One size does NOT fit all when translating for Spanish market

TranslationMore than 16 percent of the United States population is of Hispanic origin, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. The number of people who identify as Hispanic went up from 35.3 to 50.5 million since the last census in the year 2000.

Many companies have capitalized on this already by addressing this growing segment of the population, and evidence suggests that more companies are looking to direct marketing campaigns toward US-based Hispanic audiences.

One of our contractors recently sent us the link to an interview with Aida Levitan, Ph.D., APR., who talked about the importance of marketing specifically to the country’s Hispanic population.

It’s important to note that the U.S. Census Bureau uses the term “Hispanic” to refer to people from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South and Central America, or any other Spanish culture. So when we say to advertise to the Hispanic population, we mean to do so after researching just which subculture you are trying to reach.

If translating into Spanish, for example, a company should figure out which region their target market comes from. Vocabulary, idioms and other nuances may be lost on certain cultures, or may even be alienating.

Which companies have gotten it right? Tell us your thoughts in a comment!