If I went up to someone in the United States and asked them what language they spoke, they would likely answer with English. Of course if I went to England and asked the same question I would receive the same answer. While it is true that both countries have English as their primary language, they are not in fact the exact same form of the language. English to Spanish translators have been struggling with this issue since English is often their second language. Of course Spanish to English translators have to struggle with the exact same problem on the other side.
The Trouble with Translation
If it can be annoying for English to Spanish translators to deal with the difference in UK and US English, then I feel awful for Spanish to English translators. Both Spain and Mexico speak forms of the Spanish language, but have you ever spoken to people from the area? If you put both in a room it’s likely they would have to repeat lines to each other just to understand. Thanks to these differences in languages that are often treated the same by people who don’t know them; translators often end up in confusing situations.
If and when you need to hire translators, you obviously just can’t hold onto the hope that they know which form is which when they hear it. Being fluent in one of the languages does not make a person qualified to translate for both of them. While a person certainly could translate and get most of it right, there would be words here and there that would just be out of place or wrong. The best Spanish to English translators will be well aware of the variations in the different forms of the language, but it can still be confusing.
The difference between these forms of language is almost exclusively spoken though. If it is written down it would pretty much be the same for both forms. Of course this isn’t very handy when you are looking for English to Spanish translators to accomplish the task in the moment.
Imagine moving from the US to the UK – we often hear the stories, and can well imagine. Many from North America will often find themselves asking the British to restate things because they simply can’t grasp what they are saying. It is just the little variations that make understanding language hard, and we are talking about the same language. Could you imagine the difficulty for those Spanish to English translators out there who have to deal with several forms of two different languages?
It is really just something to keep in mind when hiring translators. Be aware of what forms of the languages you are going to need them to utilize. Some may not be all that comfortable with translating to or from a form that they don’t use themselves.