of the translator are familiar words in spelling and sound, but often their translation is incorrect. An example is the word “la carte”, which means “letter”, not “card”. 

  1. Latin Basis

Serious problems may also arise because the vocabulary of Spanish, like other Romance languages, is based on the vocabulary of Latin. Phrases in Latin most often appear when cultural and historical events are mentioned in a foreign text. To translate them correctly, you need to understand not only the grammatical structure of the language but also have knowledge of the national and cultural specifics of the country.

In general, the Spanish language has a huge number of words and expressions, the meaning of which often has to be memorized almost verbatim. These include such well-established expressions as “perfect te” (improve yourself), “per aspera ad astra” (through hardships to the stars), or “scientia potential est” (knowledge is power).

There are many other difficulties and nuances that Spanish interpreters and translators have to face. Only professional translators with extensive experience and a high level of general erudition can provide high-quality translation from and into Spanish, regardless of its type and level of complexity.