To which language should you translate to localize in Spain?
What we know from our community
One is for certain: Spain, there is only one. But what about the Spanish language? Formally, what it is spoken both in Spain and LATAM, it is known as Spanish. Nevertheless, in practice, Spain’s Spanish and LATAM’s are –literally and metaphorically– quite far away. The same occurs with the variations of Spanish within the South European country, whose diversity applies not only to geography and gastronomy, but also to the most “living” thing: language.
Consequently, someone from the very southern Spain (Andalucia for instance), may not only use different idiomatic expressions and inflections, but also have their own distinctive accent that makes it very difficult for someone from Asturias or País Vasco to understand.
Then there is the fact that Spanish is actually not “alone”: Basque, Catalan and Galician, among other minor varieties, complete the linguistic picture of this rich country.
19% Catalan, 5% Galician 2% Basque
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.
Dialects and other languages
Aragonese, Asturian/Leonese, Varieties: Eonavian (Galician-Austrian), Portuguese of Spain, Caló, Erromintxela, Riffian Berber (in Melilla), Darija (in Ceuta), Extremaduran, Cantabrian and other varieties of Spanish
Immigrant languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Darija, Berber, Romanian, English, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Russian.
Moderate proficiency (EF) – 33 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 33/35 position in Europe.
Population: 47,33 million
Population density: 95/km2
GDP: 1,425,276.59 trillion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 30,115.7 USD (2020)
Exports: $298 billion (2020)
Internet users: 94% penetration, 43.93 million
Unemployment rate: 14.8% (2021)
Urbanisation: 80.32% (2018)
Literacy: 99% (2019)
Arabic numerals and comma as decimal separator
Date format: dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0034
Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal
Facts and data
$315 billion (2020). Crude Petroleum ($15.8B), Cars ($13.9B), Vehicle Parts ($11B), Packaged Medicaments ($10.7B), and Petroleum Gas ($5.5B), importing mostly from Germany ($41.2B), France ($33.9B), China ($30.3B), Italy ($22B), and Netherlands ($15.5B).
Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of age)
• 94% have an account with a financial institution
• 54% have a credit card
• 65% make online purchases
Ease of doing business
It is very easy to conduct business (rated 79.7 out of 100) ranked 19th out of 44 OECD high income countries in ranked 30th out of 190 countries worldwide (2019, World Bank)
$298 billion (2020). Cars ($32B), Packaged Medicaments ($11.6B), Vehicle Parts ($9.14B), Refined Petroleum ($7.77B), and Pig Meat ($6.46B), exporting mostly to France ($47.6B), Germany ($34B), Portugal ($23.8B), Italy ($22.8B), and United Kingdom ($18.9B).
Main local online stores
El Corte Inglés, eBay, Amazon, Milanuncios, Segunda-Mano, Vinted, Wallapop, Vibbo, Lets Bonus, Groupon, Bing, eBay and Groupalia.
‘Moderately free’ (68.2 out of 100) ranked 26th out of 45 European countries ranked 41st out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)
Global Innovation Index
Ranked 19th out of 39 European countries, 30th out of 132 worldwide.
The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.
Service Imports (2017)
Service Exports (2017)
Most complex products by PCI
Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters
Most specialised products by RCA Index
Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Spain observed and expected exports in each product
Export Opportunities by Relatedness
Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Spain is not specialized in
E-commerce payment method in Spain split by value
Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends
Which of the following methods do you prefer to use when you pay for a product you've bought online?
Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends
Preferred e-commerce methods in Spain
Source: J.P. Morgan 2019 Payment Trends
Reach most of the online purchasing power
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.Try it now
Media language Spain
Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE competes with large and established commercial operators. TV is the main news medium and satellite and cable are popular digital platforms. Home-produced dramas, reality shows and long-running soap operas are staple fare on primetime TV. Regional TV networks are operated by their respective governments and there are many local stations. Movistar+, owned by telecom firm Telefonica, is the biggest pay TV provider. There is a free press that investigates high-level corruption, says US-based Freedom House. But the organisation raises concerns about the concentration of media ownership and what it says is political interference in public media. Facebook is the leading social media platform.
TVE – public, services include national networks La Primera and La 2, satellite-delivered TVE Internacional, rolling news channel 24 Horas
Telecinco – national, commercial
Antena 3 – national, commercial
Cuatro – national, commercial
RNE – public, services include speech network Radio 1, cultural network Radio Clasica, youth-oriented Radio 3, news station Radio 5 Todo Noticias
Cadena SER – commercial, operates more than 50 national, regional stations
Onda Cero – commercial
Cadena COPE – church-controlled
Media data source: BBC
94% penetration, 43.93 million
Share of web traffic by device
48.97% mobile phones, 48.28% computers (laptops and desktops), 2.69% tablet devices, others 0.06%
Median speed of mobile Internet connection
Median speed of fixed Internet connection
Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 118.8%
Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 93.7%
Most popular web search engines
Google (95.57%), Bing (2.76%), Yahoo (1.03%), Ecosia (0.28%), Duckduckgo (0.28%), Yandex Ru (0.03%),
Most used social media
Facebook (84.52%), Instagram (6.26%), Twitter (5.74%), Pinterest (2.29%), YouTube (0.91%), reddit (0.13%)
83.33 yrs (2020)
Average age of the population
44.9 yrs (2020)
Catholicism is the most common religion in Spain. People are not discriminated against by religion either in the workplace or in social life. Spaniards don’t usually ask about religious beliefs because they are assumed to be the same. But if there is a difference it is not an issue that would be a basis for discrimination.
Most Catholics in Spain call themselves “believers” but not “practitioners”. This means that they have been baptised and married according to religious ritual but that they don’t follow the other religious practices.
Social class in Spain is not relevant in terms of social relations or labour opportunities. Classes are divided according to money and not race, religion or any other factor. Culture and education are more important in order to succeed. A person from a lower class family who is well educated has the same opportunities for success as a person from a higher social class. Education, at all levels, is free in Spain.
There is only one class that is really different from the rest of Spanish people: nobility, which is very small. It is not even considered a true class since the possession of a noble title does not assure possessions, money, special treatment or any other favours. Spain is a democratic country where everyone has the same privileges and opportunities. The only advantage is the glamour related to such families.
Glass Ceiling Index
63.6 out 100, ranked 15th out of 29 countries.
The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.
9% of GDP (2018)
Women and men are considered equals by law and in a general sense. But discriminatory behaviour against women does continue in certain levels of society. Companies find legal ways to pay less to women that are doing the same task as men. Women are preferred in certain tasks because they are considered less confrontational than men.
Employers prefer not to hire women that are married and in child-bearing age to avoid paying for maternity leave. It is a common practice to ask openly about marital status and future family plans in a job interview. For men it is seen as a good sign of maturity and stability; for women it is seen as a probability of a high level of absenteeism.
In general, gender is not a restricting feature of any kind, though in private life, women assume the major part of the work at home and the education of the children. This fact is changing among the younger generations and these changes are well regarded by the older generations. It is important to mention that there is a big difference between the rural areas and the cities.
Spain has traditionally been a very racially homogeneous country, all white, but mostly “latin-looking” in the southern regions and Caucasian-looking in the northern regions. But this fact is presently changing, given globalization and immigration. Spain has been traditionally a country of emigrants and not immigrants.
There are two distinct ethnicities that suffer from discriminatory behaviour in Spain: the gypsies and the Moors.
Gypsies in general have always been rejected for their completely different way of life. They usually only follow their own regulations and “patriarcas” (head of each family) and refuse to live according to any central national government laws or to any of the western standards like housing, jobs or education. Because of the huge differences with the “payo” (majority) culture, people are usually scared and consider them thieves, pocket lifters and tend to discriminate them in job opportunities, housing or education. Their way of life inside a western culture does not help to adjust and get money or a comfortable life, which has contributed to young gypsies suffering more the effects of drug addiction and the criminal world related to it. This hasn’t helped in their integration in society despite huge efforts of all Spain’s democratic governments to approach this community. Traditionally, Moorish culture has been perceived negatively in Spain; this includes Moroccans, Algerians, Lebanese and Turkish. Nobody really knows the reason for the aversion against northern Mediterranean culture since they have contributed a great deal to Spanish culture. The truth is that Spanish people discriminate against them. They consider them to be untrustworthy and such discrimination is not related to skin colour, race or religious practises.
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Languages and dialects spoken in Spain
The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to email@example.com
Photo credit: Alberto Di Marian, Unsplash