When you employ a translation agency to create Portuguese, French or Spanish translations of your existing material, simply specifying one of these language names is not sufficient!
- The Portuguese variety spoken by 163 million people in Brazil has important differences from the variety spoken by 10 million in Portugal. Use of verb tenses is decidedly different, as are accepted spellings of many words in the two countries—and of course, the spoken accents are very different. Conventions for formal and informal forms of address are also different, and there numerous differences in vocabulary.
- Likewise, Canadian French (native language of 7 million Canadians) has notable vocabulary differences when compared to the language variety spoken by nearly 54 million people in France—and the accents are also very different, of course. Some Canadian practices regarding punctuation, capitalization and idiomatic expressions also differ from European French.
- Spanish varieties present an even more complex mosaic, because this language is spoken in diverse regions around the globe—by nearly 500 million people, if we include those who speak Spanish as a second language. Aside from the extensive differences in vocabulary that you would expect among people from so many different nations, the most fundamental difference concerns grammar. Use of the second person plural form vosotros is commonplace in Spain, whereas it sounds archaic or scriptural to most Spanish speakers in the Americas (who generally switch to the more formal ustedes form when addressing more than one person).
To summarize, a professional translation company needs to you specify not only the target language, but exactly where the translation will be used. They can help you identify dialect issues (and accents, if you are recording narrations for a video or e-learning), conventions for measurement units, and ensure that the grammar, vocabulary and style are appropriate for your target audience.
ASIST Translation Services, Inc. is a full-service interpreting and translation agency located in Columbus, Ohio. We provide translation, interpreting, proofreading, studio voice recording and media production, localization of interactive and Web content, and specialized language services to clients around the world.