The Impact of Internationalisation Strategies on Translation Quality: the Case of 'International' Spanish

TitleThe Impact of Internationalisation Strategies on Translation Quality: the Case of 'International' Spanish
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsJiménez-Crespo, MA
JournalLocalisation Focus - The International Journal of Localisation
Keywordscorporate websites, corpus-based translation studies., Internationalisation, neutral language, translation quality, website localisation

The goal of the Localisation Industry is to produce sites that "look like they have been developed in-country" (LISA 2004, p. 11), even when due to cost-effectiveness considerations international versions are frequently released for languages with multiple locales. Thus, the industry's discourse links quality in localisations to texts that are received as local productions, while its internationalisation strategies strive to erase certain dialectal and cultural differences. This paper researches the strategies applied by multinational corporations when dealing with neutral international version of localised websites. After a theoretical review of the interrelated notions of internationalisation, quality, neutral language version and localisation level, the empirical study researches the case of Spanish, one of the languages with the greater number of different locales. Following a corpus-based approach, the Spanish localisation strategies of the 600 largest US companies are analyzed. Detailed statistics for each model and locale are provided. In a second stage, a longitudinal study is presented that contrasts data collected in 2006 with the localisation strategies observed in 2009. The results show that multinational companies apply different strategies for the European and Latin American markets, while the largest US companies have gradually increased the Spanish localised versions of their websites. Additionally, the fuzzy US Spanish locale continues to grow despite the fact that this locale is not still internationally recognized and standardized.

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