US: +1 (812) 269-1011 | MX: +52 (55) 4040-8102 | CR: +506 6029-6789

Discover News, Tips, and Interesting Stories

Explore our blog and find all kind of translation related articles such as stories, interesting facts, and even tips for clients.

Written by Montserrat González

Montserrat is a professional translator who likes to read and write fictional stories. There's nothing she enjoys more than spending time with her friends and family.

September 23, 2020

Warning: Beware of foreign words!


Nowadays, it is common to listen or read foreign words both in our daily life and in our work life. This is because we live in an increasingly globalized world and we have a constant influence of different languages and cultures.

Foreign words aren’t completely frowned upon, especially those that don’t have a translation or an equivalent term in the target language. However, there are certain foreign words that are unnecessary.

This is common for Spanish speakers who also speak English, a language widespread worldwide. Many people make the mistake of replacing Spanish words in favor of their English equivalents, communicating in “Spanglish”, a language mix that may confuse their conversational partner. It may also be annoying for people who have no knowledge of the other language.

In the field of translations, the usage of foreign words in a translated document may indicate that the translator’s lacks professionalism or experience. Why? Because, when a company requests a translation, they want that at least 99% of the document to be in the requested target language, except for those words that don’t really have an equivalent term in Spanish.


How to avoid using foreign words?

When we are in the middle of a written translation, or even in a conversation, whether casual or business, we may find a word without a established translation or an equivalent term in Spanish. It’s not completely wrong to use it as it is, but we can incorporate it to cover the needs of a sentence.

However, the best thing to do is try to rephrase the sentence so that it wont be necessary to use the foreign word, but still conveying the idea.

The lack of Spanish vocabulary may occur due to language diversity, that is why we need to keep your knowledge fresh by reading paper, books, and magazines, or even watching T.V. shows that can teach you new words to add them in your vocabulary.

Even though, at first, it may seem difficult to memorize new words that weren’t in our vocabulary, little by little and with daily practice, we can start using them in our conversations or in our texts, so that eventually they form part of our vocabulary.

The following phrases are a few examples of unnecessary foreign words and how to improve them:

Original: Estudio indica que los smartphones disminuyen la inteligencia (A study shows that Smartphones decrease users intelligence)

Proofreading: Estudio indica que los teléfonos inteligentes (smartphones) disminuyen la inteligencia

Original: Fito Paez presentó un show sorpresa (Fito Paez gave a surprise show)

Proofreading: Fito Paez presentó un espectáculo (show) sorpresa

Original: Lo más trendy de la temporada 2017 (New trends for 2017)

Proofreading: Las últimas tendencias (trendy) de la temporada 2017


The importance of respecting Spanish rules

There are many reasons to keep our language, it is a beautiful and broad language that deserves to be cared and to be kept as it is for future generations.

In addition, Spanish is considered to be the third most spoken language in the world, the third most used language on the Internet, the second most used in Facebook and Twitter, and the fifth most visited in Wikipedia.

For these and many other reasons, wheter at work or at a personal level, it’s important to keep a neutral Spanish, increase your vocabulary and avoid the usage of unnecessary foreign words.


You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.