Catalonia is an attractive market for investment, exports, and imports. Another key factor in this economy is tourism due to a number of world-renowned destinations such as Barcelona, Costa Brava, Girona, and Tarragona.
- The importance of Catalan translation
The majority of Catalan speakers are found in Catalunya (or Catalonia), in the northeastern corner of Spain. Catalan is also used in the Mediterranean, such as the Balearic Islands, Alghero in Sardinia, Italy, Valencia in Spain, southern France along the border with Catalunya. Besides, Catalan is also the national language of Andorra. If you have a chance to visit Ibiza on vacation, you will hear the locals speaking Catalan.
According to KPMG’s Global Cities Investment Monitor 2019, Barcelona, a city in Catalonia, ranks 7th worldwide in terms of attracting foreign investment. It is due to the abundance of highly-qualified workers, geostrategic location, a large ecosystem of startups and international clients. Nowadays Barcelona is a pole of attraction for local and global entrepreneurship, or “Catalonia is the best investment region in southern Europe”, in the words of the Financial Times.
Therefore, having your information translated into or from Catalan by a professional translation company is absolutely crucial to integrate into the social, economic, and cultural life of Catalonia.
4 problems in translating Catalan
Catalan has a complicated pronominal system. Catalan makes a clear distinction between informal and formal second person pronouns “tu” (informal ‘you’) and “Vostè” (formal ‘you’). Personal pronouns can take many forms: full form, reduced form, emphatic form. On top of that, the rules for combining pronouns are complicated.
English has a higher grammatical density than many Latin languages, Catalan included. This means that a translated text could be 25% longer in Catalan to deliver the same content originally in English. An experienced translator must know how to control the length of the final text, especially in marketing or design materials, and preserve the true message at the same time.
All catalan nouns have gender: masculine or feminine and not neutral. Usually masculine nouns end with a consonant or in -o or -i, and the feminine ones end in -a, but there are several exceptions, nouns that end in -e or -u can be feminine or masculine.
However, to avoid sexism in language, many brands are currently eliminating all gendered words whenever possible.
Latin-speaking communities and English speaking-communities have a common difference in directness when expressing one’s opinion or feeling. The States seems to prefer more direct messages and a great deal of explicit information rather than subtle implication.
By contrast, there are cultures, such as Catalan, that communicate much between the lines. Thus, producing culturally appropriate translations requires a lot of knowledge about not only language but also local culture.
Your choice can affect the cost and the effectiveness of translated content. If you need to translate into Catalan, give us a call today!