Free Spanish Translations Guide: Localization Checklist

This free Spanish translations article includes a checklist of key points to ensure that your translation is appropriate for another culture. At the bottom, you'll find more Spanish translation resources, including typical translator prices. (Were you looking for a free online Spanish translation?)

Localization checklist for your Spanish translation

Apart from translating language, some additional adjustments may be needed to make your text appropriate for a new country. This type of culture adaptation of a text is called "localization." Here are some points to look out for:

  • Weights and measurements.
  • Currencies and prices. And if you are using the symbol $, be sure that it is clear whether this refers to U.S. dollars, Mexican pesos, or another currency.
  • Number format. For example, in the U.S. and Mexico, the thousands place is marked with a comma; in Spain and Argentina, it is marked with a point.
  • Date format. In the U.S., it is normally month-day-year; in many countries including Spain, it is day-month-year.
  • Seasons. Depending on the hemisphere, certain months may be summer or winter.
  • Holidays, national events, customs. Thanksgiving is celebrated on one day in the U.S., on another in Canada, and not at all most other countries. May Day is not normally celebrated in the U.S., but is in Spain. Mother's Day and Father's Day are celebrated in many countries, but not always on the same date.
  • Working hours, meal-times, the academic calendar, vacation times. For example, in the U.S., the evening meal is often eaten as early as 5:00 p.m., while in Spain, most restaurants do not open for dinner until after 9:00 at night.
  • References to local cultures, races, ethnic groups, religions.
  • References to local places, brands, products, political parties.
  • Typeset conventions. For example, in Spanish, a question begins with an upside-down question mark, while in English, this symbol does not exist.

If your translation will be used in multiple countries that speak the same language -- for example, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico -- you may want to create a separate localized version for each country.

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