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The 4 Most Common Spanish Mistakes on Your Website that are Costing You Business

Mar 22, Posted by in Auto Industry, Spanish

4 Spanish Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

As the owner of a car dealership, you want to be sure you are appealing to as many potential buyers as possible, so it’s important to know which markets have the most buying power and how you can target them. Here’s an interesting fact – from 2000 to 2014, the Hispanic market increased by 155% in terms of total buying power within the U.S. There is more than $1 trillion in purchasing power to be found among Hispanic Americans.

So, it goes without saying, there are so many advantages to reaching out to the ever-growing Hispanic community. One of the best ways to appeal to the Hispanic market is through speaking their language correctly.

Many dealerships don’t bother to build a website for Spanish speakers, mistakenly thinking that it won’t benefit them in the long run. If you decide to go ahead and build a site specifically for your Spanish speaking customers, you stand a great chance to earn their trust – and their business.

Of course, if you are going to take the time and effort to build out a Spanish site, you want to make sure it is done properly. Not only will a poorly worded Spanish site look bad for your business, it may actually cause your potential Hispanic customers to go and shop elsewhere.

Basic Spanish mistakes will make it look as though you simply threw together a site as quickly as you could, rather than taking the time to serve your audience properly. In this post, we’ll go over the most common mistakes that you could be making on your Spanish website. If any of these are on your site, be sure to have them corrected as soon as possible.

1) Failing to Finish the Deal

One of the worst mistakes you can make on a Spanish website for your auto dealership is simply failing to create the entire site in Spanish. While this might seem like an obvious blunder, it is amazing how many Spanish sites actually keep some of the content in English (to save time, most likely).

Again, it is best to think about this from your own perspective, as an English speaker. How would you feel if you visited a website that was presented mostly in English, except for some of the key pieces of information, which remained in Spanish? Would you feel like the company in question actually cared about your business? Of course not.

There is no sense in going ‘halfway’ when it comes to building a Spanish website for your dealership. If you are going to do it, it needs to be done completely, and it needs to be done right. Even leaving small pieces of content in English on the site simply shows your potential Hispanic car buyers that they are not that important to you in the big picture. That is not a message that any business should want to send. Resist the temptation to cut corners and make sure the Spanish version of your site is Spanish from top to bottom.


2) Accepting Double Negatives

The Spanish language usually doesn’t mix words that have positive and negative meanings within the same phrase or sentence. Therefore, double negatives that would be frowned upon in English are actually correct and quite common in Spanish.

This is important for you to understand because you can get into trouble when translating word for word from English to Spanish. If you were to try translating straight across on a word for word basis from your English site, you would likely end up with phrasing that sounds good to you in English, but reads incorrectly in Spanish.

Let’s work backwards from that thought. Look at these Spanish phrases, for example. They are perfectly correct in Spanish:

“No conozco a nadie.”

“No has visto nada.”

“No sabe nada.”

But, their literal translations are:

“I don’t know nobody.”

“You haven’t seen nothing.”

“He doesn’t know nothing.”

So, if your website read “You haven’t seen anything,” a non-Spanish translator might not get to the correct double negative Spanish phrasing. Instead, they might end up with something like “No has visto cualquier cosa,” which is wrong.

This kind of basic mistake will leave your website looking less than impressive to a native Spanish speaker. It is important to work with someone who actually speaks Spanish while having your site developed so that you can be sure the content reads properly, whether it has to do with double negatives or any other grammatical issues.

3) Avoid Getting Too Specific

One of the many challenges that you will face when marketing to the Hispanic community is the fact that there are many different sub-cultures within that category. It is easy to lump them together as just ‘Hispanic’, but there are actually people who come from many different countries and cultures that you could be including within that market segment.

There are a total of 21 different countries in the world which use Spanish as their official language – surely, the Hispanic market in your area has come from more than just one of these nations.

With that in mind, it is best to avoid using language that is too specific to just one region of the world. If you hire a writer to compose the Spanish content on your site, make sure they are writing with a broad Spanish speaking market in mind. If they wind up using words and phrases that are only really used within a subset of the Spanish speaking world, the site may not appeal to your entire Hispanic market.

Here are a few examples of subset Spanish words:

· Car hood: cofre (Mexico, Argentina); capó (Spain)

· Car trunk: cajuela (Mexico);maletero, baúl (other countries)

· Fender: ala (most countries); paragolpes (Argentina); guardabarro, guardafango (Colombia); guardafango (Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela); defensa (Mexico); fender (Puerto Rico); guardabarro (Spain)

4) Go Beyond the Site

It is great to attract a segment of the Hispanic market to come to your dealership through the use of a Spanish language website. But what happens when they give you a call, or arrive at the dealership? Are you ready to cater to their needs just as you do for your English speaking customers?

This is really the point that will determine your success or failure within this market. Someone who has found your dealership through your Spanish website may speak limited English – or no English at all – so they need to be greeted in person or on the phone by someone who can communicate with them in Spanish.

Employing a Spanish speaking salesperson or manager at your dealership will bring your marketing efforts full circle. It would be a waste of time and resources to build a Spanish car dealership website only to ignore the needs of those buyers when they do come in hoping to make a purchase. Treat the Hispanic market as an important part of your business from engagement all the way through the close of the sale and you will be doing your dealership a great favor.


Just as Americans look down on an English website that was filled with basic grammar errors, so too will a Hispanic website visitor look down on the Spanish version of your site if it is incorrect.

Follow these tips that we outlined and your Spanish website will be set to sell even more cars to the growing Hispanic market.

As the owner of a car dealership, you want to be sure you are appealing to as many potential buyers …

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