Language Scientific’s Spanish Translation Services

Language Scientific provides premier Spanish translation services, supplying technical, medical and scientific translation, localization and interpreting into and out of Spanish. We are a US-based language services company serving over 1,500 global corporations. Our specialization, focus, industry-leading quality management standards and customer-centered attitude have earned us the trust of many of the world’s best technology, engineering, bio-medical and pharmaceutical companies.

Language Scientific has two divisions—Technical and Engineering Localization and Translation Services Division and Medical and Pharmaceutical Localization and Translation Services Division. Both groups provide a full range of Spanish language services including:

We offer a unique depth of subject-matter expertise via our Advanced Scientific Knowledge network (ASKnetwork™) and globalization know-how for companies in the Aerospace & Defense, Chemical, Clinical Research, Energy, Healthcare, Industrial Manufacturing, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Technology and related industries. Our ASKnetwork™ of over 6,000 specialists comprises multilingual engineers, doctors and scientists working in over 75 countries on 5 continents.

Language Scientific’s unique Accreditation Program for Technical and Medical Translators, along with a rigorous Quality Management System, ensures the quality standards that our clients have come to depend on. Language Scientific is an ISO9001:2008 and ISO 17100:2015 certified company.

At Language Scientific, we are driven by the mission to set the new Standard of Quality for technical translation and localization. It is this mission that drives our success and sets us apart as a company. When you need precise global communication, Language Scientific is the clear choice.

Spanish Language Statistics/Facts

Spanish is the official language of 21 countries, yet only holds an official status in Spain and Equatorial Guinea outside of the Americas. Spanish is one of six official languages of the United Nations and is the second most spoken native language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. There are 400,000 million native Spanish speakers and 100,000 million non-native (or international) Spanish speakers.

When asked what type of Spanish a client needs for a translation project, many people say “Just give me the best Spanish.” Once it is explained that there is no “best,” clients move on to request a “universal Spanish,” which is also an impossible task. To guarantee proper understanding for your target audience, it is necessary to direct the translation to a specific region. During the translation process, small discrepancies between different regions can yield unanticipated and unintended results.

Dialects of Spanish

Mexican Spanish vs. Iberian Spanish

How is Mexican Spanish different from Iberian Spanish? Here are some interesting differences:

  • The use of stress on the possessive. In Spain, someone might say “es su problema,” while in Mexico the inflection would be on the second syllable: “es su problema.” This is similar to the way it would be said in America: “It’s your problem.”
  • Adding the suffix “eco” as a locative. E.g., guatemalteco
  • The frequency of adverbalizing adjectives; Canta suave; huele feo
  • The influence of substratum languages, especially Nahuatl (which contributed the words cacao, chile, chocolate, tequila, coyote, and mezquite) and Quechua (which contributed coca, Inca, and llama)

Differences in common household words:

English Term Term used in Mexico Term used in Spain
Stove Estufa Cocina
Umbrella Sombrilla Paraguas
Jacket Saco Americana
Plumber Plomero Fontanero
Baker Tahona Panificadora

After five centuries of geographic separation, the lexicons vary most for terms that have been introduced since the Conquest and colonization. This is in part why technological or scientific terms differ so much between variants.

Latin American Dialects

There are five major regional variations or dialects of Latin America. These dialect regions can be generally summarized as being highland areas and lowland areas.

Latin American Dialectical Region
Mexico and the adjacent areas
Mexico, the Southwest US, Republic of Guatemala
The Caribbean areas
The Caribbean, including both Mexican coasts, Columbia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the half of Hispaniola known as Santo Domingo
The Andes

The highlands of Colombia through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, NW Argentina and Northern Chile, except Lima

Chile
Chile is divided in linguistic usage and accentuation
Rio Plata
Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. (This is probably the most disparate of all the Latin America regions in terms of vocabulary, inflection, lexicon and manner of address. This region is very distinct.)

The variants spoken in highland areas are more similar to each other than the dialects spoken in the lowland areas and vice versa. Therefore, someone from an Andean nation, (such as Miria from Bogotá) would probably understand someone from Mexico more easily than someone from Argentina.

Central America is somewhat of a mixed zone, because it doesn’t fit in either of these categories. It is influenced by Mexico from the north, but also by the Caribbean from the east.

Spanish Dialect Variants within the US

The United States has substantial populations of Spanish-speaking people. The states with the highest concentrations are listed below, in descending order:

  • California (Los Angeles, 3 million people)
  • Texas
  • New York (New York City, 2 million people)
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico

Miami, Florida also contains a very high population of Spanish speakers (1 million people).

For work on consumer publications or work for hospitals, court interpretations, legal documentation, etc., care is required because the population groups that are represented in New York are not the same as those in California. The Spanish spoken in these areas varies widely.

Further confusion occurs for places like New York or Miami. In these locations, there has been significant long-term integration, particularly from Cuba. In addition to the fact that these people have been in the US for some time, many came during the first heavy wave of immigration from Cuba in the early sixties. The immigrants arriving at this time tended to be the most educated class of Cuban society. If one compares that group to the concentrated immigrant population in California, they are from a totally different socioeconomic and educational background. The Spanish-speaking Cuban-base in Miami cannot be communicated with the same as the newer Mexican populations in California.

Countries Where Spanish Is Spoken

  • Andorra
  • Cuba
  • Guatemala
  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • Dominican Republic
  • Honduras
  • Philippines
  • Belize
  • Ecuador
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • Bolivia
  • El Salvador
  • Morocco
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Chile
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Nicaragua
  • United States
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Panama
  • Uruguay
  • Costa Rica
  • Gibraltar
  • Paraguay
  • Venezuela

Spanish-Speaking Country Data

Country: Mexico

Capital: Mexico City
Population: 124,574,795
Federal Presidential Republic: Enrique Peña Nieto
Currency: Mexican Peso
GDP (ppp): $18,900
Unemployment: 3.6%
Government Type: Federal Presidential Republic
Industries: Agriculture, electronics, chemicals, iron and steel

Country: Spain

Capital: Madrid
Population: 48,958,159
Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy: King Felipe VI of Spain and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Currency: Euro
GDP (ppp): $36,400
Unemployment: 19.7%
Government Type: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Industries: Textiles, apparel, metal manufacturing and chemicals
Mixed capitalist economy. 13th largest economy in the world

Country: Colombia

Capital: Bogotá
Population: 47,698,524
Presidential Republic: President Juan Manuel Santos
Currency: Colombian Peso
GDP (ppp): $14,100
Unemployment: 9.2%
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Industries: Coffee, flowers, emeralds, textiles, industrial chemicals, plastics, iron, coal, oil, financial services

Country: Argentina

Capital: Buenos Aires
Population: 44,293,293
Presidential Republic: President Mauricio Macri
Currency: Argentine Peso
GDP (ppp): $20,000
Unemployment: 8%
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Industries: Agriculture, soybeans, motor vehicles, textiles, steel

Country: Peru

Capital: Lima
Population: 31,036,656
Presidential Republic: President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski(note – president is both chief of state and head of government)
Currency: Peruvian nuevo sol
GDP (ppp): $12,900
Unemployment: 6%
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Industries: Mining and refining of minerals and metals, petroleum extraction and refining, natural gas, fishing and fish processing, textiles, clothing, food processing, steel, metal fabrication

Country: Venezuela

Capital: Caracas
Population: 31,304,016
Federal Presidential Republic: President Nicolás Maduro
Currency: Venezuelan bolivar
GDP (ppp): $13,800
Unemployment: 10.5%
Government Type: Federal Presidential Republic
Industries: Petroleum, iron ore mining, construction materials, food processing, textiles, steel, aluminum, motor vehicle assembly

Country: Chile

Capital: Santiago
Population: 17,789,267 
Presidential Republic: President Michelle Bachelet
Currency: Chilean peso
GDP (ppp): $24,100
Unemployment: 7%
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Industries: Copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport

Spanish Language History

While the majority of Spanish speakers currently live in Latin America, the language officially originated in Spain. The Spanish that is spoken today originated from a spoken Latin that is believed to have originated in Northern Spain in the Iberian Peninsula (land mass that includes Spain and Portugal). Spanish is the most spoken romance language and it falls under the West Iberian sub-category.

In the 13th century, King Alfonso X of Castile, also known as Alfonso el Sabio (Alfonso the Wise), assembled scribes at his court which led to a standardization of Castilian.

The marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1469 brought together the two regions of modern day Spain. In their unity, they were able to fund the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the Americas starting in 1492. In 1492, Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first Spanish grammar, “Gramática de la Lengua Castellana,” and presented it to Queen Isabella. Also in 1492 Spain expelled its Spanish Jews who settled in various countries in the Western Sahara, Israel, Turkey and Greece (bringing their Spanish language with them). With the discovery of the new world, the Spanish were able to spread their language and culture past the boundaries of their previous empire. The discovery of the Americas under Spanish patronage allowed for Spanish to be spoken in new lands.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain was a dominant European power and was able to expand its empire without much opposition from other nations. Spanish colonization brought the language to many countries in the Americas and to some Pacific island groups including Guam, the Marianas, Micronesia, the Philippines and Palau.

Toward the end of the 17th century, the Spanish empire began to lose power due to European colonialism, wars with France, and the expansion of other kingdoms. The Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther in the 16th century also set a trend away from Catholicism, which negatively affected Spanish culture. The end of the 17th century was marked by a decline of the Spanish empire after the French revolution led by Napoleon, which left Spain in ruins.

In 1713 the Spanish Royal Academy was founded to preserve the “purity” of the Spanish language. Today each Spanish speaking country has its own Spanish language academy. An Association of Spanish Language Academies was established in 1951.

In the late 1800s a wave of Europeans and Spaniards came to the new Spanish-speaking countries and colonies in the Americas, including Argentina, Chilie, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela. Here governments required adoption of the Spanish language as part of their immigration process.

During the 20th century, Spain experienced a civil war and was led by the controversial leader, Francisco Franco. Franco declared Spanish to be Spain’s only official language. In the 1960-1970s Spanish parliament allowed provinces to add three other official languages (Basque, Catalan and Galician). In 1975, Franco died and some other languages of Spain have been recognized by regional governments. To this day, Spanish is the language most widely used in Spanish government, business, education, work, culture and the media.

In the 20th century waves of Spanish-speaking immigrants came to the United States and retained their Spanish language. Today Spanish is treated as an unofficial second language in the United States with over 5% of the US population speaking Spanish.

In 1945, when the United Nations was founded, Spanish was chosen as one of the 5 official languages (along with Chinese, English, French and Russian).

Contact Us

Please call us at 1-617-621-0940 or email us at info@languagescientific.com to find out how Language Scientific can help you meet your translation requirements.