Few languages are as beloved as the Spanish language. The soft a, the rolling r, the way the speakers put together words in an effortless glide of vowels and consonants make it by far the most studied foreign language in the United States. In fact, the Spanish language is the language of great novels like Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and of painters like Velazquez and Picasso. Additionally, musicians and pop artists like Shakira, Gloria Estefan and Enrique Iglesias claim it as their own. Furthermore, the Spanish language belongs to tennis stars like Rafael Nadal, and actors like Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem.
Indeed, the importance of this language cannot be underestimated. The Spanish language has 477 million native speakers and 73 million Spanish language learners worldwide. And in addition, unlike Chinese, with most speakers living in one country, Spanish is the official language of 20 countries spanning several continents. As you will see below, the Spanish language is well-beloved for around the world.
Spanish is beloved because, despite high school nightmares of doing conjugations in Spanish class, it is one of the easiest languages for Westerners to learn. For example, Spanish has a simple alfabeto of 27 or 30 letters depending on which country you ask. In this alphabet, the sounds are almost always pronounced the same way. Unlike English, where ph makes an f sound, in Spanish you pronounce it like it sounds. So telefono is pronounced like it looks, no ph needed. Also, the grammar is more consistent than English, without as many exceptions to the rules. What is more, if you are actually learning Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, the people are often warm and friendly. They will be happy to help you learn their language.
Spanish is a Romance language and as such is Latin-based. When the Roman legions marched into Iberia, they faced hard scrabble locals who fiercely fought to remain independent. Although they were eventually subjugated under Roman might, it took 200 years to conquer the peninsula.
Those who called the peninsula home spoke several languages, including Iberian, Celtiberian, Lusitanian, Aquitanian and Tartesian. They had descended from the Phoenicians and Greeks, who settled east and south, as well as Celts and Basques, who settled north and center. Once conquered by Rome, however, the languages of the peninsula melded into the foundation of modern-day Spanish. That is, six centuries of Latin law, religion, and administration helped to shape what became a new language. Add to the mix 700 years of Arabic influence and voilà – modern day Spanish.
Spanish on the Move
After expelling the Muslims from Spain in 1492, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella were eager to flex the new muscle of their combined kingdoms. Toward this end, they made a fateful decision that altered the course of human history and the Spanish language. Ferdinand and Isabella soon financed the expedition of an explorer named Christopher Columbus. Then, with his discovery of the “new world” for the Europeans, the Spanish language expanded far beyond its borders and cemented its early linguistic hegemony in the Western Hemisphere. As a result, the number of Spanish speakers today in the Americas is over 400 million and dwarfs the population of Spain from whence it came.
Unfortunately, the wave of conquistadors that meant the conquering of new lands for Spain also spelled the end of civilization for many of the hemisphere’s native peoples. However, what has been left behind is a language now familiar to all of us as Americans.
Here are familiar Spanish city and state names in English:
|Los Angeles||Los Angeles||The Angels|
|San Francisco||San Francisco||Saint Francis|
Here are words from Spanish that have become a part of everyday English:
Spanish is Everywhere
In light of its rich history and culture, the Spanish language is certainly worth celebrating as its influence spreads far and wide across the globe. In fact, the world has no shortage of Spanish speakers, exciting Spanish cultures, and numerous sunny, Spanish-speaking countries to visit. Not to mention, enough Spanish language and cultural history for even the most erudite history buff. Even more, if you are into cooking, a gastronomy scene without equal. So, as a result, when the United Nations-designated Spanish Language Day occurs on April 23, we all celebrate and shout “Happy Spanish Language Day!” To all the Spanish dreamers and explorers, and to the Spanish poets and the painters, we celebrate with ¡Viva el español! At the same time, to the Spanish actors and musicians and of course the Spanish cooks who make our world that much richer, we shout together ¡Viva el español!
Spanish Language Interpreting and Translation
If you need translators in the beautiful Spanish language, we are here to help! In fact, from business to medicine, we have experienced translators who are equipped to handle any of your Spanish interpreting and translation needs. For example, if you are an individual who needs help filling out a government form or a large hospital requesting an interpreter for a medical exam, we can help. Or instead, if you own a small business and need marketing materials translated for a multicultural audience, AFLS is there for you. Therefore, visit our website or give us a call at (844)-813-4242 and let us know how we can help you with your communication needs. Or you can simply contact us via email with any questions that you may have.