The Spanish Brand: Snuggle Up With Marca España

January 21, 2014

Is the Spanish brand suffering?


The Spanish government is trying to improve the Spanish brand these days, and ungramatically trying to attract foreign investment.

That was the objective of Mariano Rajoy’s visit with President Obama last week– a visit which got a full sentence in the New York Times, towards the end of an article about Bankia as a symbol of how everything is, once again, going very well.

If you’ve been around long enough, you remember when Bankia was Caja Madrid, before the big bailout, and your reaction is probably something like “God help us all!”

Now they’ve launched a website called Marca España (or better yet, Marca Espana) whose goal is to tell everybody how great Spain is.

If you have any doubts (and why would you?) check out this paragraph from the ambiguously named page “What it is”–

Marca España is a state policy whose efficacy will be proven in the long term. The guarantee of the continuity of the Marca España project stems and develops from consensus that transcends political changes.

Its objective is to improve the image of our country both domestically and beyond our borders for the common good. In a globalized world, a good country image is an asset that helps to support the international position of a political, economic, cultural, social, scientific and technological state.

Or how about this badly-formatted and anti-factual gem from “One Big Family” (the section about the greatness of Castilian as an international language)–

Spanish has one of the finest cultures in the world. Numerous talented figures in the fields of literature, fine arts, music and film are from Spain and from other countries where Spanish is spoken. Spanish language and

vanguard that highlights the brilliance and creativity of Spanish authors.

500 million people speak Spanish.

culture travel around the world, blending the traditional and avant-garde to showcase the brilliance and creativity of Spanish authors.

500 million people speak Spanish.

More than seven per cent of the world’s population speaks Spanish. That means that around 500 million people are Spanish speakers. Aside from Spain, Mexico (with a population of 112 million) is the country with the most Spanish speakers. The United States is next with 40 million. It is also the official language of Puerto Rico.

It is not my job to copy edit these sorts of things, of course, (see also: Para ser una puta y no cobrar nada, más vale ser una mujer honrada) but I would like to humbly suggest that the Spanish government hire a competent English-speaking writer and translator next time it wants to boost its brand image. Because the boost you get from barely-comprehensible drivel is, unfortunately, negligible.

See also: Translation Disasters.

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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