Language — Digital communications must address the users’ language preference. The use of machine or automatic translations as a sole solution is strongly discouraged even if a disclaimer is added. If government agencies decide to use translation software, they should have the translation reviewed by a qualified language professional before posting it to the website to ensure that the translation correctly communicates the message in a culturally relevant manner. GobiernoUSA.
Hispanics are one of fastest growing demographics in the U.S. But like any demographic, there are important nuances to consider when connecting with this audience. Insight into your audience’s motivations, behavior and preferences is key for anyone trying to engage with the public. We know every day that more and more Hispanics are on social media, but on which platforms?, Where are they participating? And more importantly, in what language?
Driving visitors to a destination means reaching your users where they are at. In 2005, as part of the greater USA.gov marketing strategy, GobiernoUSA.gov launched an email program. These communications initially took the form of short blurbs that directed people to important site content and promoted other government information hosted by various federal agencies. From disaster preparedness, to health care, to now Twitter chats and Google Hangouts… our email strategy aims to provide timely messages to the public via the channel of their choice.
Twenty years ago, the chances of watching an NBA game with commentary in a language other than English were small. Today, the NBA transmits games in 47 languages to 215 countries across the world. This is a perfect example of how organizations have evolved over time to meet the demands of their audiences. Evidence like this is the reason many government agencies have launched social media accounts and other digital content dedicated to a Spanish-speaking audience.
Federal agencies are required to provide meaningful access to government information to people with limited English proficiency. This applies to your agency’s digital content too. You need to determine how much information you need to provide in other languages, based on an assessment of your audience. The need is increasing The number of people who are not proficient in English is growing dramatically every year. According to the 2010 Census, there are approximately 25 million who speak a foreign language at home and whose English-speaking ability is at the level “less than very well.
Below is a list of common English health care and medical terms (in bold), and their equivalent Spanish translations (in italics). acute inpatient hospital care: atención hospitalaria para casos agudos admission: hospitalización, ingreso hospitalario, admisión hospitalaria advanced directives: instrucciones por adelantado; advocate: defensor del paciente alcohol abuse: abuso del alcohol, abuso de bebidas alcohólicas base line: valores de referencia, iniciales bereavement: pesar; duelo breast: seno; pecho; mama (this word, although technically correct, is considered offensive by some Hispanic women)
Additional Internet resources include: Glosario Técnico de Computación, Electrónica y Telecomunicaciones (computing, electronics and telecommunications glossary). Technical glossary of computing, electronics and telecommunications terminology, including translations and definitions (shown in italics when applicable). Additionally, the abbreviation of the country where a translation is used is listed in brackets. If a country code is not shown, it is assumed that the translation is valid in all countries where Spanish is spoken.
Below are some common English information technology (IT) terms (in bold), and their Spanish translations (in italics). Attach:Adjuntar, anexar Back (web browser button):Regresar Band width; Bandwidth:Ancho de banda Broadband:Banda ancha Browser:navegador, visualizador (Spain), explorador, visor Click:Hacer clic, pulsar, pinchar Email:Correo electrónico, which may be abbreviated as c.e. (widely used in the U.S. and Latin American countries) Delete:Borrar, eliminar Download:Descargar, bajar Encrypt:Cifrar, codificar – NEVER “encriptar” Forward:Reenviar Link:Enlace (suntantivo), enlazar (verbo)
Below are some frequently mistranslated English terms (in bold), and their Spanish translations (in italics). Abbreviations Key v: verb n: noun adj.: adjective exp.: expression Access [v]: Broadvision (Portal) Acceder a- NEVER accesar Act n: Ley o Proyecto de Ley; NEVER acta American [adj.]: Estadounidense, less desirable, norteamericano; NEVER americano Authoritative [adj.]: Confiable – According to the Real Academia Española Autoritativo is hardly used. Application [n]: Solicitud Apply [v] for a job, or a license, etc.
The Spanish Language Style Guide is a resource for government employees, translators, and communications professionals who work with the government to improve the way we communicate with the public in Spanish. The guide contains information on grammar and style issues as well as glossaries to standardize the use of Spanish across government. The guide was peer reviewed by Leticia Molinero, Maria Cornelio and Jack Segura, members of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE).