The majority of Spanish speakers are outside Spain. GNOME currently has a single Spanish translation, with very thorough coverage. There’s a placeholder for a Mexican Spanish translation team, but there appear to be no translations there at present, and no team members.
I don’t speak Spanish, so please forgive my ignorance! I understand that there are many differences between different dialects of Spanish, but the one I’m interested in is the choice of second-person pronoun to refer to the user.
In GNOME, Spanish translations use the “usted” form. For example, the “About You” page of Initial Setup is translated as “Acerca de usted”, and “Connect Your Online Accounts” becomes “Conectar a sus cuentas en línea”. In Endless, whose Spanish-speaking users are mainly in Latin America, we have historically modified the Spanish translation downstream to use the “tú” form. For example, “About You” is “Acerca de ti” and “Connect Your Online Accounts” is “Conectar a tus cuentas en línea”.
This change is described internally like this:
any Spanish translations use the familiar “you” (“tu”) rather than formal (“usted” / “su”)
but my understanding from discussion with Spanish speakers and various Wikipedia pages is that it’s a little more complicated than “make the language less formal”, and that referring to the user as “usted” is actually wrong in some dialects of Spanish.
I have several questions:
- Is my understanding that “usted” is actually wrong for many Spanish dialects correct?
- How do Spanish-speaking GNOME users outside of Spain feel about apps using the “usted” form? How would Spanish-speaking GNOME users in Spain feel about apps using the “tú” form?
- If the correct second-person form really is different between Spain and other countries, is there a low-maintenance way to maintain (for example) a “Latin American Spanish” translation that derives from the Spanish translation and only changes the strings that refers to the user? Or would one have to create es_MX, es_GT, es_AR, etc translations?