Translating Your Manuals to Spanish: Is it a Must or Just a Nice Add-On?

Translating Your Manuals to Spanish: Is it a Must or Just a Nice Add-On?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


While advertising products in Spanish-speaking regions, it is essential to include a technical description or any data that is considered relevant to be disclosed to a local audience.

Additionally, manufacturers of technical or specialized products must always include an instruction manual for consumers to use or build the product correctly and avoid failures or damage in the process.

This is why manufacturers today emphasize more on the content accompanying the products for the target audience who are not tech-savvy or hold limited knowledge on the subject.

In this article, we'll discuss why translating your user manuals is essential in Spanish-speaking regions and communities.

Is Translating Manuals Necessary?

Producers of physical goods need to pass a series of suitability assessments to promote the products in other nations. This includes user guides with product uses and detailed instructions.

These guides are essential for product assessment. Translating these manuals into local languages is often necessary for the manuals to be usable by the target audience.

See Also: Simple and Practical Steps to Create an Employee Handbook

Provisions for Marketing Products in Spain

There are a series of provisions in Spain, such as Royal Decree 1644/2008 of October 10, that specify rules on marketing and commissioning of machines.

Section 1.7 of the decree lists the regulations related to the products and their marketability, which include:

  • It’s necessary to present the product in an understandable way.
  • Mandatorily disclosing any health hazard or other residual danger associated with using the product(s).
  • All machines must carry markings that include the name and full address of the manufacturer, the designation of the machine, serial number, manufacturing year, etc.
  • Warning on any possible residual risks.

Apart from the above regulations, section 1.7.4 specifically discusses instruction manuals where the following rules must be complied with:

  • When advertising or selling products in Spain, all technical gadgets or machines must carry an instruction manual in the local language or dialect. This can either be an original manuscript or a translation of the original manuscript.
  • If the manuscript is translated, it must also include the original manual. However, personalized instruction for the manufacturer's authorized personnel must be released in only one of the European community languages the personnel understands.

In the same text of the Royal Decree, detailed disclosure of lingual requirements as stated in section, which is listed below:

  • The user manual or handbook instructions must be produced in one or more official languages of the European community.
  • When no original Spanish manuals are available, the manufacturer must translate at least in Spanish in the linguistic zone in question.
  • The content of the translated user manual must include the intended use of the machine and discuss any foreseeable misuse.
  • If the machines are intended for non-professional users, the level of training required to handle the product by said users must be given importance while producing the localized manual.

If, as a manufacturer, you are selling to Spanish-speaking regions outside Spain, it would be a wise move to abide by these regulations as much as possible.

Doing so would help your target audience understand your product and its usage better. Translating your user manual into the local language or dialect can also be helpful if a lawsuit arises.

See Also: Best Ways to Expand Your Business into New Markets

Need for Adapting Content while Marketing in Spanish-Speaking Communities

Many experts and analysts acknowledge the need for translating the manual into local languages for better comprehension of the target audience.

Currently, this is not mandatory, but regional representatives can issue provisions relating to this aspect which may apply to their respective territories.

Many manufacturers can also produce manuals in the dialects used by a specific region.

The above guideline specifies how to produce a manual in the original version and the translated version.

This is crucial because, for legal work, the original manual is only considered applicable. In this way, the possibility of errors while translating the original manual to said original text is eliminated.

Translation services with significant industry expertise and experience should be the ones to undertake the user manual’s translation.

That’s because technical aspects need professional specialty to minimize the errors that could delay or prevent the launch of products in your target Spanish-speaking regions. Professional user manual translation services can help you in this regard.

Do you need to translate your manuals for Spanish-speaking regions and communities? If so, then GMR Transcription Services, Inc. is an excellent choice.

We hire professional US-based Spanish translators to ensure 99% accuracy in all translated handbooks or manuals. Contact us at 1-800-731-7412 to learn more.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.