Diversity has always defined Spain. The Iberian Peninsula is home to many different languages and is comprised of 17 autonomous regions, each with their own distinct culture and heritage. Additionally, Spain is a place of great religious diversity. Although Spain is now a predominantly Catholic country, for a period of over 700 years, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived in relative peace and harmony in the southern region of Andalusia. However, these cultural differences require superior global translation services provided by language service companies to facilitate communication between different groups.
The Languages of Spain
There are four main languages spoken on the Iberian Peninsula. While Castilian Spanish is by far the most common and is spoken in all of Spain’s autonomous regions, many regions speak their own unique languages. For instance, the autonomous communities of Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands all speak Catalan in addition to Castilian Spanish. The community of Galicia also possesses its own language: Gallego. Like Catalan, it is considered to be a secondary language to Castilian. Yet, despite its place in Spanish culture, Gallego shares more in common with Portuguese, given the region’s proximity to northern Portugal. Finally, the Basque region, found in the north of Spain, speaks Euskara, a language descended from the prehistoric languages of the mountainous north. Because of the region’s isolation, the Basques were able to develop their own language and society without influence or interference from outside actors, even when the Romans invaded Iberia in the 2nd century B.C.
Language and Nationalism
Despite the fact that Castilian Spanish is spoken in all of autonomous regions has somewhat unified Spain linguistically, this fact stands as a painful reminder for many communities of the loss of language and culture during the reign of Franco. Franco’s regime, which lasted from 1939 to 1975, actively suppressed the speaking of languages other than his native tongue of Castilian Spanish, angering citizens proud of the linguistic traditions in their communities. This campaign of repression sparked the formation of different nationalist groups in certain Spanish region, including ETA, the infamous Basque terrorist organization that killed over 700 people before its dissolution in 2018. Therefore, the use of regional languages often serves as a statement of nationalism for many Spanish communities.
The Need for Global Translation Services
This divide between Spanish language groups has extended into the classroom in recent years. In order to demonstrate their independence, many Basque schools have vowed to only teach Euskara to their students while cutting back on Castilian Spanish language training programs. This insistence on teaching regional languages over Castilian could have a profound impact on foreign business operations in Spain, especially given the fact that Spain is an emerging global market. Without a professional translator with the ability to translate documents and other business-related materials into Spain’s regional languages, potential markets cannot be accessed in these regions. Therefore, investment in corporate interpretation services for minority languages should become a major priority for businesses operating in Spain in the coming years, particularly given the rise of nationalist sentiments in the country.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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