3 Things To Consider To Ensure Natural Spanish Translations

3 Things To Consider To Ensure Natural Spanish Translations

With around 500 million speakers globally, Spanish is among the most translated languages today. Moreover, it is common knowledge that selling in another language is a highly effective way to increase your brand’s customer base overnight.

Thus, with ever-growing Spanish speakers and communities in regions like the United States, where many businesses already have a foothold, targeting a larger pool of potential clients in established markets makes perfect sense.

However, translating your content into Spanish in a way that sounds natural is not as simple as one would think. To help ensure your Spanish translations turn out excellent, consider the following before engaging with a translation agency in Singapore.

1. Translating English expressions directly

It is important to note that significant linguistic and cultural differences exist between Latin Americans and Hispanics. Spanish encompasses many different dialects depending on where in the world it is spoken.

These dialects are a variation of Spanish that alters its grammar, pronunciation, and more but keeps it mutually intelligible to other Spanish speakers to some degree.

For example, a local from Argentina may not fully understand the Salvadorian or Honduran way of speaking. However, people from Peru and Spain can still understand one another despite speaking two dialects. Therefore, paying attention to the audience you wish to appeal to and localise your content appropriately is essential.

This is where translating English expressions could be problematic. For instance, take the phrase, “palabras tan pequeñas”, which directly means ‘such small words’.

Suppose you want your messages to resonate and appeal to Hispanics with a saying, idiom, joke, or popular expression in English.

In that case, it is crucial to identify its closest equivalent in Spanish or one of its dialects. A more natural way to say the above phrase would be, “palabras tan insignificantes” instead, meaning ‘such meaningless words’ because that is how the locals would represent small words.

Because some phrases, such as the above example, may sound strange when translated back to English, it’s best to avoid doing a direct translation in such cases.

2. Using English grammar rules for Spanish translations

Punctuations like semicolons and commas have entirely different uses between English and Spanish, and incorrect use can be extremely frustrating and distracting for Spanish speakers.

The most common culprit is the improper placement of inflections and pauses, leading to paragraphs having five to seven periods, long sentences without commas, or too many conjunctions.

An example is the overuse of y (and) or o (or). Although they may be correct in English, they do not apply to Spanish.

The problem also extends to adjectives. In Spanish, adjectives are located right after the subject (apart from a few exceptions). If not translated well, a sentence in English could become a meaningless string of words in Spanish, all because of a misplaced adjective.

This misuse could lead to serious confusion when applied to technical or legal documents or even manuals, descriptions, and addresses.

3. Not using commonly-used Spanish words

Isolación, registración, and declaración en papel (meaning isolation, registration, and paper statement, respectively) do not exist in Spanish. These made-up words generally arise from phonetical simulation and laziness and only serve to grate on Spanish speakers.

The proper translation for the three words above would be aislamiento, registro, and estado de cuenta.

Although languages naturally evolve, replacing existing words with incorrect translations does not mean using modern adaptations like logear to mean “login” and googlear to Google something in Spanish.


Appealing to the Spanish-speaking demographic is a smart move for businesses and organisations worldwide, given that their buying power continues to increase rapidly. It is crucial to refrain from cutting corners in the translation process lest your brand deters new potential customers instead of attracting them.

For natural and compelling translations that appeal to all, call on Eureka Translations, where we can provide effective document translation services in Singapore without losing the spirit of the message. Contact us today, or visit us at Raffles Place, for all your translation needs, be it for words or otherwise.

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