Localization Checklist - Part 2

How to Choose Language Variants in Location Projects

This is part of our localization checklist. You can use it as a quick reference for the main aspects of a localization project (part 2 of 4).

Check the other parts here:
Part 1 - Localizing Numbers, Addresses, Currency, Dates & Graphics
Part 3 - Handling Cultural Aspects and Local Regulations
Part 4 - Language Nomenclature and Codification

Choice of Language Variant

Description of the main language variants chosen today along comments on the best choice strategies.

 Spanish

a) Mexican

  • Mexican Spanish is the most sought variety. Mexican Spanish is well accepted in both the US and other Latin American countries. It is also a consistent Spanish variant since there is a qualified pool of resources in Mexico

b) Neutral

  • Neutral Spanish is an imaginary type of Spanish, which doesn’t exist anywhere. Some LSPs, for marketing reasons, came up with the idea of a Spanish that wouldn’t use grammar or spelling particular to just one country. Although we can direct our Spanish translators to avoid localisms, it is actually impossible produce a Spanish content that will read perfect in every single country
  • Neutral Spanish translations should be assigned to our Argentinean translators. Argentinean translations are well accepted in other Latin countries while not being so particular to a single country like the Mexican variant

c) Hispanic

  • Hispanic Spanish usually refers to the Spanish variant spoken within the US. While there isn’t a pure variety of Spanish spoken in the US, we can provide a Spanish variant targeting US residents by assigning US-born Spanish translators. Such translators are aware of the current usage of idioms, and they can implement an American stylized version of the Spanish language.

d) Latin American

  • Similar to “Neutral Spanish”.  Latin American Spanish, just like Neutral Spanish translations, should be assigned to our Argentinean translators. Argentinean translations are well accepted in other Latin countries while not being so particular to a single country like the Mexican variety

e) Spaniard

  • Probably the least sought variety of Spanish. Few clients will be concerned with the Spaniard markets due to its small size compared to other Spanish-speaking markets like Mexico or Latin America.

Portuguese

a) Brazilian

By far the most sought after Portuguese variant. The Brazilian economy has been booming for several decades. Although it is currently going through a mix of economy and political issues, Brazil remains part of the BRIC block of developing nations with the eight largest economies in the world.

b) European

Although the Portuguese economy is about ten times smaller than the Brazilian economy, the European Portuguese is still ordered by some clients.

c) Angolan

Today’s Angolan Portuguese is in the middle of a transition. Until the 80’s, the choice of Portuguese was the European variety. After the arrival of the behemoth Brazilian company Odebrecht in Angola, which is the “de-facto governor” of his country, the preferred variety has slowly changed to the Brazilian variety.

Unless requested otherwise, the Brazilian variety should be used in content produced for Angola.

d) Others

Unless requested otherwise, the Brazilian variety should be used in content produced for Angola. Brazil’s dominance of the Portuguese speaking markets has continuously pushed other Portuguese speaking markets to adopt products, services and content provided in Brazilian Portuguese.

French

a) French from France

Still has a decent demand although being slowly corroded by the Canadian variant

b) Canadian French

We have seen a slow but ever growing demand for Canadian French. Canada’s economy is about half the size of the French economy, but its proximity to the US makes it a specially suitable target country for our clients

English

a) American English

Our preferred choice of English. It should be the standard variant used unless requested otherwise

b) British English

Our second choice of English. Important to note that there is a substantially smaller pool of resources working with British English when compared to American English

c) Indian English

Another made-up variety created by the language industry. India is an extremely fragmented country with different people, languages, religions and casts. While there isn’t a true “Indian English”, this term is commonly used to address English content written by English speakers from India. Such content may vary considerably in terms of vocabulary and writing style. Our choice for such requests is to work with top resources from the most prominent areas of India. Using such resources increases the chance of acceptance by other regions

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