Why Does Spanish Matter?
The emerging market of Spanish language consumers is undeniable. Today, the Spanish language is only second to Chinese when it comes to the number of native speakers, accounting for about 500 million people according to Ethnologue.com. It has been estimated that about 7.8 percent of daily worldwide Internet users speak Spanish as their first language. By 2050, Spanish will be the most spoken language in the United States and this rapidly growing market offers an array of business opportunities.
About 21 countries speak Spanish as their official language. Many of these countries such as Spain, Mexico, and Argentina have high gross domestic product which makes them not only emerging economic markets in the international trade, but dominant forces as well. The importance of the Spanish language in the international business world has been steadily increasing, which is mainly due to the economic growth in Spain and Latin America.
[su_quote cite=”thepiewnew.com” url=”http://thepienews.com/analysis/habla-espanol-whats-next-for-the-worlds-second-language/”]Research carried out for the Telefonica Foundation shows that bilateral trade increases some 290% when Spanish is the shared language of commerce – a figure hinting at the growth in buying power among Latin American countries and the commercial benefits the language allows foreign speakers.[/su_quote]
Needs for Success
Websites for businesses are a given in our society. For most enterprises, their website is a powerful marketing tool and an avenue for selling their products and services. Mobile apps are also gaining popularity. According to Google, there are over 1.6 million downloadable apps in their app store and combined with another 1.5 million apps for Apple’s app store. This is another huge untapped market for businesses to make their products and services more reachable and available for Spanish speakers. Most of these apps are in the English language, but translating them to Spanish reaches far more consumers in the international market who would otherwise be left excluded.
One advantage of a business translating its website or its mobile apps, is that it is a very simple but effective marketing tool. Although a low effort is associated into the implementation of these translations, the result can be very rewarding for any enterprise or even small business. It will be a high impact strategy in marketing, but will only require a minimum amount of resources, particularly investing in a professional Spanish to English language translation service.
Start ups will benefit more out of this high impact and low effort strategy marketing. According to Forbes.com, 90% of startups fail in their first few years of operation. Although there are a number of reasons for their failures (mainly lack of funds and resources) another main reason that could be attributed is that startups lack the strategy and effort in their marketing campaigns to fully research their target market. The demographics of their target market does not only have to include a specific language, English commonly by default, they should also target an audience that speaks the 2nd most used language in the world. This is a vast market and very often an untapped market of Spanish speaking individuals with a huge, and increasing potential, especially in the United States.
The Human Component
There are many free Spanish translation services on the Internet. These include Google translate, Bing translator, freetranslation.com, and many more. These platforms are quick and simple when translating phrases and single words. However, when it comes to businesses, a professional translation service is a must. Direct translation of words and texts are always a challenge for free platforms as context is rarely considered and the tone cannot be verified by someone that does not understand the language. A human component and a professional service will always pay off as a good investment. Context can be explained and interpreted to provide the business a translation that is clearly communicated, and when translated back to the source language, makes complete and perfect sense. Another issue that arises when using free platforms that administer direct translation, is semantics and the proper use of vocabulary. For example, in the English language, a certain word such as “light” may have multiple meanings. Another example is word-for-word translation most often leads to incorrectly translated text which could end up offending your audience. This is because English and Spanish have very different syntax, writing structures, and even verb tenses.
As discussed in this article, businesses do not have to invest an exorbitant amount of time nor resources for their websites to be translated into the Spanish language. In the end, the success from the results far outweigh the investment. With about half a billion people in the world who speak Spanish, there are no downsides to translating a business’ website and mobile app to Spanish.