Spanish

Las leyes sobre idiomas más extrañas del mundo

Con el Día Internacional de la Lengua Materna 2016 a la vuelta de la esquina (domingo 21 de febrero), The Translation Company echó un vistazo a todo el mundo, desde el punto de vista legal, para encontrar algunas de las leyes sobre idiomas más extrañas. Hoy en día, el debate sobre la libertad de expresión es más feroz que nunca antes, y es el momento más adecuado para echar un vistazo a las formas en que los gobiernos, del pasado y del presente, han tratado de promover un idioma a expensas de otro y, en casos extremos, han tratado de prohibir del todo algunos idiomas.

Las leyes sobre idiomas más extrañas del mundo

Utilice el siguiente código incrustado para agregar esta infografía a su sitio Web:


El significado de las marcas

La creación de una fuerte identidad de marca constituye un aspecto integral de toda empresa de productos para el consumidor y toda identidad de marca está basada, en gran medida, en su nombre. Si bien muchas marcas simplemente llevan el nombre de sus fundadores, otras cuentan con orígenes más interesantes. Algunas marcas encuentran su inspiración en la mitología antigua, otras son nombres completamente inventados, y otras nacen como producto de la suerte. Hemos analizado algunas de las marcas más reconocidas a nivel mundial para descubrir cómo y porqué fueron bautizadas como tales; estamos seguros de que muchas de ellas lograrán sorprenderlo.

meaning of brand names_ES

Utilice el siguiente código incrustado para agregar esta infografía a su sitio Web:


Obamacare Site Suffers from Awkward Translations

When the Obamacare website debuted earlier this year, critics were eager to point out the site’s many flaws. One of the biggest glitches of all? The site’s poor Spanish translations.

“When you get into the details of the plans, it’s not all written in Spanish. It’s written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them,” Adrian Madriz, a health care navigator who assists with enrollment in Miami, told the Huffington Post in January. Critics point out grammatical mistakes and literal translations. Many contend that it looks like the government failed to invest the time or funds necessary to produce a high-quality translation and instead translated the site hastily via machine.

“We launched consumer-friendly Spanish online enrollment tools on CuidadoDeSalud.gov in December, which represents one more way for Spanish-speakers to enroll in Marketplace plans,” Health and Human Services Department spokesman Richard Olague told The Associated Press in an email earlier this year. “Since the soft-launch, we continue to work closely with key stakeholders to get feedback in order to improve the experience for those consumers that use the website.”

Complicating an Already Convoluted Enrollment

All in all, the poor translation is making enrollment incredibly difficult for the Spanish-speaking population, a population that currently has some of the highest proportions of the uninsured. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an organization that conducts health policy research, though Hispanics make up approximately 17 percent of the nation’s population, they compromise close to one-third of the country’s uninsured who aren’t elderly.

It should be noted that enrolling Hispanics into health care programs isn’t just about ensuring that individuals have access to health insurance. It is also good for the overall health and stability of these programs. Because of their relative youth, Hispanics are less likely to draw from premium funds available to help pay for health care for older, sicker participants. The bottom line? Hispanic enrollment is critical to the health, wealth, and sustainability of insurance pools.

This piece of the puzzle is not something that is lost on Hispanic citizens. “Disproportionately, we are being counted on to sustain this program. We are a heavy chunk of the folks who are being expected to sign up,” explained Daniel Garza, the executive director of the Libre Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan grassroots Hispanic advocacy organization. “To put up a website that is only cosmetic it’s disrespectful of this administration.”

“If you’re going to have a website, have it work, for the love of God,” he added.

Has Improvement Been Made?

It is all the more problematic then that the Hispanic population is battling with Spanish translation issues on the site, nearly a year after the launch. The second edition of the HeathCare.gov site, as well as its Spanish counterpart, was unveiled earlier this month. So, has the government made the necessary improvements?

The jury is still out, it would appear. Still, the release of the second version was accompanied by one glaring error: an incredibly poor translation of “get ready.” The error was a notable one, as it appeared directly on the main page of the site. As the enrollment process gets underway, only time will tell if the website has managed to successfully mitigate translation issues and misunderstandings, as well as improve user experience by reducing headaches and hassles.

Quote Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/12/obamacare-spanish-website_n_4585195.html


Connecticut Helps Spanish Speakers with Tax Forms 

If there is something that minorities will appreciate is when a state attempts to make them feel more welcome. This is usually achieved when that state is trying to eliminate the need to force people to learn the foreign language in order to function normally within its borders. The state of Connecticut has recently made another step towards that goal by translating to Spanish a tutorial video for Hispanic citizens. This was done in a form of a tutorial video for Spanish speaking audience in order to simplify the state tax form.

Kevin Sullivan appeared in a 13 minute video that explains to Spanish speaking residents how to handle the previously mentioned state tax form. Due to the fact that there are a lot of Spanish business owners in Connecticut who cannot comply with the state tax laws, since they do not understand them, Kevin felt it was necessary to provide an elaborate explanation in their own language. He appears at the very beginning of the tutorial greeting the citizens with a single word - “Hola” - after which a Spanish speaker woman took over and proceeded with the explanation in Spanish.

About Kevin Sullivan 

Being a commissioner of the Department of Revenue Services, Kevin acted in accordance with his responsibility and made sure everyone was able to understand the form. This 13 minute video contains a demonstration of how to electronically file the previously mentioned state sale as well as use how to use tax return.

This is a great way to display how his department actually serves the taxpayers and does not exist for the sole purpose of gathering their taxes. Like it was mentioned before, people who live their lives in a different state should feel more appreciated by being addressed in their native language.

Spanish language and Connecticut

Current data shows that 15 percent of Connecticut population consists of Spanish speaking residence, moreover, there are approximately 14,000 Hispanic owned businesses in the state. Governor Dannel P. Malloy declared that the real progenitor of the idea was the task force established for the purpose of evaluating state’s communication policies. Sullivan also stated that he hopes for more of tutorial videos providing instructions for Connecticut’s Spanish speaking citizens to emerge in the future.

This was not the first of Sullivan’s contribution in this department, namely, soon after he had become a commissioner in 2011, Google translator was added to the agency’s website. Sullivan claimed that this was one of the easy ways to make their website more user friendly.

Additionally, the video is going to be promoted thanks to the agency’s official who contacted Spanish-language media. Spokesman for Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accounts, Mark Zampino congratulated Sullivan on his efforts stating that making of this video was a good move. He also added that they are in a constant search of CPAs who are fluent in Spanish, Polish and Russian.

Impact on the future

Taxes are going to play an important role in Malloy’s campaign for a second role. Increased income and sales tasks during 2011 occurred in the attempt to close budget deficits, and decision was passed down by the Democratic governor and Democrat-led Legislature. This had brought upon some sharp complaints from rival Republicans and critics.

Malloy defended his fiscal policy, adding that in future they will endeavour to simplify state’s tax code and thus make it more accessible. This plan has been put into action, and the administration is already in search of the ways to make complicated state’s tax instructions less troublesome to understand.

One may argue how all of this is just a presentation assembled for the purpose of boosting one’s political campaign. Regardless of the case, this should be the standard that any state should strive to achieve and make different nationalities more welcome.

This is one way of showing that the state has a sincere respect towards other cultures and does not impose their own cultural values upon them. People view their culture and language as a part of their own identity and would like to hold on to it even in different surroundings. In addition to that, true values of the particular state are reflected in a way it treats, and how that state feels towards minorities who live there.


English to Spanish Translations: Cultural Differences

A good translation isn’t just grammatically correct. It is also culturally appropriate. When translating into any language, it is crucial to take into account cultural values, norms, etiquette, humor, and slang in order to avoid potentially embarrassing mistakes. When translating from English into Spanish, be sure to remember about the different Spanish varieties.

Beware of literal translations

When American Airlines wanted to promote its new, luxurious first-class leather seats in its Mexico market, it inaugurated a brand-new advertising campaign with the slogan, “Vuela en Cuero” (“Fly in Leather”). Unfortunately, in Spanish, “en cuero” means in the nude, so the phrase translates to “fly naked.”

Mexican Spanish

Mexican consumers most likely thought that the airline lacked tact, as well as etiquette. In a similar incident, the California Milk Processing Board released a Spanish-language “Got Milk?” campaign. Unfortunately the board translated the question literally to “Tienes Leche?,” which in Spanish isn’t a way of asking someone if he or she has milk in his or her possession, but rather a way of asking mothers if they are lactating. Needless to say, the translation didn’t go over well, and a fun slogan morphed into a very invasive, personal question (more about Mexican Spanish).

When translating from English to Spanish, never assume that a phrase denotes the same concept in both languages. Chances are that it may not. Always go for a translation that makes cultural sense as well as linguistic sense. Take, for example, the internationally acclaimed 2009 Peruvian film “La Teta Asustada,” which deals, in part, with the idea that women who were abused or sexually assaulted during Peru’s brutal Internal Conflict transmitted their pain, fear, and trauma to their daughters via breast milk.

Though the film’s title literally translates to “the scared tit,” the film was released to English-language audiences in the U.S., U.K., and Canada as “The Milk of Sorrow.” While “teta” is a relatively benign word in Spanish, its literal English translation, “tit,” is generally considered to be on the vulgar side. This difference is in part due to different cultural notions and taboos regarding the body and breastfeeding. 

Different regions use different slang

There is a significant amount of regional variability in how the language is spoken, especially when it comes to slang (see Spanish-speaking countries and populations). Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language, and 21 different countries list Spanish as their national language. There is no single “universal” version of Spanish. In Peru, for example, “que paja” is a slang term that means “that’s cool,” while in Argentina the same phrase is slang for “how boring.”

In Guatemala, “coche” means “pig,” while in most other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, it means “automobile.” Assuming that a word or phrase has the same meaning throughout the entire Spanish-speaking world could very well be a recipe for a marketing fiasco. For example, take Fiat’s marketing campaign for Fiat Punto. When the Italian car company expanded to Spain, it was convinced that the Fiat Punto fit the market perfectly. The company anticipated steady sales and was dismayed and confused when the car preformed relatively poorly. As it turns out, the low sales of the Fiat Punto in Spain was due to a major linguistic blunder.

In Spain, “punto” is actually a vulgar slang term used to denote male genitalia. Because of the negative (and offensive) connotation, virtually nobody in the country wanted to drive the car, let alone purchase it. The bottom line? Culture molds language usage. Culture varies according to region or country, whether that variation is mild or significant, and so does language.

Be cognizant of cultural-specific phrases

Imagine you are translating a text from English to Spanish for a company trying to target customers in the Caribbean, and you come across the phrase “white as snow.” If you translate the phrase literally, the meaning isn’t going to resonate with audiences as well as it could because there isn’t any snow in the Caribbean! It is always best to frame concepts and ideas in culturally relevant terminology.

In this situation, you would need to find some other kind of culturally relevant substitution, such as “white as cotton.” A concept commonly expressed in English simply might not exist in Spanish. In order for a text to be as coherent and as relevant as possible, the key is to “translate” these concepts into Spanish using culturally appropriate terms and ideas.

That's why translation companies like The Translation Company assign country-specific Spanish translators when working with English to Spanish or Spanish to English translation projects.


Invest in professional translation services to push business forward

Professional translation for companies can help a business find great success as it expands into overseas markets. With more customers using mobile devices to connect to the internet, it is even easier for them to shop online and search for new businesses to meet their needs.

Detecting Potential Markets Abroad

Even if a company doesn't plan on going global per se, taking a look at website analytics will likely show that customers from other countries are already looking at your product, explained a Fox Business article.

"To be successful you must be inclusive, that is, you must give up misplaced sentiments of ethnocentrism and seek to learn, really learn, about the native culture you hope to market to from the native culture you hope to market to," the article said. "You can't take a U.S.-centric approach."

A Forbes piece gave an example of when Buffalo Wild Wings expanded into Canada. Local staff members said that patrons prefer bloody caesars to bloody marys and a side dish other than french fries. Furthermore, CEO Sally Smith explained to the news source that the key is to listen - find out what locals know and use that knowledge to further the business' expansion.

Success at Home and Potential Abroad

Buffalo Wild Wings has close to 857 stores in the United States and Canada and sees even greater opportunities by moving into more countries, according to Forbes. Starting later this year, the restaurant chain hopes to push into the Middle East, opening 22 locations across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirate, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Translation and localization services will not only help companies better advertise to new markets, it will prove to customers that the business is making an effort to adapt to their needs. In the US and Canada, English to Spanish translation services have helped food chains to expand their business in the Hispanic markets. The Translation Company is one of the top providers of spanish American translation services in the United States.


School System Offers ESL Classes to Spanish-Speaking Parents

Unfortunately, many schools in the United States don’t offer any services ESL Classes for Spanish-speaking parents. For parents whose second language is English, a Spanish translator or bilingual staff member is often necessary to decipher the conversations in important meetings about their own children.

Parent-teacher meetings are essential to a child’s success at school; so many students are not given the opportunity for parental help when their parents are turned away from these meetings. Often, the schools simply don’t have the budget to afford translation services or hire translators to assist these parents, and their students sometimes slip through the cracks. However, one elementary school in South Carolina is going above and beyond to help these parents understand.

Park View Elementary Offers ESL Classes for Parents

A small school in South Carolina is actually going beyond the process of hiring a Spanish language translator. Instead, Park View Elementary is offering parents ESL classes for learning the basics of English. Parents can attend the night class at a community college for free, and childcare is even offered if the families cannot afford a babysitter.

Not only does the class help teach parents about speaking English, it also makes them more comfortable when seeking resources and help from their community when language barriers get in the way.

The ESL Classes are Run by Volunteers

From the teachers to the childcare providers, the class is run entirely by volunteers hoping to make a difference in the community. The community college even donated 12 iPads to help students gain a hands-on experience and use Spanish translation apps when necessary during the class.

Many of the parents were hesitant about the class at first, but are now enthusiastic and excited to attend every week. Many feel more comfortable and are able to attend meetings with their child’s teachers.

Communication is an essential part of any students’ education. Parents must be able to effectively communicate with teachers. Without this communication, parents wouldn’t know whether or not their child was falling behind. If they knew, they could try helping at home. Similarly, it’s important for parents to know when their child is doing particularly well in a certain subject.

Park View Elementary took this sentiment seriously and is now actively promoting this communication. Instead of hiring an English to Spanish translator for meetings, the school is helping parents understand for the rest of their lives.


Texas School Launches Bilingual Program for Elementary School

Children pick up language much easier than adults. For that reason, it has become commonplace for elementary schools to integrate a bilingual program into the curriculum for students in Kindergarten up through grade five or so. After that, the student can decide whether or not he or she will stick with the Spanish language or try learning a new one.

However, based on the rapid rate at which kids learn language, they are usually able to speak it sufficiently by then. Shows like Dora the Explorer provide further evidence that children are encouraged to pick up Spanish early so that they won’t need a Spanish translation service later in life when the Spanish-speaking population has grown even larger in the United States. One grade school in Texas has adopted a novel approach to teaching students to speak Spanish.

School Offers Two-Way Dual Language Program

McDougal Elementary School in Texas has launched a bilingual program designed to make students bilingual and bi-literate. The goal of the program is for students to come out of grade school with a fluency and deep understanding of the Spanish language. The program is designed so that students learn certain subjects in English and others in Spanish.

Each class is a mix of Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students. After lessons, students are paired up with a speaker of the opposite language. The pairs try to solve problems in each language, and teachers often witness the students helping each other to understand, almost acting as English and Spanish translators for each other.

Teachers Rely Heavily on Gestures and Images

The teachers in the bilingual program rely heavily on gestures to maintain students’ attention and interest. One teacher explained that language is 80% non-verbal, so she makes sure images and hand movements are a major part of her lessons.

Though the results are not yet quantifiable, teachers say that they are seeing a major improvement in their students’ linguistic abilities. They went from speaking only one language to being able to provide English to Spanish translations at the drop of a dime.

By teaching children to become bilingual at an early age, we are setting them up to be fluent for life. This skill will come in handy when they enter the business world or any other facet of life that is culturally varied. At the very least, we might be saving them money on a Spanish to English translator some day.


Orlando Magic is Discontinuing Spanish Radio Broadcast

Orlando Magic is Discontinuing Spanish Radio

The Orlando Magic basketball team has been broadcasting its games on Spanish radio since 1997. Each broadcast offers a play-by-play announced by Joey Colon. The broadcasts were originally aired when the team’s managers noticed how many Spanish-speaking citizens were interested in the outcome.

Instead of making them seek out a Spanish translation for every game, they decided to offer them a full broadcast in their native language. Though the broadcast was popular, it will be discontinued this season and moved to an online platform only.

Change is Partly to Measure Success

Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins explained that they were unable to prove how popular the Spanish broadcast was, so Spanish radio stations were unsure about how many listeners it would pull in. By moving the broadcast online, the team will be able to effectively determine how many people are tuning in.

Luckily for Spanish listeners, the show will not be cancelled and its popularity might eventually earn it a spot back on Spanish radio. Either way, listening to the online Spanish broadcast is much easier than using Spanish translation services to understand every play-by-play. Fox Sports Florida will also be airing 12 games on television in Spanish hosted by Joey Colon.

Most Companies are Moving in the Opposite Direction

It’s interesting to hear about a company eliminating one of their Spanish language translation services, as most companies are doing the complete opposite lately. Since the Spanish language is so commonly spoken in the United States, many companies are adding a Spanish section to their website or adding Spanish options to their marketing efforts and outreach.

While the team is not completely eliminating the broadcast, there is a good chance they will lose some fans by shaking up the routine. Many people without regular access to a computer will no longer be able to tune in. However, if the team can really prove how popular the broadcast is online, they might be able to gain enough profit and revenue to add a Spanish website or return to the usual Spanish radio broadcast format.

Philippe Moggio, the NBA vice president in Latin America, explained that basketball could easily be the second-most popular sport in Mexico behind soccer with the proper promotions and official Spanish translations. Only time will tell whether or not the Orlando Magic see more success and increased revenue or total failure in the move to online-only broadcasts.


Student Enhances the Translation Abilities of a Major Hospital

When it comes to medical services and facilities, translation abilities can be a tricky thing. Not only would staff have to be bilingual to effectively communicate with patients who don’t speak English, but also both members of the conversation would need to know the meaning and word for specific medical terms and conditions.

For example, if someone can successfully hold a conversation in another language, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll know the proper term for a word like “laparoscopy” in that language. For one hospital in New Jersey, the language gap has consistently been a problem.

Like many cities in the United States, many residents speak Spanish as their first language. Until recently, one bilingual staff member was performing all of the Spanish translations for the rest of the staff. However, a student intern changed the way translations were conducted for good.

Student Intern Made Major Changes to Hospitals Translation Tactics

Translation abilities in any workplace is important, which is why when Maria Lima from Brazil began her internship at CentraState Medical Center last summer, she saw the serious inefficiencies created by the lack of Spanish translation services.

Because a single staff member had to run back and forth whenever anyone needed a translation, patients were waiting extra long for treatment, results, and even medical attention. During her internship, she started customizing all of the hospital’s quick translation guides, so that they more effectively addressed the problems a patient might be having.

She created different guides for different departments, and even created cue cards so that the staff could quickly interact with Spanish-speaking visitors.

Lima Customized the Material by Watching Interactions Closely

To determine what types of questions patients would have in each department, Lima actually sat in on many appointments and watched the patients’ reactions to certain things.

The guides fit the requirements of each department and also contain a translated diagram of the human body. That way, if a doctor is having trouble explaining a body part, he or she can use the diagram instead of waiting for a Spanish translator to help.

Spanish is a popular language in the United States, and the Spanish-speaking population only continues to grow. Especially in medical facilities, Spanish language translations are essential to the safety and health of the patients. With the help of innovative young minds like that of Maria Lima, these facilities will hopefully begin making their translation efforts more effective so that patients can be treated quickly and precisely.









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