latin america

Three Spanish Translation Mistakes Your Brand Can't Afford to Make

June 4, 2013 by Sandra De Luca
Category: Marketing, Marketing Translation Services

While Spanish is primarily spoken throughout Latin America (though not in exactly the same way), it is an extremely diverse group of countries and cultures. Marketing to the Spanish speakers in the region requires some forethought to avoid potential linguistic and cultural challenges outside of mere translation. In certain instances, something as simple as the color of your clothing or the meaning of your name can differ between various countries. You may also want to look at your non-verbal content and make sure it is as appealing as your copy. Today's post gives you some pointers on how to get started.

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Mexico

December 13, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Marketing, Culture

For Americans, Mexico may seem like that oh too-familiar country next door — the land of tacos, tequila, mariachis and salsa — yet our closest neighbor to the south has more mystique than the average outsider realizes. If you're looking to do business with Mexico, it's in your interest to dig a bit deeper and gain an understanding of authentic Mexican culture; after all, you'll need a few talking points for that local networking event or business meal.

As a business professional with an eye on emerging economies, you are probably familiar with Mexico's basic profile. You probably already know, for example, that Mexico is home to the highest number of Spanish speakers in the world; La ciudad de México (a.k.a. Mexico City) tops the population charts for cities with nearly 20 million inhabitants. Those of you who read the The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times consider common knowledge that Mexico is part of the super-quartet of emerging economies called MIST. And the gastronomical geeks among you have no doubt read that our most cherished food north of the border, chocolate, originated in Mexico.

But here are seven Mexican fun facts that even the savvy international business professional may not know:

Soup as Culture

November 22, 2010 by Stephanie Engelsen
Category: Culture

"A soup like this is not the work of one man. It is the result of a constantly refined tradition. There are nearly a thousand years of history in this soup."

                                       - Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

Soup is the history and soul of a culture. There are thousands of different types of soup, each distinctive and each defining a culture. Think about different countries and then think of the soup associated with each one: Russia. France. Japan. Mexico. Thailand. Did you smell borscht, French onion soup, menudo, miso and tom yum? Plus, within each country, there are regional soups. In the States, we have clam chowder from New England, gumbo from New Orleans, and chili from the Southwest. Hungry yet?

Recently, the Acclaro San Francisco team went to Frugal Foodies in Berkeley and prepared a meal together (a four-course meal disguised as a team-building exercise!). Wearing our new Acclaro aprons and wielding knives, graters, spatulas, and whisks, we whipped up our lunch in just over an hour.

Lunch consisted of:

  • Wild greens salad with persimmons and pomegranate seeds
  • Spicy Mexican pumpkin soup
  • Eggplant terrine
  • Flourless chocolate cake with caramel sauce

Here we are, the proud chefs, with our meal:


Now let's talk about the soup course. We all know, of course, soup should have its own course!

Luxury Gone Global

A rising tide raises all boats. We’ve all heard the old adage before. Yet somehow the intensity and global gloom of this last recession had many of us doubting that it would ring true this time, that the regular tidal patterns would ever return.

It may come as a surprise, then, that one of the categories that has bounced back significantly in 2010 is luxury goods.

The tide has risen for this sector in general and global luxury sales are projected to grow by 10 percent this year (via The Financial Times). LVMH, Swatch, Richemont (owner of Cartier, Montblanc and Hermes) and Burberry are a few of the “boats” enjoying the rising tide. Each of these companies has performed better-than-expected in 2010 and their shares have risen sharply.

Big brands are the biggest benefiters from this trend, according to consultant Bain, because they were able to respond to the global financial crisis by opening new stores and continuing to invest. Globalization has been the key to many of these brands’ success.

Though the U.S. has definitely seen growth in luxury goods sales this year (around 12%, according to FT), Asia harbors the brightest potential for the industry in 2010 and 2011. According to forecasts by Bain earlier this year, China was likely to finish 2010 with a 15% increase in year-to-year revenue growth; as this year draws to a close, estimates are more along the lines of 30%, and China is poised to become the world’s third largest luxury market in five years’ time (FT).

Tips on Latin American Localization

September 23, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, Website Translation Services, Localization Tips

latin america mapWe hear a lot about localizing marketing content for U.S. Hispanic consumers — but what about the hundreds of millions of potential Spanish-speaking customers south of our borders? A few tips on marketing to Latin American Spanish-speaking audiences, from a localization professional via Mediapost:

  • All gestures are not "OK." In Latin America, to give the OK sign they use a hand with index finger and middle finger raised, with the palm of the hand facing the person whose hand is used. But in the U.K. that same symbol is equivalent to giving someone the middle finger!
  • Dollar bill, y'all. Here in the U.S., the dollar sign ($) refers to U.S. dollars. But in Latin America, it could also refer to the local currency in other countries (e.g., Argentina). Also, just like Europe, numbers are written differently —  $2,335.47 in the U.S. vs. $2.335,47 in Latin American Spanish.


Of course, these are both items that your translation agency should know well! Don't get caught off guard by having to catch these yourself, or misunderstand the scope of your project. When it comes to marketing, more has to change than simple document text translation.

Spanish Language Bloggers a Growing Consumer Influence

September 2, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, International & Global Translation Services

latismThe number of Hispanic women starting blogs hit a peak last year, with 63% of Latina bloggers founding their blog in 2009, according to the LATISM Bloguera Survey, which questioned 939 respondents in the United States and Latin America.

There's been a steady increase in the number of blogs authored by Latinas since 2006 to date, and projections indicate that the number will continue to increase throughout 2010, the study found.

"Through blogging, they have planted themselves right at the epicenter of merging worlds: between tradition and modernity, between off-line and on-line, between English and Spanish, between American and Latino cultures," observed Ana Roca-Castro, Chair and Founder of Latinos in Social Media (LATISM).

Considering the vast projected growth of the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. and their spending power, these Latina bloggers are certainly something to watch for companies looking to track this emerging online consumer segment.

How To: Capture the U.S. Hispanic Market

"The concept of an 'average American' is gone, probably forever."

- Peter Franchese, founder of American Demographics magazine

The 2010 census was the first time that the U.S. government made a concerted effort to include all multilingual immigrant groups, and as a result it will likely show the U.S. as it is: a truly multicultural nation, a multigenerational society and a multi-segmented household economy.

2010 populationSpecifically, the new census will show numbers reflecting a large and fast-growing Hispanic population that for years many people were aware of, but never fully grasped the impact this group can have in the future. The Hispanic segement will represent over 50 million consumers with over a trillion dollars in buying power, writes Terry Soto in The Transformation of the U.S. Consumer Market (pdf).

But how do you capture and retain the Hispanic consumer? First and foremost, you need to gather market insights. Because the U.S. Hispanic is so incredibly diverse, you have to identify and understand the micro-segments within it that will be the most productive for your brand.

Pepsi's Hispanic Campaign Inspires Slew of Comments

March 30, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: Marketing, Top Ten, US Translation Services

yo sumo pepsi marketing campaignPepsi received some great coverage in AdAge yesterday about its Hispanic-focused marketing campaign, playing off of the multilingual advertisements for the 2010 U.S. census, which urges all Americans to make themselves "count."

But within 24 hours of the story — which was also distributed on mainstream media outlets like Crain's New York — was a hotbed of discussion, er, disappointment, in both Pepsi and its Hispanic agency, Dieste.

The argument? "Yo sumo," the literal Spanish translation for "I count," may not have been the wisest choice for a campaign whose self-proclaimed purpose is to encourage Hispanics to go beyond being counted numerically and to share their experiences.

As Judy from New York put it in her comment:

"Yo sumo" means I add numbers (1+1=2). However, "Yo cuento", can mean either I count numbers or I count as a person. Hence, in this context, "Yo sumo" does not make sense. It works exactly the same in English: it's the difference between "I add" and "I count". What makes sense is "I count". What would make sense in correct Spanish is "Yo ME sumo" (I add/include myself).

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Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


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