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Thread: Latin American Spanish

 
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    IUS
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    Question Latin American Spanish

    I want to know your opinion about Latin American Spanish for professional Spanish translations, thanks!

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    Default Latin American Spanish

    As the farmer said when he saw a rhino in a zoo "There ain't no such animal"

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Our reductionist nature

    I guess it comes from our human, too human habit of reducing things to categories. As I was saying in another thread, the Simpsons translators sometimes use "santa cachucha" that, in Argentina, could be considered quite a questionable expression. I have been asked numberless times to translate into Latin American Spanish, as if English (even within the US) were just one heterogeneous language. THAT is my concern with ignoring other cultures and just casting words at random.

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    Even if I do not really like to do it, I have to agree with the term only in a certain way.
    Whereas "Latin American" Spanish is more influenced by English expressions (specially technical, medical and other fields), the Spanish from Spain tend to translate and pronounce the words as in Spanish. They don't even pronounce Shakira as "Ch" (Chakira) they pronounce it as "S" Sakira...They say it is because in Spanish, the H is mute, so why pronounce it.
    However, when translating, using Spanish as the target language, Spanish is only one language. There are expressions, phrases that are relevant to a certain part of region, no matter if Spain, Cuba or Dominican Republic. But then, this is a situation that applies to English too. There are words, expressions that are typical of a certain region and there are different words and phrases for the same in other region...It's like British English and American English (it goes beyond pronunciation)...It's like French from Quebec and French from France.
    If we are to translate for someone in Argentina of course, there are words that would be different from those we use in Cuba. It's normal and natural...but then if I get a request to translate into Latin American Spanish...exactly what is the meaning of that?? Well, the customer can save the Latin American part, cause to me there is only Spanish.
    Realmente, el destino del mundo depende, en primer lugar, de los estadistas y, en segundo lugar, de los intérpretes.
    Trygve Halvdan Lie

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    Moderator reminder's Avatar
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    Default Latin American Spanish

    This "target language" is not uniform, because there are too many countries included, and each of them has its own culture and its own regional expressions.

    Since the countries have different expressions to describe the same things, it's rather utopian to talk about only one category.

    The translator might ask: "Latin American" for which country?

    So instead of "Latin American" Spanish, it would be better to talk about "Argentine" Spanish, and so on and so forth.


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    Default Latin American Spanish

    Professionally speaking, when someone requires a translation into Latin American Spanish, what they are basically asking for is what we would call a Neutral sort of Spanish with the least number of local expressions. A language completely void of any regionalism that might sound strange in any specific Latin Amercian country though it would include certain vocabulary that would not be accepted in Castilian Spanish.

    Neutral Spanish is a flavour that specially applies when doing voiceover for soap operas. The closest actors using Neutral Spanish sound like is Mexican Spanish, but this is very subjetctive ...

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    Default A reader´s opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by sabrina
    Professionally speaking, when someone requires a translation into Latin American Spanish, what they are basically asking for is what we would call a Neutral sort of Spanish with the least number of local expressions. A language completely void of any regionalism that might sound strange in any specific Latin Amercian country though it would include certain vocabulary that would not be accepted in Castilian Spanish.

    Neutral Spanish is a flavour that specially applies when doing voiceover for soap operas. The closest actors using Neutral Spanish sound like is Mexican Spanish, but this is very subjetctive ...
    Very professional and interesting opinions.
    I think that was Miguel de Unamuno that said that the writer has to trust in the reader. So, as a reader I think translators have to translate in the way it´s written, I will understand and I will enjoy the local expressions. . Because, what about García Márquez translated for Argentina, Borges for Cuba, Martí for Chile and so on? The sitcoms? We in Argentina laugh twenty or more years with "El Chavo" with his beautiful mexican expressions. Trust the readers, will be grateful. And if we don´t understand..., we have another books!
    Fer.

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    Arrow Cuándo Usar Español Neutro

    Quote Originally Posted by fernando el casir
    Very professional and interesting opinions.
    I think that was Miguel de Unamuno that said that the writer has to trust in the reader. So, as a reader I think translators have to translate in the way it´s written, I will understand and I will enjoy the local expressions. . Because, what about García Márquez translated for Argentina, Borges for Cuba, Martí for Chile and so on? The sitcoms? We in Argentina laugh twenty or more years with "El Chavo" with his beautiful mexican expressions. Trust the readers, will be grateful. And if we don´t understand..., we have another books!
    Fer.
    I Hi Feranando, in my opinion you are right and wrong.

    You are right if we are speaking about literature (art).

    If we are speaking about movies, it is a situation in the middle, for example I like the Mexican flavor of the Simpsons, but when ... the Mexican flavor of the Simpsons, but when I went to see Shreck 3, and I have the bad luck that it was in Spanish, I do not understand parts that I could understand in English or in a more neutral or Latin American Spanish.

    But, when we are speaking about a manual for a complex video component... Well, there, I prefer the neutral Spanish, some expressions that are local and not understandable for everybody.

    In other thread, Julio Jaubert gave a definition of Neutral Spanish that was excellent: Español Neutro

    Also here you could see, a practical and non-academic point of view: Neutral Spanish in Professional Translations
    Last edited by IUS; 08-25-2007 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Cuándo Usar Español Neutro...

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IUS
    I Hi Feranando, in my opinion you are right and wrong.

    You are right if we are speaking about literature (art).

    If we are speaking about movies, it is a situation in the middle, for example I like the Mexican flavor of the Simpsons, but when ... the Mexican flavor of the Simpsons, but when I went to see Shreck 3, and I have the bad luck that it was in Spanish, I do not understand parts that I could understand in English or in a more neutral or Latin American Spanish.

    But, when we are speaking about a manual for a complex video component... Well, there, I prefer the neutral Spanish, some expressions that are local and not understandable for everybody.

    In other thread, Julio Jaubert gave a definition of Neutral Spanish that was excellent: Español Neutro

    Also here you could see, a practical and non-academic point of view: Neutral Spanish in Professional Translations
    Good point, IUS:

    From the reader (or viewer) point of view, sometimes it is disappointing having to read an author with a voice or flavour that you cannot feel natural, a voice that always sounds strange. I've always remember Henry Chinaski, Charles Bukowski's alter ego, calling "gilipollas" all the guys he disliked, and how far-fetched the insult sounded to me in such a character, just because the only translations I could get my hands on were made in Spain. In those days I would have thanked a "neutral spanish" translation, I'm sure I would have enjoyed those books a lot more, and I've enjoyed them enormously.
    But I also agree with the other participants in this forum: trying to bind all the different categories of Spanish into just one, harmless corpus, is as fruitless as the task undertaken by the constructors of the Babel Tower.
    Nevertheless, from the translator point of view, you can't help thinking who is going to read your translations. As Mexican, I call "banqueta" to what most of Spanish speakers label as "acera", and I call "popote" to what other Spanish speakers call "pajilla" or "pajita". That's the way I talk in everyday language, but I can't write that way, because the people who are going to read my work are not only mexican. I think the way someone translates depends on the place his or her translation is going to be read. And this problem has increased after globalization.
    Anyway, I think we, translators form English to Spanish, have a lesser problem than those who have to translate the other way round. If not, how can someone transmit all the subtleties Mexican Spanish speakers find in this jewell by Juan Rulfo?:

    "Y estaba re flaco, como trasijado. Todavía ayer se comió un pedazo de animal que se había muerto del relámpago. Parte amaneció comida por las hormigas arrieras y la parte que quedó él la tatemó en las brasas que yo prendía para calentarme las tortillas y le dio fin. Ruñó los güesos hasta dejarlos pelones."
    Last edited by CarlosRoberto; 02-18-2008 at 03:08 PM.

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    Senior Member exxcéntrica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlosRoberto
    "Y estaba re flaco, como trasijado. Todavía ayer se comió un pedazo de animal que se había muerto del relámpago. Parte amaneció comida por las hormigas arrieras y la parte que quedó él la tatemó en las brasas que yo prendía para calentarme las tortillas y le dio fin. Ruñó los güesos hasta dejarlos pelones."
    First problem: Translate into Spanish from Spain!??

    saludos
    Last edited by exxcéntrica; 02-18-2008 at 03:08 PM.

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