Why choose ITC for your Spanish translation projects?

Over the years, ITC has developed a strong network of translators whose native language is Spanish. These linguists have passed several rounds of tests and are evaluated regularly. In addition, the ITC project managers have drawn up language guides to help translators follow the specific rules that apply to Spanish.

History of the language: translation into Spanish

The Spanish language is spoken nowadays by 470 millions of native speakers. It is the second language more spoken all over the world. Spanish is a Romance language that is characterized by its Latin origins (they derive from the vulgar Latin, the Latin of the crowd) and they belong to the Indo-European language family. This origin is shared by other languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese, among others. The year 1492 was one of the most important for Spanish. In that year, Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first grammar book with a system of rules which recognizes the importance of having a written language as a legitimate means of communication. In his words, “the language is the instrument of the empire.” In that same year, Nebrija’s words came true when Christopher Columbus discovered America and the expansion of the Spanish language together with the spread of the Spanish culture started. Nowadays, Spanish is widely spoken in Europe, Latin America and even in the U.S. where 37.6 million persons aged 5 years and older speak Spanish at home and it is the most spoken non-English language in the U.S.

Specific features of the Spanish language

Adopted words such as “jalapeño” and “piñata” used in English have a common characteristic and an interesting history. We see that they have Spanish origin and a particularity: the use of “ñ”, a letter not common in English. This letter occupies the seventeenth position in the Spanish alphabet and has a purely Spanish origin. It was firstly used in Spanish and later on, other languages incorporated its sound.

The “ñ” comes from a Latin abbreviation, which consisted in the double use of the letter “n” in words such as “anno” and “Hispannia”. In occasions, when writing the two “n”, it began to appear with a single “n” topped with a smaller “n”. With the passage of time, the small “n” transformed into a simple orthographic sign (a diacritic) until it finally evolved into the “ñ” as we know it today. Despite that, other Romance languages have retained a double spelling for this sound, for example, ny in Catalan and Hungarian, gn in French and Italian, nh in Portuguese, among others.

Due to the influence and supremacy of the English language, the new technologies were reluctant to incorporate it, especially in keyboards. Immediately, the RAE (Real Academia Española) and many distinctive figures such as Gabriel García Márquez expressed their disagreement with it and since then, this letter has gained supporters making the “ñ” to be recognized in the virtual world.