In translation it’s important to be aware of cultural events. These inform linguistic decisions made during the translation process and help improve accuracy. And every year there are tens of thousands of people celebrating Cinco de Mayo all over the world. An important thing to be aware of when you’re working in Spanish translation!
During the Franco-Mexican War, Mexican troops defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, commemorating the holiday. While it’s a relatively minor occasion in Mexico, in the US it’s a huge, joyful celebration of Mexican culture. Here’s everything you need to know about Cinco de Mayo, and how you can join in with the celebrations:
What exactly is the translation of ‘Cinco de Mayo‘?
Cinco de Mayo means “May 5” in Spanish and is celebrated on this date every year to commemorate the Battle of Puebla. Since it’s not a national holiday in Mexico, offices, banks, and stores are open.
What was the Battle of Puebla?
In 1862, France invaded Puebla de Los Angeles, a small Mexican town in response to Mexico’s inability to repay European governments. In spite of being vastly outnumbered, the Mexican army defeated the French. The victory was short-lived, though, as France would later occupy Mexico for many years. In Puebla and in the US, particularly in areas with a large Mexican-American population, Cinco de Mayo remains a cause for celebration.
Spanish translation and why it’s so important to Mexican culture
So what does this mean in terms of Spanish translation? Many Mexican-Americans see Cinco de Mayo as a celebration of their heritage. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the 1960s, when Mexican-American activists involved in the civil rights movement used the day as a source of pride.
How is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?
In Puebla, thousands of locals gather to take part in a massive parade, dressing as French and American soldiers to re-enact the war. Thanks to the commercialisation of the holiday in the US, the day is all about Mexican food, culture, traditions and, of course, tequila. Similarly, in London, bars across the capital take the opportunity to host events with drink deals on Mexican-inspired cocktails. Let’s have a yummy frozen margarita this Cinco de Mayo and celebrate it style.
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