And according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, the share of buying power that Latinos control will grow to 10%, or $1.4 trillion, of the US total by 2013. That puts Hispanics ahead of all other minority groups, including African Americans.
Accordingly, Hispanics are an important audience for businesses to continue to reach. However, from a language standpoint, doing so is not as simple as you may think.
Ensure Authenticity: Translation vs. Transcreation
Language is used to describe how we experience and see the world. It's about the spoken word and how we interpret what's being said or read. Latinos have a very experiential culture. They are driven by emotion and direct experience. They are not driven by data.
To successfully reach the Hispanic audience, marketers should understand that what works with the general market can't simply be transferred to the Latino market. Instead, messages must be culturally adapted to capture the thought, meaning, and feeling, not just the words.
"If you translate information without adapting your message, you're branding your appeal in a way that is not attractive or effective," says Diego Basabe, business development manager at viaLanguage, which focuses on limited-English population translations and transcreation services.
"Marketers who culturally adapt or transcreate see their investment returned immensely.