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Posted By P & L Blog




Technically, all Spanish speakers in the United States speak the same language but, just like in English, there are regional variations.  Languages evolve differently in different countries, and slang and other vocabulary reflect the differences.  If you are marketing your product in Texas, most of your Hispanic clients or consumers will be of Mexican origin.  If your message needs to reach Hispanics all over the country, you would want neutral Spanish to be used in your translations.


Neutral Spanish is nothing more than Spanish that can be understood easily by U.S. Hispanics.  It usually steers clear of humor, slang, and word play.  It may not be the ideal if you are targeting urban youth in Los Angeles, but most products and services will benefit from reaching the largest number of Spanish-speakers without offending any of them. 


If you're not sure if neutral Spanish is what you need, give us a call and we'll help you: 615.460.9119.


Image courtesy of Georgie Sharp fromCreative Commons.

Posted By P & L Blog

Hispanic Census Data



If you are trying to make the case for your organization to begin targeting the Hispanic market, here is some data from the U.S. Census Bureau which may help you:


  • The average size of households defined as Mexican is 4.1.  There are 3.2 members in all households surveyed by the Census.  If you sell packaged goods, this means Hispanic households will need to buy more of your product.
  • Half of Mexican households own the home where they live.  If you're in real estate, the other 50% represent a big opportunity for you.
  • The Hispanic population skews younger than the rest of the population.  The media age of Latinos in the U.S. is 27.6, compared to 36.6 for the total population.  As a marketer, reaching out to these consumers will help develop long-term relationships with your brand.
  • Hispanic-owned businesses grew by 31% between 1997 and 2002.  This is triple the national average.  Don't forget these entrepreneurs when marketing your business services.


How will the increase in the Hispanic population affect your business?


Image courtesy of khawkins04

Posted By P & L Blog

Chain link

A hot topic of discussion among translators right now is LinkedIn's request for translators to voluntarily translate their website.  So, a networking service for professionals that runs paid advertising on the site and charges a fee for premium membership wants linguists to provide their skills for free.  Needless to say, this has offended some translators who ask if LinkedIn also requests other professional services like accounting or legal advice for free.


Almost every translator I've had contact with on the subject does pro-bono work for non-profits they support.  We do the same, focusing on the non-profits here in Nashville.  But - and this is a big but - it just isn't right when a for-profit organization is trying to make money and is denying skilled professionals the opportunity to do the same.


If you'd like to read other people's reactions, Matthew Bennett asks 10 questions about the perils of free translation, and Jill Sommer suggests that LinkedIn is treating translators as non-professionals.


If you're a translator on LinkedIn, you may want to join the group Translators Against Crowdsourcing by Commercial Businesses.




Photo by slideshow bob


P & L Translations

Posted By P & L Blog

la economica


Savvy bankers understand the importance of establishing relationships with foreign born Hispanics at the beginning of the acculturation process.  Education is an important part of the dialogue.  While many consumers are familiar with the fast food industry because they come from countries where Burger King operates, the same may not be true when it comes to financial services. 


  • Advertising is key.  Businesses that advertise are seen as more credible, particularly among more recent or less educated immigrants.
  • Word of mouth strongly influences purchase decisions.  Positioning a bank, S&L, or credit union as Hispanic-friendly will quickly become known in the community.
  • Testimonials are a powerful tactic.  Use them in ads, brochures, and direct mail.
  • Bilingual signage and customer service personnel communicate respect and appreciation of your Hispanic customers.


Eventually, the "unbanked" Hispanics will open a bank account and that will lead them to use other banking services, like loans to buy homes.  Will they go to your bank?


Posted By P & L Blog

Foreign Prescriptions

Are U.S. pharmacies shortchanging their customers?  A multi-state study conducted by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern found that more than 50% cannot give their Spanish-speaking customers translated medication instructions.


A Spanish-speaker reported having applied a cream on her baby eleven times a day when she should have applied it once a day.  She made the mistake because the Spanish word for eleven is "once".  What would have happened if the prescription was for an oral medication instead of a topical treatment?


One easy way pharmacies can help ensure patient safety is by having patient information brochures for many common medications translated into the languages their customers speak.  This will not only increase their customers' loyalty, it will also reduce the pharmacies' liability risk.






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