Did you know these interesting facts about Latin American Spanish?

welocalize March 12, 2022

There are over 543 million Spanish speakers worldwide, making it the 4th most spoken language globally – just behind English, Chinese Mandarin, and Hindi.

But did you know? Spanish is the official language of 20 different countries and regions and almost 90% of speakers live in Latin America and the United States!

Targeting the correct form of Spanish and utilizing a strong cultural adaptation within these markets is very important.

Here is a collection of interesting language facts about Latin American Spanish:
Accents and Dialects

There are distinct differences in accents and dialects in the different language variants of Spanish. For example, the Colombian accent is less distinct than others and can be used across multiple South American countries without creating difficulties in understanding.

One of the main differences in dialects between Spanish spoken in Spain and Latin America is the pronunciation of ‘z’ and ‘c’ (when before ‘e’ and ‘i’), are pronounced as ‘s’ in Latin America and ‘th’ in Spain.

Despite these differences, all Spanish speakers can still understand each other. However, it is said that Chileans speak Spanish so fast it can sometimes be hard to understand!

When translating audio material, accents and dialects are an important consideration when translating across multiple Spanish speaking regions with a large variety of accents to ensure you connect with customers in the local market.

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Phonetic Language

Spanish is a phonetic language. This means that pronunciation is consistent, and a word is pronounced how it’s written. This makes it easier to learn that say other non-phonetic languages such as English.

Different ways to refer to the Spanish language

Spanish has two different names. Spanish is sometimes called Español (‘Spanish’) and is largely used in Latin America. But it is also sometimes called castellano (‘Castilian’), primarily by speakers in Spain.

E-commerce Opportunity

Internet penetration has increased massively in Latin America in the last few years, with 72% of the population in South America having internet access and 67% of Central America – a huge increase of over 32% and 53% respectively, in just the last four years.

What’s more, Latin America is offering huge opportunities for e-commerce.

According to eMarketer, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an upsurge of 63% in e-commerce sales in Latin America.

But to ensure your content will be heard in the online marketplace, use of Latin American Spanish and knowledge of the different local cultures is key to success.

Read more: A Global Change in E-Commerce Consumer Habits.

Clinical Trials

There are over 13,000 clinical studies currently registered in Spanish-speaking LATAM countries. The main countries and regions where these studies are taking place are Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile and Colombia.

Here are some fun facts about Latin America:
Rich Coastline

Costa Rica literally translates to “rich coast.” This country got this name because of the 800 miles of coastline between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.

Not loving it

Bolivians enjoy eating from local vendors on the street, rather than paying for meals from large chains. Because of this lifestyle, Bolivia became the first Latin American country to get rid of McDonald’s.

It’s raining fish!

In Yoro, Honduras, it rains fish! Known as ‘Lluvia de Peces’, this happens during the heaviest rain season between May and June and after the rain, thousands of fish are found flopping around on the ground.

Nature has rights

In 2008, Ecuador became the first country in the world to give nature constitutional rights and can be defended in court. Bolivia has also since done this too.

Simply translating source content into Spanish for all Spanish-speaking nations is not effective. Latin America offers great opportunities to increase global growth, but content needs to be adapted and sometimes recreated to take into consideration all the local nuances, preferences, and language traits and reach customers locally.

Connect with us to find out more about globalization solutions for the Latin American marketplace.