Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Walter Cronkite's Impact on the Hispanic Market

With the passing of legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite, I reflected on an expression that I haven't heard of late: "Walter Cronkite Spanish." This was the response given to clients when they questioned the feasibility of speaking to the collective U.S. Hispanic market, when in fact there were such significant differences between the regional and national accents heard across more than 20 Spanish-speaking countries of origin, the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Walter Cronkite Spanish was the easiest way to explain that while, indeed there were significant accent differences (not to mention differences in dialects, idioms and colloquialisms), there was also a "neutrality" that could be achieved and that would be understood and appreciated by the vast majority of Spanish-speaking consumers living in the United States.

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