You are here


International Spanish or local Spanish?



Lately, we've been receiving more and more requests for International Spanish (also known as universal or neutral Spanish). Is it the best way to boost your brand internationally or should you still opt for localised Spanish?


What exactly is it?

  • International or universal Spanish is a type of Spanish, which does not include any localisms or colloquialisms. That means it can be understood by a broader range of Spanish speakers, whether they're from Madrid or Buenos Aires!
  •  It tends to be used for formal documentation as the more formal the level of Spanish, the more universal it is since it doesn't include as many colloquialisms.
  •  The content, especially terminology, is neutral so that it's not directed towards any specific cultures.
  • The grammatical structures are simple to avoid confusion.
  • As an example, in English, the words zip (British) and zipper (American) will be understood universally but words like tap (British) and faucet (American) may need a neutral version or explanation alongside them.


Examples of International Spanish


English        Spanish (Spain) Spanish (Latin America) International Spanish
Apartment Piso Departamento Apartamento
Car Coche Carro Automóvil
Mobile Phone Móvil Celular Teléfono móvil


What are the advantages of International Spanish?

  • You can reduce translation costs as you'll only require your documentation or marketing collateral translating into one type of Spanish.
  • You'll have guaranteed consistency across Spain and Latin America.


What are the disadvantages of International Spanish?

  • Some words or phrases could be 'lost in translation' if they're made neutral.
  • It's not recommended for stylistic copy such as tourism brochures as you could lose some of the flair or charm of the original.


Things to consider before requesting translation

  • What type of content do you require translating? Creative and marketing texts need to be localised much more, but technical and financial texts can be international.
  • Who is your target audience? What is their level of understanding of your product/service?
  • Will there be any cultural differences? Not just language issues.


So, should you opt for International Spanish or local variations?

Ask your language service provider for advice before you request the translation. International Spanish may work for your products/services if your copy is quite straightforward, however, if it's very stylistic you're more likely to get a better response or ROI by having your translations localised for each of your target markets.


Have you thought about having translation into International Spanish? Or do you need advice about whether it's the right option for you? We'd love to hear from you. 


We really hope you enjoyed this article!

If you’d like to find out more information about our translation services, interpreting or voice-overs call us on 08450 345677 or alternatively send us an email to