To which language should you translate to localize in Venezuela?
What we know from our community
The language spoken in Venezuela is Spanish. Our dialect is derived from Andalusia and the Canary Islands, with influences from Indigenous languages of South America and the Caribbean, African languages, and more recently, Italian and English. So, we are understood in both Spain and all Latin America but some may hear from us words like “arepa”, “casabe”, “chinchorro” (Native), “bemba”, “ñame”, “cambur” (African), “birra”, “chao”, “pasticho” (Italian), and “chamo”, “cachifa”, “cotufa” (from English).
There are several regional variations, including but not limited to Los Andes, Zulia, Lara, Los Llanos, Margarita and the Central zone, which is the standard form of Venezuelan Spanish. Venezuelans are known for pronouncing all sounds /θ/ like /s/ and for our particular way of aspiring the letter “s”. We also often shorten words like “pa” for “para” when speaking, we drop some vowels like “pescao” for “pescado” and we use the diminutive “-ico” instead of the more popular “-ito”, just like other Caribbean countries.
So, when localizing to Venezuelan Spanish, as with any other translation, in addition to mastering the local vocabulary, it is important to know certain aspects such as the target audience, text type, geographical region, etc. That way, we can know, among other things, whether to use “tú” or “usted”, since “vos” is almost exclusively used in Zulia. What we all don’t use at all is “vosotros” for the plural form of the second person, but “ustedes”.
Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data
T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.
The Caracas dialect, which is common in the capital city of Caracas. This dialect is viewed as the standard Spanish of the country and is used by the media. Other dialects are Lara, Zulian, Margaritan and Andean.
Spanish is the most popularly spoken language in Venezuela, although approximately 40 different languages are spoken throughout the country. Venezuela’s 1999 Constitution recognized Spanish and the nation’s indigenous languages as official languages. Most of the languages spoken in Venezuela are still unclassified. Venezuela’s ethnic population includes Mestizos, who make up about 51.6% of the total inhabitants and 43.6% of the population is of European descent. 3.6% of Venezuelans have African ancestry, while 3.2% are Amerindians.
Chinese (400,000), Portuguese (254,000) and Italian (200,000), are the most spoken languages in Venezuela after the official language of Spanish. Wayuu is the most spoken indigenous language with 170,000 speakers.
Very low proficiency (EF) – 67 of 111 countries/regions in the world- 15/20 position in Latin America.
Currency: Bolívar venezuelano
Population: 28,19 m
Population density: 32/km2
GDP: $111.81 billion USD (2021)
GDP per capita: 14025.36 USD (2021)
Exports: $4.26 billion (2020)
Internet users: 72% penetration, 20.87 million
Unemployment rate: 6.5% (2020)
Urbanisation: 88.33% (2021)
Literacy: 97.13% (2019)
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator
Date format: dd – mm – yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0058
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
$5.89 billion (2020). Refined Petroleum ($942M), Corn ($310M), Rice ($248M), Raw Sugar ($180M), and Soybean Oil ($158M), importing mostly from China ($1.52B), United States ($1.09B), Brazil ($782M), India ($758M), and Turkey ($236M).
Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of age)
• 48% have an account with a financial institution
• 24% have a credit card
• 2.4% have a mobile money account
• 19% make online purchases
Ease of doing business
Ease of conducting business is below average (rated 30.2 out of 100) ranked 32nd out of 32 Latin American countries ranked 188th out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank)
$4.26 billion (2020). Crude Petroleum ($2.62B), Iron Reductions ($276M), Acyclic Alcohols ($208M), Refined Petroleum ($181M), and Crustaceans ($136M), exporting mostly to India ($2.03B), China ($464M), Malaysia ($387M), Spain ($302M), and Italy ($184M).
Main local online stores
Linio, Zapacos, Tuticket.com, TodoClon.com, Traetelo.com, EPA, Macro, Zelvas
‘Repressed’ (rated 25.8 out of 100) ranked 31st out of 32 Latin American countries, and ranked 174th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)
Service Exports (2018)
Service Imports (2018)
Most specialised products by RCA Index
Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Venezuela observed and expected exports in each product
Most complex products by PCI Index
Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters
Export related opportunities
Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart only shows products that Venezuela is not specialized in
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 Castillan
Political polarization is mirrored in the media, a process that began under the late president Hugo Chavez, whose critics accused him of persecuting hostile media operators during his 1999–2013 rule. Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro say he has continued these tactics, which have also been condemned by media freedom groups. Anti-government and exiled media have emerged online. Many journalists have fled Venezuela because of threats and physical dangers, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Print media are often affected by “strange newsprint shortages”, RSF says. Some newspapers have reported being forced to stop printing after being denied hard currency to buy newsprint and ink. The government’s main TV mouthpiece is Venezolana de Television (VTV), which carries Mr. Maduro’s speeches and reports on the activities of his ministers. Its coverage routinely ignores the opposition. Telecoms regulators have barred many of VTV’s competitors from cable networks. Globovision, a one-time critical channel, changed its editorial line after it was sold to government-linked owners in 2013. Venezuela is the main shareholder in Telesur, a Caracas-based pan-American TV. Governments with a stake in the venture are all left-wing or left of center. The government and its opponents use social media as a battleground. Officials and the military operate an array of interlocking Twitter accounts, as does the opposition movement. During street violence in early 2019, NetBlocks, a digital rights organization, documented disruptions in access to Twitter, Facebook, and the video streaming app Periscope.
Media data source: BBC
72% penetration, 20.87 million
Share of web traffic by device
36.79% mobile phones, 60.51% computers (laptops and desktops), 2.67% tablet devices, others 0.03%
Median speed of mobile Internet connection. 5.76 Mbps
Median speed of fixed Internet connection
Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 76.5%
Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 85.5%
Most popular web search engines
Google (97.04%), Yahoo (1.68%), Bing (1.07%), Duckduckgo (0.11%), Baidu (0.04%), Ecosia (0.03%)
Most used social media
Twitter (34.66%), Facebook (25.5%), Instagram (18.34%), YouTube (11.94%), Pinterest (8.98%), Vkongtakte (0.24%)
71 yrs (2020)
While it remains true that Latin-American men often discriminate against women at work (machismo), in Venezuela, this is changing. Every day, women are demonstrating (in real terms) they can be as competitive as men at any position, if not more.
5.37% of GDP (2019)
In reference to religion, Venezuelans are mainly Catholic, some Jewish, and some Anglican. Religion is not a sensitive issue or topic. All religions are respected.
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Languages spoken in Venezuela
1-Negenands and Papiamentu De Curaçao
2-Alemán Coloniero DeutschSchwarzwald
7-Creole Français Grenadien
9-Tobagonian Creole English
10-Creole Français Trinidadien
11-Trinidadian Creole English
20-Arutani and Sapé
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: Jorge Salvador, Unsplash