Part 1: How will your translated document be used?
A common question when the initial translation enquiry takes place is “how will this translated document be used?” It is important for the certified
translator to bear in mind the target audience and language of the translated document in order to tailor their approach. There can often be cultural
and social differences that vary depending on the specific language or dialect being used.
Within Spain itself, there are multiple dialects used depending on where you live and what cultural background you belong to. The most widely used language in Spain is Castilian (or castellano) which is usually referred to as the Spanish language and is used largely in northern and central Spain. Other major dialects include Galician (which has similarities to Portuguese) and Catalan (which has similarities to Spanish and French). Another non-Latin-based dialect is Euskara; however, this is used by the minority. Then, there is the Spanish spoken in Central and South America which will vary slightly from country to country with their own social and cultural subtleties used. And don’t forget the United States of America, where Spanish is a first or second language for most.
It is important when translating a document to Spanish that we consider who the intended audience is, where they are from and what dialect they speak predominantly so that we can translate accordingly. Whilst most Spanish speakers can understand each other, you will find various accents, slang and differences between the regions. An example of a Spanish word which is relevant in some countries but not others is ‘vos’. ‘Vos’ was originally understood as a second person plural but then came to be used as a more polite second person singular pronoun to be used for familiar friends. Over time, this word lost meaning in Spain itself, but continued on in Latin American countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Guatemala. If you are conducting business in Spanish across the globe, you will require a translator that understands the distinctions between the diverse dialects. Our translators will customise the translated document as to be easily understood and to not offend the expected reader.
Like Spanish, French comes in many varieties and dialects that are region specific. In the city of Paris, Metropolitan French is widely spoken and is considered as the traditional French language. There are also regional dialects within France such as Meridional French which are spoken by the minority. Apart from within France, the French language is spoken widely across the globe including in Belgium (Belgian French), Switzerland (Swiss French), Italy (Aostan French), Canada (Quebec French and Arcadian French) and Lebanon (Lebanese French). In Canada, French is one of the official languages along with English and is widely spoken in the eastern part of Canada.
In France, the securities watchdog, known as the Commission des Operations de Bourse, passed a law in 2001 outlining that all financial prospectuses that were issued in France are required to be written in French. This has caused quite a controversy with the move away from standardisation and the use of the English language in the financial industry. As such, it is important that certified and professional French translators are used to cut down on misunderstandings or confusion that could lead to financial harm. In addition, not all translators are certified and proficient in providing precise legal and financial translations. An example of how a translation can go wrong is the term ‘écart d’acquisition’ which if literally translated means ‘acquisition difference’. If accurately translated though, it means ‘goodwill’. Another instance could be the word ‘résultat’ which if literally translated means ‘result’, whereas, it actually means ‘income or earnings’ in financial industry discourse. One method of avoiding such confusion when translating a technical term specific to a particular industry is to provide the French term in brackets in italics the first time it is being translated.