Over the years, ITC has developed a strong network of translators whose native language is Spanish. These linguists have passed several rounds of tests and are evaluated regularly. In addition, ITC project managers have drawn up language guides to help translators follow the specific rules that apply to Spanish.

512 million

people speak Spanish

22 countries

have Spanish as their official language


most spoken language in the world

History of the language: translation into Spanish

Today, the Spanish language is spoken by 470 million native speakers. It is the second most widely spoken language all over the world. Spanish is a Romance language that is characterized by its Latin origins (it is derived from the vulgar Latin, the Latin of the crowd) and belongs to the Indo-European language family. This origin is shared by other languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese, among others. The year 1492 was one of the most important for Spanish. In that year, Antonio de Nebrija wrote the first grammar book with a system of rules that recognizes the importance of having a written language as a legitimate means of communication. In his words, “language is the instrument of the empire.” In that same year, Nebrija’s words came true when Christopher Columbus landed in America expanding the Spanish language and spreading the Spanish culture through colonization. Today, Spanish is widely spoken in Europe, Latin America and even in the United States, where 37.6 million people aged five years and older speak Spanish at home. It’s the most spoken non-English language in the U.S.

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Specific features of the Spanish language

Adopted words such as “jalapeño” and “piñata” used in English have a common characteristic and an interesting history. They originate from Spanish and use ñ, a letter not common in English. This letter occupies the seventeenth position in the Spanish alphabet and has a purely Spanish origin. It was first used in Spanish and later on, other languages incorporated its sound.

The ñ comes from a Latin abbreviation, which consisted in the double use of the letter “n” in words such as “anno” and “Hispannia.” In occasions, when writing the double n, it began to appear with a single n topped with a smaller n. With the passage of time, the small n transformed into a simple orthographic sign (a diacritic) until it finally evolved into the ñ as we know it today. Despite that, other Romance languages have retained a double spelling for this sound, for example, ny in Catalan and Hungarian, gn in French and Italian, and nh in Portuguese, among others.

Due to the influence and supremacy of the English language, new technology was reluctant to incorporate it, especially in keyboards. The RAE (Real Academia Española) and many distinctive figures such as Gabriel García Márquez soon expressed their disagreement with this omission and since then, this letter has gained supporters who advocate for using ñ in the virtual world.