Spanish Spanish or Latin American Spanish? British English or American English? Take a look at some of the errors to avoid!
As the official language of 20 nations, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. Ahead of it is English, the official language of 53 countries, plus its own birthplace in England, the native language of over 350 million people, and the number one language in business. Obviously, certain divergences have appeared over time.
Using translations adapted to the specific language and culture of your business partners is essential for successful business communications. Let’s take a closer look on some of the differences in these languages in order to avoid a number of translation errors!
Origin of linguistic divergences
Cultures and civilizations strongly influence language. If colonists bring their language and culture, the native people still leave their mark. Spanish (referred to as Castilian in Spain) borrow many words and expression from Arabic, whereas the Spanish of Latin American countries has been influenced more by the culture and language of the civilizations which had existed there before the Columbus made his voyage.
American culture, which is increasingly present in countries like Mexico and Costa Rica,, for example, has even helped in developing a new, hybrid language: Spanglish.
Moreover, it is possible to distinguish difference in the English spoken in Australia, Canada, India, and of course, the UK and the US!
Some of the noticeable differences
It’s not always easy to understand or be understood, even when you, apparently, share the same language!
In Spain, a ‘z’ is normally pronounce like the English ‘th’ sound, while in Latin America, it is generally pronounced like an ‘s’.
In the Caribbeans and certain regions in the south of Spain, the ‘r’ even becomes closer to an ‘l’!
In Argentina and Colombia, the ‘ll’ and ‘y’ make the ‘sh’ sound. Thus, ‘yo’ (I) becomes ‘sho’. There is a lot to learn!
English isn’t free from the impact of pronunciations either!
If an ‘r’ comes after a vowel, it is much less likely to be pronounced in the United Kingdom, whereas it is almost always pronounced by Americans.
A ‘t’ between two vowels almost becomes a lightly rolled ‘r’ for the British.
Even the length of sounds can differ from one side of the pond to the other.
Some of the spelling differences...
|Public Convenience, Toilets||Restroom, Bathroom|
|Queue (of people)||Line (of people)|
|Post code, Postal code||Zip code|
|Letter Box, Post box||Mailbox|
|Bureau de change||Currency exchange|
|(The) Cinema||(The) Movies|
|Mum, Mummy||Mom, Mommy|
|Chemist's, Pharmacy||Drugstore, Pharmacy|