3 things to keep in mind when localizing for the Latin American market

There are three main things you should take in mind when localizing your website, game or app for the Latin American market, including Brazil.


The “Mexican Mario” from Nintendo’s Super Mario Odyssey

Longer strings
First of all, make room for longer strings. Spanish and Portuguese texts tend to be 10-20% longer than their English counterparts. Even single words can be twice as long than their English counterparts.

Noun gender variation
If you are concatenating strings and using placeholders, make sure your code can handle variations for variations in noun gender (masculine/feminine) and number (singular/plural). One adjective or passive verb in English can lead to 4 different translations. For example:

English original: “%s updated”
Possible translations:

“%s atualizado(singular, masculine)
“%s atualizada” (singular, feminine)
“%s atualizados” (plural, masculine)
“%s atualizadas(plural, feminine)

Date and number format
When dealing with numbers, use the metric system for this region, as well as the date format DD/MM/YYYY. If  you are using code to write numbers with words and are dealing with really large figures, take into account that some countries use the short scale, while others use the long scale. Brazil uses the short scale just like US. However, most of Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, like European ones, use the long scale. For more information on short and long scales, check this article from Wikipedia.


Trilingual glossary: Bladed weapons

Here’s a new, short glossary to use on your game localization process. Very useful for those working on RPGs, strategy and adventure genra. This one has 23 entries and focuses on bladed weapons such as swords and knifes, as well as related terms (e.g.: “two-handed”).

Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century.

Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century.


So, go ahead and grab what you need:

Link to Trilingual Glossary: Bladed Weapons

Trilingual glossary: Middle Age and Renaissance armor

How is that part of an armor that protects the arm called, again? Pro tip: It is not an arm plate. If you work as a game developer or concept artist and are working on a Middle Age or Phantasy-themed Project, it is important to get to know the anatomy of real, historical armors and learn the name of their parts as well. The complete set of plate armor, for example, is a body harness (in Spanish: arnés, in Portuguese: arnês).


Armadura de Gustavo I de Suecia, hecha en 1540.

In the following link, you will have access to a short glossary of 23 entries, containing the names of the most common pieces in Middle Ages and Renaissance plate armors, in English, Portuguese and Spanish:

Link to Trilingual Glossary: Middle Age and Renaissance Armor