The Spanish Language — Deep-rooted and Widespread

Written by The Geo Group Corporation Staff

Whether you’re an experienced translation buyer or just starting out, you no doubt understand the significance of the Spanish language. In the U.S., it is the 2nd most widely used language, and across the globe it is the 3rd most widely spoken language, with only English and Chinese beating it. This information is according to the “Most Spoken Languages of the World” page of the nationsonline.org site.

Spanish, in one form or another, is spoken in over 40 countries in the world and is the official language of 20 countries. Here is a really good list of them in an easy to read format .  Because of these statistics, Spanish can be considered the 4th most geographically far-reaching language of the world.

However, you might not know how the language came to be so widespread.

According to many online resources, Spanish emerged as a continuation of spoken Latin after the decline of the Roman Empire during the 8th and 9th centuries somewhere in what is northern Spain today. Although there is no clear boundary defining when the Latin of what is now the north-central area of Spain became Spanish, it is safe to say that the language of the Castile region became a distinct language in part because of efforts by King Alfonso in the 13th century to standardize the language for official use.

During the course of many great historical events, such as the Moorish invasion and the subsequent “Reconquista” , Spanish spread across the Mediterranean and Europe throughout many Spanish colonies.

From there, it crossed the Atlantic to the Americas, planting roots for its modern day influence. Establishing a foothold during the period of Spanish Colonization, Spanish would continue to thrive, albeit in altered form, well after the Conquistadors left. By the time Columbus came to the Western Hemisphere in 1492, Spanish had reached the point where the language as spoken and written would be easily understandable today. (From spanish.about.com)

After the colonies had gained their independence from Spain, their newly established leadership pushed for their mixed populaces to learn Spanish in order to create national unity. Descendants of these people have carried the language with them to this day and age, which accounts for its widespread use in South and Central America.

The United States gained much of its original Spanish-speaking populace from the aftermath of both the “Spanish-American” and the “Mexican-American” wars. These wars ended with America receiving territories with populaces derived from many Spanish-speaking backgrounds and descendants.

Today, Spanish is one of the most widespread and deeply-rooted languages in the world. Because of its legacy and rate of continuing growth, it is clear that any professional marketer, global or otherwise, would be wise to consider Spanish as mandatory for its company communications.

Follow these links for other helpful translation topics and resources. GeoEdu; Blog; Checklists; Is U.S. Spanish real?;Linguistic diversity in the U.S.

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