Common Challenges for English to Spanish Translation

Posted by Melanie Conroy on May 18th, 2021

People living in Europe, South America, North America, and Africa speak the Spanish language. Considering the number of speakers, it comes after Mandarin.  With all this information, you can well imagine how important the Spanish language is. Even though many people in the English-speaking world can’t speak Spanish. Therefore, you require Spanish translation services.

People living around the world speak languages according to their cultural and regional differences. The same is the case with the Spanish language. Spanish spoken in Portugal is different from the Spanish that people speak in Italy. Therefore, translation companies face many challenges. Let’s dive into these challenges.


Spanish is a romance language and most of it is derived from Latin. On the other hand, English is an Anglo-Saxon language that is also influenced by the Latin language but on a smaller scale. Therefore, there are many words in Spanish that have cognates in English and people use them in a formal context. So here comes the challenge for translators to differentiate the level of formality in the vocabulary. 

Expansion in Spanish Translation 

While translation from English to Spanish, the content expands to around 30%. This creates a great challenge for translators when they do English to Spanish translation if the space is limited.

Grammar Challenges

There are many English and Spanish spellings that are similar but the basic rules and composition of both languages are different. Let’s have a look at some key differences that will help you to mitigate the challenges.


In the English language, verb tenses are altered by adding suffixes. On the other hand, in the Spanish language, there are six verb tenses. Moreover, they have different spellings that are based on the subject. In English, the verb is altered with the third-person singular like he, she, or they. Whereas in the Spanish language, the verb has six different versions and it depends upon their tense. To overcome challenges for Spanish translation services the translator should give attention to details. 


Spanish is a two-gender language. Therefore, nouns are classified genders and they can either be male or female. The basic rule is that all objects that end with -a are feminine and the objects that end with -o are masculine. The important thing to note here is that people don't follow this rule. 

Just like English, Spanish follows the subject-verb-object structure. Moreover, the Spanish language has a very lenient sentence composition. Also, in the Spanish language, you can emphasize the end of the sentence

For example, in the English language, you write: Anna, throw the ball

In the Spanish language, if you want to emphasize Anna, you can put Anna at the end of the sentence. Thus, the sentence will sound like ‘Throw the ball, Anna.’

Why You Need Spanish Translation Services

Vocabulary, expansion, and grammatical rules are the main factors that make Spanish translation challenging. Therefore, you need to hire professional Spanish translation services. Professional translation company hires a team of native translators who know the cultural and regional differences. Moreover, they give attention to details to overcome the challenges of translation.  

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Melanie Conroy

About the Author

Melanie Conroy
Joined: May 18th, 2021
Articles Posted: 1