This time around, we’ll talk about Costa Rican Spanish. We’ll discuss the characteristics of the language and how they influence the creation of different forms of content. We’ll refer to the language as Costa Rican Spanish or Costa Rica language, interchangeably.

Is Costa Rica Language A Neutral Spanish?

Costa Rica language is Spanish with certain characteristics. For starters, Costa Rica language is considered a rather neutral and soft form of Spanish.

Note, however, that considering a form of Spanish as ‘neutral’ is not without controversy. Many Spanish-speakers throughout most of Latin America could argue that their Spanish is neutral, as compared to the others. Such claims are often made by people from places such as Mexico City, Bogota, Lima, among many others. Native speakers from Panama City or Buenos Aires and other cities could easily make such claims as well.

The idea of a neutral form of Spanish comes from Mexico. This country was an important point of entry for American films during the early and mid-twentieth century. As such, Mexican talent soon started dubbing American films. This led to a popularization of Mexican Spanish (from Mexico City, to be precise), as the ‘standard’ form of Spanish. Arguably, this form of Spanish lends itself to voice work quite well. 

It’s useful to note that each of the provinces of Costa Rica has particular characteristics in their Spanish. The Guanacaste province has influence from neighboring Nicaragua, for example. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll refer to Costa Rica language as a whole throughout this article.

The ‘R’

The pronunciation of the ‘R’ in Costa Rica language is quite specific. It’s not a stretch to say that Costa Rica language could be confused with some forms of Colombian Spanish, if not for the pronunciation of the ‘R’ which is very distinct and unique.

The pronunciation of the ‘R’ is not strong. Instead, it is a soft ‘R’, which is pronounced without rolling the tongue. Check out an example in this video. This is without a doubt one of the distinguishing characteristics of Costa Rica language.


Another important characteristic of Costa Rica language is its speed. It’s not quite as fast as Spanish from other countries, such as Mexico or Chile.


Another distinctive feature of Costa Rica language is the word ‘mae’. This means something like ‘dude’ or ‘güey’ in Mexico. It’ll often be used in conversation particularly among the youth.

The Influence of Mexico and Colombia

Entertainment, as in other countries, has a certain influence on Costa Rica. In the case of Costa Rica, ‘telenovelas’ and TV series from Mexico and Colombia have had some influence in the adoption of some slang words, particularly by the youth.

costa rica language

Tips and Tricks for Costa Rica Language Use

We’ve looked at some of the characteristics of Costa Rica language. Now we’ll analyze how the translation of content would work between this language and others.

From Costa Rica Language to the Spanish-Speaking World

Very well, suppose we have content in Costa Rica language which we want to make accessible to a Spanish-speaking audience. Should we leave it as it is or should we convert it into a more neutral form of Spanish? This will really vary.

The first most obvious example is audiovisual content. Suppose we have films, television, documentaries and even corporate videos in Costa Rica language. We need to make this content travel across Latin America, perhaps even Spain and Spanish-audiences in the United States. Should we change Costa Rica language or leave it as it is? It all depends on the audience. Usually, it’ll be fine to leave it in Costa Rica language unless the target demographic is too specific.

From the Spanish-Speaking World to Costa Rica Language

What if the case is the opposite? Suppose we have content in other forms of Spanish which need to be used in Costa Rica. Will this content be able to travel freely or are there some issues to be aware of? Well, it really depends on what type of content we’re talking about.

Audiovisual Material

If we’re going to be airing films, television, documentaries or similar content in Spanish we probably won’t have any problems. Costa Rican audiences, like most audiences throughout Latin America are quite used to the standard form of Mexican Neutral Spanish present in so many forms of content.

Advertising and Localization

Now then, when there’s content in Spanish from another country, there may be moments when it’s wise to localize it into Costa Rican language. Suppose we have an advertising campaign which was crafted in Spain but which needs to be used in Costa Rica.

In this case, it’s quite possible that we’ll have to localize and therefore make changes. We’ll effectively be transforming the content from the Spanish from Spain and into Costa Rica language.

From English to Costa Rica Language

Very well, what if we have content in English that we have to take to Costa Rica. What then? There are two basic alternatives. We could translate into some form of standard Spanish (say like Mexico City Spanish) and then use it.

Alternatively, we could simply attempt to translate and localize directly into Costa Rica language. This way, we’d have content that a target population in Costa Rica will more readily understand.

Translating First, Localizing Later?

In the case of transforming content from English into Costa Rica language, there are some things to take into consideration. First of all, it’s true that we’ll be needing a translation. Translating from English into Spanish may simply follow the normal procedures. Ending up with a translation in Spanish is evidently the first step.

Afterward though, there’s a need to make some decisions. We may either choose to leave the content in a neutral form of Spanish or we may decide to localize. Localization may be quite extensive, depending on the audience and demographic we’re trying to reach.

From Costa Rica Language to English

Finally, what about transforming content from Costa Rica language into English? In this case, the best bet is to use a translator who is familiar with Costa Rican Spanish. Indeed, depending on the type of content, we may be confronted with material that is either heavily localized or not. A translator who knows Costa Rica language peculiarities is always quite ideal.

Other Language Pairs

This approach that we’ve described to transforming content will generally also work in other language combinations: from other languages into Costa Rican language and from Costa Rican language into other languages.

Types of Content in Costa Rica Language

We’ve seen some of the characteristics of Costa Rica language. What are the basic operations we’ll be doing with Costa Rica language?


A translator can take a book from English into Costa Rica language, making it available for an audience and vice versa. Books, evidently, are only one of many materials which can undergo this process.

When we talk about translation of text we may encounter the translation of content such as comics, documents, contracts, scripts, scholarly works, prescriptions, medical literature etc.


There are different forms of interpretation that may take place in Costa Rica language. The most typical are the following:

  • Simultaneous Interpreting: Ideal for events that require a translation in ‘real time’. These sorts of events demand immediate translation because there simply is no stopping for a translation.
  • Consecutive Interpretation: Consecutive interpretation is often a great alternative when technology is not available and interpretation will be sparse and informal.
  • Chuchotage: Chuchotage is usually an ideal type of translation for more specific events. Such events may include things like business meetings, guided tours and similar scenarios.


The process of dubbing requires several steps. First of all, we need to translate the script and then assemble a cast of voice talent to create the voices that we’d be replacing.

We need to decide if we want to use a more local language such as Costa Rica language, or a more neutral form of the language understood across several countries such as Mexican Neutral.

costa rica language


When learning how to add subtitles to a movie, we should remember that these are usually reserved for the dialogue. In the case of captions, the process is a bit longer. Here, we must not only translate a script or the script’s dialogue. Close captioning is usually a complete transcription of the dialogue, as well as the sound effects, musical cues and other audio information. They’re very useful for people who may be deaf. Alternatively, close captioning is useful when the sound of the movie has to be muted.


The Bunny Studio Way

Costa Rica language can have a wide variety of uses, as we’ve seen in this article. The crucial point is finding the best translator and content creator possible. There are some things to take into account when selecting such talent:

Bilingualism vs. Translation

The first challenge is finding a translator trained and experienced in Spanish translation, and not just a bilingual person.

There are some things a bilingual person may do, to prove their ability to take on a Costa Rica language translation project. Education and training are useful. There are also a number of certifications that may be acquired, to prove proficiency in translation. These vary, depending on the country of residence of the aspiring translator. Finally, experience will teach a translator the subtleties of the craft and permit tackling more difficult projects later on.

Cultural Knowledge

A good translator must not only be bilingual but also bi cultural. A big part of a successful translation means understanding the differences between the two languages and cultures being translated. A poor cultural understanding may be very problematic.

Contact Bunny Studio Today!

When looking for talent to create a first-rate Costa Rica Spanish project, contact Bunny Studio! You can either choose one of the individual categories or contact the Bunny Studio staff immediately with the ‘Contact Us’ feature!