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Salvadorans provide services to the world

Written by admin on . Posted in Americas, Central America, Marketing

El Salvador's service sector grows

El Salvador’s service sector grows

The service sector has a privileged place in the flows of trade and investment in El Salvador. It has grown at an annual rate of 29% since 2005, which places it at the forefront of the new dynamic of trade. This sector has been gaining more and more importance to the Salvadoran economy, currently representing around 60% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the Central Reserve Bank, the export of services reached the figure of $1.073 million in 2011, representing a 10% growth in respect to 2010, and an equivalent of 20% of the total value of the export of goods from the country.

Multilingual Websites lead to International Success

Written by Christopher Stanley on . Posted in Central America, Digital, Marketing, Mexico, U.S. Hispanic

Multilingual Websites

Multilingual Websites

Analytics and measurement of just about every action a user takes is one of the cornerstones of online advertising as well as publishing.  Along with the potential of measuring just about everything a user does comes an overwhelming amount of data.  Given the time involved, there are some significant and often unexpected opportunities that may arise.

In a recent article by Joe Kutchera, he cites some great examples from Amtrak, Best Buy and others that have experienced some unexpected sales benefits due to having websites in Spanish, German or other languages.

Does Amtrak have a German language site due to a huge population of Germans in the U.S.? Not exactly.

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Holy Week in El Salvador

Written by admin on . Posted in Central America, Marketing

Holy Week is a time to meditate and reflect on our behavior. This is what the Catholic religion has taught for centuries and El Salvador is no exception, where at least 60% of the population is catholic.

The Holy week is celebrated all over the country, from communities with only a few hundred inhabitants, to the places with majorpresence of these traditions, such as Sonsonate and Izalco.

The precessions what are carried out during these days are some of the most flashy in El Salvador. Paradoxically, Sonsonate and Izalco are places with a wide indigenous tradition, where the Spanish had a difficult time subjugating the religion, and where our indigenous could work with both religions at the same time. The conquistadors thought that they had already surrendered to their customs, but they had found a way to follow their own ancient traditions and at the same time play off that they had been converted.

During these richly colorful and detailed celebrations one can arrive to see some indigenous priests or “shamans,” also known as “witches.”

Visit Sonsonte or Izalco and you will know part of our indigenous past and at the same time will be able to appreciate the elaborate rugs with different materials made by families, groups of friends, or neighbors.

Do Salvadoreans in the United States remember their Independence from Spain?

Written by admin on . Posted in Central America, Marketing

Salvadoran Independence Day Parade

Salvadoran Independence Day Parade

I have lived in the US for way too long, so much so that I hardly ever celebrate the independence of El Salvador, where I am originally from. I was in El Salvador two weeks ago, and fell back in love with the culture, the food and especially the people. Being there brought back many memories, and now that I am back from my trip, knowing that it is almost September 15, I will go out and celebrate in some way.

I  wondered if there were any other people in the United States originating from El Salvador that remember and celebrate the Independence. Coincidentally, I found an article in the Latin America Herald Tribune stating that a big group of Salvadoreans living in Southern California will celebrate the 188th anniversary of El Salvador’s independence with a parade in the streets of Hollywood. DEFISAL President Hector Menendez told EFE the following:

“With this parade, we want to keep alive the customs of El Salvador in the United States and for parents to be able to pass (this) down to their children so that they feel what we experience in El Salvador every Sept. 15.”

As a Salvadorean, it makes me happy to know that, yes, there are many Salvadoreans out there that still remembering their Independence, and with great pride, they celebrate it.

Central American variants of the Spanish language

Written by admin on . Posted in Central America, Marketing

Central America´s Spanish language.

Central America´s Spanish language.

Spanish has many ways of being expressed, in which typical phrases in a region or idioms related to a certain country develop, as is the case of “Cubanismos,” in Cuba. This article highlights the variants of Spanish in Central America, and gives you some reasons as to why Central Americans, with their peculiar accent, are distinct.

Phonological Aspects

The /s/ at the end of a syllable is said as an /h/, and is most stressed in Nicaragua, less so in certain areas of Guatemala and Costa Rica.  This is the “final breath s,” as pronounced in Andalusia, and now, according to the erudite philologist Rafael Lapesa, it is also highly spread throughout various Castilian-La Mancha regions. In some parts of El Salvador, it has a whistling sound.

In Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, the phonemes /rr/ and /r/ are vigorously vibrated with the tongue, the “rr’s” particularly strong, multiplying the /rr/ phoneme characteristic of the standard peninsular Castilian, and many Latin American countries. In certain areas of Guatemala and Costa Rica, the allophone /rr/ is the fricative variant [ɹ], which is to say, the “rr” has similarities to northern Spain’s [ɹ], like in Navarra, la Rioja, el País Vasco, and areas of Aragón, also in the interiors of Ecuador and Perú, and nearly all of Bolivia.

The muffled occlusive often changes from bilabial to blurred: from “aceptar” to “acectar,” or “concepto” to “concecto.” The following phenomenon isn’t part of the educated norm and is considered as slang for middle and upper social classes: semi-vocalizing  the occlusive (“perfecto” to “perfeito”) or assimilating the word with subsequent consonants.

The following allophone is considered as slang for all of Central America: The /s/ becomes an /h/ in the syllable’s initial position in order to differentiate between another within the same word, i.e. “nehesidad” instead of “necesidad.” This doesn’t occur in Guatemala nor Costa Rica, nor in other Central American republics where the people are educated, as this is generally associated with those having a low education level. This is also a typical phenomena for Colombia. In Central America, this pronunciation has very little prestige, and does not occur among the middle and upper classes.

The wheezing, or lisp, syllable has been recognized in parts of El Salvador and Honduras, in northeastern Costa Rica and in much of Nicaragua.

Morphology

The use of “voseo” in El Salvador.

The pronoun “vos” is prevalent among all social classes in Central America and is a part of learned norms. In Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, the middle and upper classes use “voseo” completely. In Nicaragua, the pronoun “vos” is the cultural norm and all classes use it. In past years, various medias have also begun to use “vos.” Costa Rica also uses “voseo,” however, they and Guatemalans sometimes use the pronoun “usted,” including informal situations (i.e. among friends).

On the other hand, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras are countries where familiarity is not customary and generally avoided. In Costa Rica, using familiarity is considered pedantic. In El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, “usted” remains unchanged, just like in Spain; and unlike other Latin American dialects, it is respected and highly unusual among people who know each other, in informal context or among family.

Vocabulary

Here we will discuss words used by educated people, affable terms accepted in written rule throughout Central America—not idioms or slang.

An establishment that sells groceries in Guatemala is called an “Abarrotería,” and in Panama, any of the following: “Abarrotería,” “tienda,” “minisúper,” and “comisariato;” El Salvador calls them “Tienda,” and in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, “Pulpería” or “Mini Súper.” A carbonated beverage in Guatemala is referred to as “Agua” or “Gaseosa;” in El Salvador and Nicaragua, it´s “Gaseosa,” and in Costa Rica and Honduras, it´s “Fresco,” and Panama, “Soda.”

Many words originating from Central America are quite useful and have been included in the Spanish Royal Academy dictionary. For example, there is “íngrimo,” a superlative of “solo” (only) which includes much more than just the word, “solísimo.” “Ingrido,” applies to someone so concentrated that they are unaware of their surroundings, and “fachento” is the superlative to “jactancioso.” (a braggart).

As you can see, many words come from Central America, which are now normal in written language, even transnationally. Without going further, many etymologists seem to give Central America credit to the theory of the word “chancho” (pig) as an adjective and noun (coming from “credo” pork).

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