I'm writing a script in which I need to use a Spanish phrase historically used by a group of people to refer to themselves. The phrase is "Los Americanos Olvidados" or "The Forgotten Americans". The people who used the phrase were of Mexican-American descent.

The person who will be reading the script does not speak Spanish. Should I leave the phrase in its native Spanish, or only write the English translation? I'm certain the narrator could practice the phrase and have it not sound stilted, but nonetheless it won't sound natural. The rest of the script is in English.

2 Answers 2


I would use the original phrase once, alongside its translation, for the introduction of the concept, and then use the translated version for the rest of the script. "Los Americanos Olvidados" by itself won't mean anything to an exclusively English-speaking audience, while "The Forgotten Americans" conveys the actual sentiment in a way faithful to the intent of the epithet in a way your listeners will understand.


As far as an Identification, I think Spanish is just fine. Like any name, you don't need to know what it means right away, or ever. It adds a level of depth that people can pick up on if you take the time to explain it, or they may stumble across on their own. Revisiting an explanation would also make a beautiful book-end depending how significant it is to the story.

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