Hello! This is Flor, Project Manager and Spanish Editor at Cadenza. My dual role means that I am involved in steering the life cycle of our translations into Spanish, from the first contact with the client, to finding the most suitable translator and editor for the job, and then ironing out any differences of opinion before delivering the best possible version of the text back to the client. A key decision we make with the client at the outset is what variety of Spanish we are aiming for – Latin American Spanish, Castilian Spanish, or something in between? Yet the existence of a ‘neutral’ variety of Spanish is a source of debate that keeps coming up in academia; so how do we approach translations into ‘neutral’ Spanish?
Sharing the Spanish language has consolidated Hispanic America and Spain as a relatively homogeneous target audience for publishing, but this has not erased the vast number of differences and identities we can find across the various Spanish-speaking regions. An Argentinian (such as myself – full disclosure!), a Colombian, and a Spaniard can sound like they speak different languages. From vocabulary to grammar or pronunciation, we could list regional traits all day; yet somehow we all understand each other perfectly well. But what happens when, say, a translator from Peru is edited by a Spaniard? Well, that’s where it gets interesting!
At Cadenza, we find that linguistic variety is something to celebrate and cherish, but so is exchange and feedback between linguists. Collaborative work between translator and editor, especially if they are native to different varieties of Spanish, can be a great way of highlighting points of convergence and divergence, and then bringing all of us to agree on a version of a text that makes sense to everyone. This carefully crafted process is valuable to our team and ensures our clients can reach as wide an audience as they need, on either or both sides of the Atlantic.