Argentina- Reclaiming its Place Under the Sun

Argentina is in the news these days for playing the host to the latest G-20 summit. With the leaders of the twenty biggest economies of the world assembled in the capital Buenos Aires, the city is getting major mileage in the international press. The coverage is more intense on account of several international trends and cross-currents. There is the looming US-China trade dispute, Russian shenanigans in the Crimean region, and the presence of the Saudi Crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman who has been under quite a bit of a cloud about his alleged hand in the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Apart from the numerous media personnel from news networks around the world, there would be an army of certified translators, document translations service companies and Spanish to English translation companies present in Buenos Aires. The presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, leader of the second largest economy in the world, would mean that there would be a fair number of Chinese translators present as well.

Argentina is undoubtedly an incredible nation that has of late not really been as much in focus as it should be given its size and significance in South America. Over the past few decades, the world knew Argentina as the land of Eva Peron, Diego Maradona, and for its involvement in the Falklands War.

It is, in fact, a land of considerable physical beauty, with its famed grasslands- coastline the Pampas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and a vastness firing the imagination of the world. Argentina gained its independence from Spanish rule in 1816, and that inspired revolutionary movements elsewhere. It was once among the richest nations in the world, on account of its livestock and agriculture.

The capital city of Buenos Aires is a great urban sprawl of modern and thriving suburbs and a great classical architecture, similar in size to Paris or Rome. The European influence is understandable, considering that Argentina was settled by colonists from Italy and Spain. It is a fascinating country no doubt and anyone who visits it comes back fascinated.

It was classified as a high-income country according to the 2017 figures[1], and the second largest South American economy after Brazil. Impressive as that may be, it pales in comparison with its economic position in the early 20th century when it was among the top ten economies of the world, ahead of France and Italy and equal to Canada and Australia in terms of per capita income.

Argentina has a fairly well diversified foreign trade with agricultural products and industrial goods being the main items of export and the imports largely being of industrial and technological goods. So one can well imagine that there would be a huge market for Spanish translation and Spanish simultaneous interpreting to aid trade and commerce.

It would be only right if a nation of the size, history, and heritage of Argentina reclaimed its position among the front-ranking nations of the world. By hosting the G-20 summit, Argentina has come center stage, albeit temporarily. It should certainly capitalize upon the goodwill and publicity generated by it to indicate its willingness and ability to become a major player on the world stage.

Where Argentina is different from other major South American countries is in the fact that there isn’t much inequality of income. This is an incredibly creditable achievement given that other major economies like China and India are plagued by income inequity.

This signifies the fact that should Argentina grow its economy over a sustained period of time, it could one day reclaim its position amongst the most prosperous nations of the world. Come to think of it, there is so much that Argentina has given to the world already. Think soccer, wine, steaks, tango, and revolutionary figures like the legendary Che Guevara and you get a picture of Argentina’s essence.

There are some nations whose very name is evocative and that is definitely true of Argentina. Ask anyone if they would like to visit Argentina and the answer would be a resounding yes. The nation conjures up an instant image of the beauty of the land.

There are other things that Argentina is famous for. The Argentinian cowboys Gauchos are a case in point. Then there is the picturesque town of Ushuaia, the southernmost point in South America and the gateway to the continent of Antarctica. The UNESCO World Heritage Iguazu Falls is another gem that Argentina possesses.

In terms of its natural resources, Argentina truly is a promised land and for a period in time, it did live up to its promise. Given the fact that after years of suffering under dictators, Argentina has a stable democracy and the fact that it remains a resource-rich country with fairly equitable distribution of income, there is no reason why it shouldn’t.

The 21st century is an era of great opportunity for the nations of the world to engage with each other and enhance trade and commerce. The internet is a great enabler of that. But all the same, the role of Spanish translation services, as also Spanish simultaneous interpreting, is going to be just as important in making this possible.

The Spanish conference interpreting industry probably has more to do in Argentina, the country with one of the biggest Spanish speaking population in the world, than anywhere else. What is interesting about the Spanish spoken in Argentina is the fact that it is heavily influenced by Italian, making the job of the translation companies and interpreting agencies that much more challenging.

Argentina sure is a fascinating land of great diversity worth exploring and discovering. If you ever do visit, do ensure that you acquaint yourself with a bit of Spanish to allow you to get around without much trouble. There is so much more you can learn if you are able to talk to the locals directly, instead of going through intermediaries. Their personal insights into their land would mean so much more than what any guidebook would tell you.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Argentina
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