Spanish language, one of the most important in the world. It is regulated by the Real Academia Española de la Lengua (RAE), but Spanish speakers do not adhere to all of its rules. The reason, there are many differences in term of usage and accent depending on the Spanish speaking country.
A clear example is the word computer, “ordenador” in Spain but “computador or computadora” in Latin America. In fact, Microsoft uses the word “equipo – equipment in English” in order to avoid this issue.
The most famous Spanish accent difference would be the pronunciation of the letter “z”. In Spain, it is pronounced as “th” just like the English sound “think”. In Latin America it is pronounced as an “s” instead.
Each Spanish speaking country has singularities, variations, different pronunciations, rules and accents.
And because of this, the Neutral accent was created, to standardize the Latin American accent for broadcasts, dubbing and voice-over recordings.
There are a few important things you need to know when working on a voice-over for the Spanish market:
Neutral Spanish voice-overs can’t be used in Spain.
Of course, a Spanish speaker from Spain will understand your message, but they will fell that the content of it is directed to Latin Americans and not them.
Never use Latin American translation for Spain or vice versa.
A script with vocabulary and constructions from Latin America will never work for Spain, not even if its spoken with the European accent. And it happens the other way around.
Voice-over talents from Spain can’t do a Neutral accent.
They will always have troubles trying to reach the Latin American accent. Because of the differences between both accents, they will always end up making mistakes.
Neutral Spanish is not only an accent but also a skill.
Every single person speaks a native accent without noticing. You get it while growing up in your country or region. There is no effort in it. But Neutral Spanish is not an accent you just suddenly get, it requires hard work and practice thought the years.
Some people might say Colombian accent is the closet to a neutral one, or that the Argentinian is the sexiest, and the Spanish from Spain the most important, but these are just myths.
Remember, whatever variety of Spanish you speak, you will be understood all over the Spanish-speaking world, but when it comes to business, you have to study your market first to choose the right accent.