What to consider when doing business in Spain

All aboard for the next stop on our infographic tour! Having made a stop-over in China we’re heading back to Europe to discuss important aspects of Spanish culture and language to take into account when planning business or market research there. We hope this post will help you make the best impression possible and maximise your returns.


  • Spanish and English share quite a lot of vocabulary through cognates, as both languages derive many of their words from Latin and Arabic. English speakers are likely to be able to recognise around 3,000 Spanish words without even stepping into a classroom!
  • Spanish is the official language in 22 countries and it is the second most-used international language.
  • Several different dialects are spoken in Spain. Castilian Spanish has official language status across Spain and is sometimes used as a term to distinguish European Spanish from the Spanish spoken in Latin America. Other languages or dialects spoken in Spain include Andalusian, Catalan, Basque and Galician.
  • Spanish grammar makes use of gender, more extensive verb conjugation and the widespread use of the subjunctive mood.
  • Mode of address is important. ‘Tú’ is used for people that you know on a first-name basis whereas ‘Usted’ is used more formally and for people you don’t know.
  • Be aware there is likely to be a text increase of 15-20% when translating from English into Spanish so keep this in mind when formatting your text.


  • It would be beneficial to have one side of your business card translated into Spanish and present it to the receptionist upon arriving for a meeting.
  • When in business meetings, agendas are often produced but don’t need to be followed strictly.
  • To make the best first impression, all your printed material, such as company leaflets or business cards, should be available in both English and Spanish for business meetings.
  • Spaniards prefer meeting face to face rather than talking over the phone and initial meetings may just be part of the getting to know each other phase before business commences.
  • Arriving on time for meetings is considered important.
  • During meetings several people may speak at once and you may find yourself being interrupted. This is not rudeness but it means the interrupting party is interested.
  • There are ten national holidays in Spain, plus additional regional holidays. Our infographic of international public holidays can help you plan ahead to avoid scheduling business meetings and market research during these holidays when availability will be reduced.Spain infographic

To Spain and beyond

At The Language Factory, we know how vital it is to make a good first impression when doing business abroad. We also know how international public holidays can affect survey results and project timelines in terms of reduced availability of respondents, consultants and even translators based in their native country. If you’re looking for help translating surveys or responses for Spain, or a Spanish-speaking market, our Project Managers and mother-tongue translators can help you achieve quality translations that are fit for purpose and will help you achieve your business goals.

Get in touch today by calling The Language Factory on +44 1727 862722 or filling out your project details on the form below to receive a quick quote.


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