Mexican Spanish Translation: 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Message

April 10, 2013

Mexican cuisine is famous worldwide for its boldness, whimsy, and above all, spiciness. The Mexican culture’s love of flavor is also reflected in their language, which is adventurous, playful, and anything but boring. To make sure your Mexican Spanish translation has enough zing for your target audience, take a look at our top 5 ways to spice up your message.

#1. Return to the Roots

The Spanish language arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, but speakers of the Aztec language Nahuatl outnumbered Spanish speakers for several generations; this influence can still be seen in modern day Mexican Spanish. Mexican culture highly values this unique linguistic heritage, making it especially important for Spanish translation services to reflect the particular nuances of a Mexican Spanish Translation.

#2. Get the Grammar

Spanish translation services for Hispanic translations outside of Spain will need to reflect variations in grammar. The past simple form of verbs should be used in place of the present perfect for past actions, even recent ones. A Mexican Spanish translation will also stand out in its more frequent use of the verb form “Ustedes”, which is the more formal way of addressing another person directly and is considered more polite and respectful.

#3. Learn the Lingo

Spanish translation services vary depending on country, and the most obvious differences are expressed through word choice. These differences in vocabulary are especially important in a marketing translation, or whenever naturalness of expression is of the highest importance. Some terms specific to Mexico: “pelo chino” is curly hair, “güey” is commonly used to refer to a male, and “padre” is used colloquially like “cool” in English.

#4. Pronunciation Considerations

A Mexican Spanish translation that involves spoken language should express the subtleties of Mexican Spanish pronunciation. Historically, immigrants from the southern part of Spain settled in Mexico, and modern Mexican pronunciation still reflects this influence. Additionally, Mexican Spanish pronunciation varies from region to region, thanks to the many native languages spoken throughout the country.

#5. It’s All in the Details

A Mexican Spanish translation of natural or colloquial language may also include use of suffixes; this is quite prevalent in Mexican Spanish. The suffix -ito is used to convey the diminutive form of a word, but also used to convey affection. The suffix -ísimo is used to emphasize an adjective, whereas the suffix -ote is used to emphasize the size or quantity of a noun.

Follow these 5 tips to make sure your next Mexican Spanish translation has enough local flavor to keep your clients coming back for more!

If you would like additional information on this topic or have questions on planning and executing your next translation or multilingual initiative, contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation or call us at (800) 413-7838.

One Comment on “Mexican Spanish Translation: 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Message”

  1. Kcha says:

    Capitalization of words is part of the ratio translationis psricrebed in Liturgiam Authenticam 9. I believe PrayTell linked this leaked document.Vox Clara is also looking at this piece, and it seems it will be updated at some time in the future. In snark: retrofit the document to adjust to the practice in place sort of like deep-sixing MR2, then conjuring up LA a few years later to put the justification in writing.The rewriting of the praenotanda of all the rites is also part of the plan of LA. See section 66ff, if memory serves.Paul’s commentary about Priests is apt, as the leaked ratio translationis is explicit that when speaking generally of a bishop, pope, priest, that capitalization is not appropriate. Again, it’s been a while since I looked at this document, so I may have misremembered it. Otherwise, if the snark fits Curious that it’s less of a Latin tradition and more German. It just seems darned fussy to me.