Spanish is a romance language (the language family derived from Vulgar Latin). It is the fourth most common language in the world and is spoken on four continents. Spanish is the official language or national language of a whopping 21 countries, including:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- El Salvador
- Puerto Rico
437 million people speak Spanish as a native language, and there are more than 522 million total Spanish speakers around the world. The United States alone is home to 41 million people that speak Spanish as a first language as well as 12 million bilingual speakers.
In 2004, several areas of the U.S. were home to concentrated pockets of Spanish speakers, including:
- Hialeah, FL
- Laredo, TX
- Brownsville, TX
- East L.A., CA
- Santa Ana, CA
- El Paso, TX
- Miami, FL
- El Monte, CA
The most concentrated areas of Spanish speakers throughout the world include North, Central, and South America.
History of the Spanish Language
Spanish originated in the Iberian Peninsula (current location of modern-day Spain and Portugal).
It comes from Vulgar Latin, specifically the type of Vulgar Latin spoken in the Castile region of Spain. This language eventually mixed with Moorish Arabic and transformed into the version of the language we hear most commonly today. Other variations of Spanish came from Andalusia (and Andalusian Spanish is still spoken in southern parts of the country).
As the Spanish explored and conquered other areas of the world, the language continued to transform (which is why Latin American Spanish differs from European Spanish). For example, Argentinians and Uruguayans speak the Rioplatense dialect (which originated from Castilian Spanish). This dialect uses the pronoun vos instead of tu.
English to Spanish Translation
Translating English to Spanish isn’t as easy as translating English to German (or another Germanic language). Yet, the jump from English to Spanish isn’t as difficult as the jump from English to a language with a different alphabet, like Mandarin.
Since Spanish is so widely spoken in the Americas, most locals are used to hearing common words. Spanglish (a variation of Spanish and English) is also used more commonly in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the U.S.
The seven most common dialects of Spanish include:
- Andean-Pacific (Andean Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and West Bolivia)
- Caribbean (Cuba, Caribbean Colombia, Caribbean Mexico, Dominican Republic, Gulf Coast Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, and Venezuela)
- Central American
- Chilean (Chile and Cuyo)
- New Mexican
- Rioplatense (Argentina, Eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay)
If you’re planning on translating English to Spanish, you’ll need to know which dialect you’re dealing with.
The Spanish sentence structure also differs from English. Unlike in English, the Spanish sentence structure dictates that the adjectives follow nouns — not the other way around.
There are over 150,000 Spanish words in the dictionary, yet many of these words are similar to English ones.
Trying to learn Spanish online? Need the best language translation app for travel, school, or business? We recommend using machine translation software that has a Spanish translation tool and can easily translate text to speech, such as the Vocre app, available on Google Play for Android or the Apple Store for iOS.
Software such as Google Translate or Microsoft’s language learning app doesn’t offer the same English translation accuracy as paid apps.
Compared to other language translators, English-Spanish translators and translation services don’t often charge as much. While some language translators may charge nearly $100 an hour, there are plenty of Spanish translators that only charge around $25 an hour.
Why the difference in cost? There are tons of apps, programs, and tools that automate English/Spanish translation for you — meaning you can get an accurate translation without hiring a human to follow you around and translate text and audio.
Even if you’re trying to translate longer texts, a language translation software program or app is a great cost-effective solution.
Check out our online translation tool that can help you learn basic words and phrases, such as hello in other languages.
Free Vs Paid Apps for Spanish Translation
There are plenty of free apps available for Spanish translation. In fact, Vocre’s MyLanguage app is just one of those free apps.
The biggest difference between paid and free apps? The features.
Most free apps offer basic text language translation, while paid apps and upgrades offer voice translation, voice input, and voice output. These features allow you to speak directly into an app and get audio output in real-time. Some apps allow you to input text into the interface and get audio output and vice versa.
Tips for Spanish Translation
If you’re trying to learn Spanish for business, travel, or education, you might want to take advantage of a few tips for learning a new language fast. Watch a few Spanish movies on Netflix to start using your vocab in action, or use a language translation app to nail your pronunciation.
More Online Translation
At Vocre, we believe that you shouldn’t need to hire a pricey translator to simply communicate with someone. Our automated translation app can translate both written and oral communication.
We offer more online translation in the following languages: