The Hartford Courant is Connecticut’s largest daily newspaper, and it was under scrutiny recently for its resistance to offer Spanish-speaking readers a quality Spanish translation option. Strangely enough, the Hartford Courant did offer a Spanish section, but it simply printed its English articles after running them through Google translate.
Clearly, this was a horrible idea, as many subtleties and contextual references were lost in the computerized translation. Luckily for the Spanish-speaking population in Connecticut, the newspaper took cues from its critics and developed a true Spanish section for its site.
Connecticut’s Spanish-Speaking Population is Not Small
In some states, it might not matter that there was no translation to Spanish in the newspaper. However, 43% of Hartford’s population spoke Spanish, which made the shoddy translation surprising. Many Hispanic and Latino people in the area were becoming frustrated with their inability to get the daily news in their own city. Stories were poorly translated and a waste of time to read.
New Spanish Site Was an Actual Human Translation
Thankfully, the staff at the Hartford Courant have discontinued using Google translate for all of their Spanish needs, and they’ve hired a bi-lingual editor to help with the English to Spanish translation. The new Spanish website is called Noticias, and it features all of the same stories as the Courant but completely in Spanish.
Additionally, the newspaper came out with a multimedia news package called “Mi Comunidad.” The newsletter-style publication features stories from the Latino community in Hartford so that they feel a sense of community. This is a huge change from the exclusion they felt previously while reading the carelessly prepared “Spanish” section.
The Hartford Courant lost the respect of many of its readers by throwing together the Spanish section with Google translate. Their mistake can be applied to any business, and it goes to show that offering a human translation is a good way to show your audience that you care.
Spanish Translation Services
Many Spanish translation services exist for businesses, and you should take advantage of them if you’re thinking of reaching out to a Spanish-speaking audience.
Otherwise, you could seriously offend them by showing you can’t be bothered to spend the time or money on professional translation. The staff at the Hartford Courant is redeeming themselves by going above and beyond for their large Latino and Hispanic audience, which is a smart move for a publication in an already dying industry.