Spanish Translation Services

Business Language Services specialises in Spanish translation (both English to Spanish translation and Spanish to English translation). We have a broad network of highly experienced, qualified professional Spanish translators, who only translate into their mother tongue. What’s more, all our Spanish translations are proofread by a second, independent linguist. We can cater for all varieties of Spanish and can also localise existing content. BLS has an extensive database of Spanish interpreters, selected according to their expertise, specialist knowledge, friendly attitude and professional reliability. BLS also works with some of the best Spanish language tutors, enabling us to offer you tailor-made courses to match your precise needs and suit your ongoing work commitments.

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The Spanish Language

Spanish (español or castellano) is the native language of more than 500 million people worldwide. In addition to Spain, Spanish is the official language of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Moreover, it is widely spoken in several other nations, including Canada, Morocco, the Philippines and the United States. It is the second most spoken native language worldwide and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is also reported to be the third most commonly used language on the internet.

In the UK, Spanish is the only language studied at GCSE level which has seen its number of candidates rise year-on-year (as opposed to the general trend for reduced take-up for all other modern languages at school level) and is growing in popularity in large part due to the proliferation of the language in popular culture (for example latin singers such as the Colombian, Shakira, or Steven Soderbergh’s two-part film on Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara).

Spanish evolved from vulgar Latin and was the first modern European language to have its own grammar published (in Salamanca, Spain in 1492). In 711 AD Spain was invaded by the Moors of North Africa (Arabic-speaking Muslims) and many Arabic words were incorporated into the Spanish language. In fact, most nouns beginning ‘al-’ come from Arabic, such as ‘alcoba’ (alcove) and ‘alcohol’. Some of these were later transferred to English (often via French). When Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas, the language also spread to that continent. More recently Spanish has adopted English words, particularly in the field of IT, such as ‘blog’. The Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) was founded in 1713 and acts as a standardisation authority through the publication of dictionaries and grammar and style guides. The Spanish alphabet has 27 letters (the Latin alphabet plus ‘ñ’) and 2 digraphs (‘ch’ and ‘ll’). The letters ‘k’ and ‘w’ are foreign to Spanish and are therefore only found in words of foreign origin, e.g. ‘kilo’.

There are significant variations in the forms of Spanish spoken throughout the different regions of Spain and Latin America. One of the main differences in pronunciation is the ‘lisp’ used throughout mainland Spain for the letters ‘c’ and ‘z’, which is pronounced as a standard ‘s’ in most of Latin America. Vocabulary also varies greatly, particularly words for foodstuffs. Although mutually intelligible, there is the potential for misunderstandings and even offence to be caused between speakers of the different variations.

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