Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world after Chinese and, believe it or not, way ahead of English!

The Global Influence of Spanish

Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world after Chinese and, believe it or not, way ahead of English!

According to Forbes (2021), “Spanish is spoken by more than 559 million people globally. Of those, 460 million are native speakers, making Spanish the language with the second largest population of native speakers in the world.”

When people think of the Spanish language, they often associate it with Spain. While this is natural, Spanish is the official language of 21 Latin American countries. In addition, there are more Spanish speakers in the United States alone than speakers of French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.

Spanish is also one of the 7 official languages of the United Nations. Although French remains more widely used than Spanish in Europe, it shouldn’t be considered less important, by any means. Spanish and French are broadly regarded as two of the most influential languages on earth.

In addition to being a popular second language for native speakers of other languages to learn, Spanish, through the spread of popular culture, can also be heard in songs and commercials all over the world. Spanish is the official language of Spain, Equatorial Guinea, and most countries in Latin and Central America. It also has a lot of influence in other countries such as the Philippines, where it is taught extensively along with English.

The Diversity of the Spanish Language

As a Romance language like French and Italian, most people can quickly get a grasp of Spanish or already know some basic words or functional phrases. However, there are some differences with other Romance languages, especially when it comes to pronunciation. There are even differences within the Spanish language itself.

That’s because Spanish has many different variations, which depend on the countries in which they are spoken. This means a Spanish-speaking person in Mexico may use different vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation than a Spanish-speaking person from Spain. For example, in Mexico, the Spanish word for “potato” is “papa.” In Spain, they say “patata.” Meanwhile, in Equatorial Guinea, Spanish speakers may sometimes interchange prepositions or not use them at all.

As one of the world’s most widely spoken languages and with so many nuances, non-Spanish speakers may need the help of quality Spanish translation services especially if they’re looking to expand internationally.

The Key to Seamless Multilingual Communication: Translation Services

Fluency in the Spanish language, alongside other foreign languages such as Chinese, is an important element in the internationalization of the business marketplace. Seamless business communications across different languages will translate into smoother and more effective operations and can open doors to new and exciting markets. This is why professional translation services are constantly in demand and on the rise in the 21st century.

However, whether you’re translating training manuals, e-mail communications, legal transactions, or business contracts, simply being “familiar” with the Spanish language won’t be enough to effectively produce translations that are relevant and linguistically accurate.

Given the prominence of Spanish across Europe, Africa, North America, and South America, the market for Spanish speakers is colossal. To penetrate this market, translation services will be the key to connecting with you a Spanish-speaking target audience.

Localization: Importance of the Human Touch in Translation

It’s normal for business owners and entrepreneurs to have apprehensions and doubts when choosing the right Spanish translation service or any translation service, for that matter. After all, it can require handing over confidential and important documents and entails essentially trusting someone else to speak and listen for you. Business is already risky and you cannot afford to recklessly take even more risks without testing the waters first. One option is to invest in translation software instead of hiring a translation service. However, there is a significant difference in the accuracy, quality, and value provided by machine translation software as compared to a human translation company. This gap can accelerate or hamper your business’s internationalization efforts.

Needless to say, language plays a critical role in international business and community relations—it’s inseparable from culture. While there are many commonalities between cultures that speak Spanish, some differences can often lead to hilarious or even offensive accidents in translation.

Professional translation service companies will have the proper training, expertise, and awareness of cultural and linguistic nuances when translating documents to protect you from these bloopers. Unlike translation software, human translators will be able to localize translations, or put them into cultural context, to ensure that your translations go beyond automatic word-for-word conversions, and accurately convey your message and content in a way that resonates with a specific audience.

If you’re ready to expand your market reach to Spanish-speaking countries and are looking for a translation service, it’ll be to your advantage to find one that has the expertise you need to handle your business communications. Because Spanish has so many varieties, look for a translation service that specializes in the variety you need, or that specializes in multiple varieties.

The Bottom Line

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world with speakers spread out all over the globe. As the world becomes even more interconnected, thanks to the internet and globalization, the ability to communicate effectively across cultures and national borders will become more and more important for businesses looking to internationalize their markets and operations. Translation services can help remove one of the biggest barriers to getting your message across: language.

Regardless of your industry or location, you’re likely to encounter the need for Spanish translation services at some point. While translation projects often require a high degree of sensitivity and expertise, they should, of course, not cost you the earth.

Whether you’re looking for a translating service to translate a single personal document from Spanish to English, or have decided to partner with a professional translation service as part of a long-term business strategy, remember that engaging the right company will play an important role in helping you reach your goals.