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Venezuela

South America

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

Introduction


Language

Official language
Castillan

T-index
0.80%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
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 recognised 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.

English
Very low proficiency (EF) – 47 of 100 countries/regions in the world- 15/19 position in Latin America.

Demography

Capital: Caracas
Currency: Bolívar venezuelano
Population: 28m
Population density: 32/km2

Economy

GDP: $47.26 billion USD (2020)
GDP per capita: 1690.66 USD ‎(2020) ‎
Exports: $14.7 billion (2019)

Statistics

Internet users: 72% penetration, 20.50 million
Unemployment rate: 9.14% (2020)
Urbanisation: 88.21% (2020)
Literacy: 97.13% (2019)

Conventions

Numbering system
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


Economy

Imports
$5.57 billion (2019). Refined Petroleum ($938M), Rice ($242M), Corn ($199M), Rubber Tires ($168M), and Soybean Meal ($161M. Partners: China ($1.54B), United States ($1.23B), Brazil ($421M), Spain ($320M), and Mexico ($314M).

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 21st out of 21 Latin American countries ranked 188th out of 190 countries worldwide (2019, World Bank)

Exports
$14.7 billion (2019). Crude Petroleum ($12.2B), Refined Petroleum ($761M), Acyclic Alcohols ($337M), Gold ($235M), and Iron Reductions ($161M). Partners: India ($4.98B), China ($4.19B), United States ($1.82B), Spain ($821M), and Malaysia ($558M).

Main local online stores
Linio, Zapacos, Tuticket.com, TodoClon.com, Traetelo.com, EPA, Macro, Zelvas

Economic freedom
‘Repressed’ (rated 25.9 out of 100) ranked 30th out of 30 Latin American countries ranked 179th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal)


Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal


Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC


Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC


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

Source: OEC


Most complex products by PCI Index

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC


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

Source: OEC


Media

Media language Castillan

Information channels
Political polarisation 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 centre. 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 organisation, documented disruptions in access to Twitter, Facebook and video streaming app Periscope.

The press

El Nacional – online only, Caracas
Ultimas Noticias
– Caracas-based daily
El Universal – Caracas-based daily
Panorama – online only, Maracaibo-based
El Carabobeno – online only, Valencia-based

Television

Venezolana de Television – state-run
Televen – private
Venevision – private
Globovision – private
Telesur
– Caracas-based pan-American TV

Radio

Radio Nacional de Venezuela – state-run
Union Radio Noticias – commercial news network

News agency

Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN) – state-run, pages in English
LaPatilla – news website


Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users
72% penetration, 20.50million

Share of web traffic by device
24.7% mobile phones, 72.6% computers (laptops and desktops), 2.7% tablet devices, others 0.05%

Average speed of mobile Internet connection
8.35  Mbps

Average speed of fixed Internet connection
3.42 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 81%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 80%

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%)


Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter


Social statistics

Life expectancy
72.25 yrs (2020)

Gender
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. 

Healthcare expenditure:
3.2% of GDP (2016)

Religion
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.


Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Britannica


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


Languages spoken in Venezuela

Legend

  • 1-Negenands and Papiamentu De Curaçao

  • 2-Alemán Coloniero DeutschSchwarzwald

  • 3-Guajibo

  • 4-Enepa Panare

  • 5-Kanña

  • 6-Chaima

  • 7-Creole Français Grenadien

  • 8-Grenadian

  • 9-Tobagonian Creole English

  • 10-Creole Français Trinidadien

  • 11-Trinidadian Creole English

  • 12-Warao

  • 13-Arawak

  • 14-Senema

  • 15-Akawayo

  • 16-Yuwana

  • 17-Penom

  • 18-Ninam

  • 19-Macushi

  • 20-Arutani and Sapé

  • 21-Sikiana

  • 22-Uruak

  • 23-Mako

  • 24-Yanomano

  • 25-Nhengatu

  • 26-Bare

  • 27-Yeral

  • 28-Guarequena

  • 29-Baniva

  • 30-Kurripako

  • 31-Yukano

  • 32-Yekuana

  • 33-Puinave

  • 34-Piaroa

  • 35-Sanuma

  • 36-Sáliba

  • 37-Yabarana

  • 38-Piapoko

  • 39-Mapoyo

  • 40-Kuiva

  • 41-Tunebo Central

  • 42-Yaruro

  • 43-Motilon

  • 44-Yukpa

  • 45-Japreria

  • 46-Espanõl Venezolano


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 imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Jorge Salvador, Unsplash