Spanish Speaking Countries in South America
By: Vanessa Anderson
It is easier to tell the countries that don’t speak Spanish than to name the Spanish-speaking countries in South America. So if you are looking to launch your business there, you better acquire some A-grade Spanish translation services.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world with 400 Million native speakers. This also makes Spanish the largest and most widely spoken romance language.
With so many different speakers and regions, there are bound to be differences in the language. However, they are not so great as to make the entire language unintelligible. There is no one Spanish out there in the world; there are many different dialects.
The History of Latin American Spanish
The Latin American Spanish has a long list of dialects because of the history and the large territory from Argentina to the Rio Grande. And because of the large number of native Spanish speakers in America, it is now included in the Latin Market.
Spanish was established as the primary language when Columbus brought Castilian Spanish language with him from the mainland of Spain. The Catholic Church also played a great role in the Hispanicization by propagating the knowledge in Spanish. As the population of the region grew, so did the Spanish language.
Different people came to America from different parts of Spain, each speaking a different dialect. This also contributed to the diversity of the Spanish language we know today. Different people introduced different effects on Latin American Spanish.
The Andalusian explorers helped modify the pronunciation of the Latin American Spanish so that it is different from the Castilian Spanish. This is why some words that have identical spellings in both languages are pronounced differently.
These are some of the important sociological and historical events that contributed to the evolution of the Latin American Spanish, which we hear and speak today. There is no doubt a difference in the Spanish spoken in different regions of South America, but there are certain commonalities that bind them together as one group.
South American Countries that Speak Spanish
Here is the list of all the countries that have Spanish as their official language in South America.
The fact that Spanish is the most spoken language in Argentina doesn’t have the surprise element. It is, after all, the official language of the country. About 41.7 million of the population speaks Spanish as their mother language, and another million speaks it as a second language.
The Spanish spoken in Argentina is different from that spoken in other regions say Spain or Mexico.
Spanish is spoken by about 75% of the population in Bolivia. 60% of the population speaks Spanish as their mother language. Knowing Spanish in Bolivia serves as a great asset. It is also the language of the official proceedings, as required by the law. Spanish spoken here can be easily understood by other speakers. However, some features are different from the other such as slang and pronunciation.
About 87% of the population speaks Spanish in Paraguay. Other percentiles speak the other official language, i.e., Guarani
Spanish is spoken by the entire population of Chile. The dialect used in this country is known as the Chilean Spanish. This dialect has distinct differences from the Castilian dialects. The pronunciation is somewhat similar to the Andalusian Spanish. Other languages are also spoken alongside Spanish, but it is the most preferred language.
Almost 99.2% of the Colombian population speaks Spanish. Even though regions have their languages, during the official functions, Spanish is used. While all dialects of Spanish have a certain similarity, Colombian Spanish differs from the standard Spanish in very significant ways. The Colombian Spanish has an almost musical pronunciation and intonation.
Spanish is spoken by 93% of the population of Ecuador. It was introduced in the 18th century by the Spanish colonizer and is now the language of the government. There are three major regional variations spoken in Ecuador: Equatorial Coastal, Amazonic, and Andean.
Spanish is a very highly popular language in Peru. It is the language of almost 84% of the population. This language was established by the Spanish rulers, but even after independence, it holds the same importance.
99% of the population of Uruguay speaks Spanish. Migrants, Italians in particular, have had a great influence on the Uruguayan Spanish. The Spanish spoken in the country is softer than its counterparts.
Among the 40 languages spoken in Venezuela, Spanish is the most spoken. Venezuela has settlers from different places, and thus each of them has a different dialect of Spanish. One dialect, however, is considered standard that is used for official matters and media.
The Importance of Translating in Spanish
By now, we have established that Spanish holds a very important position in the world. If you are to launch a business in the international market, you don’t want to neglect the second major portion of the market.
Translating in Spanish is no small feat given the facts that it keeps changing from one region to another. It is, however, necessary if you are to develop and maintain a strong presence in the international market.
Most of the South American countries speak Spanish. It differs from region to region, but the Spanish dialects spoken in South America can be collectively known as Latin American Spanish. It was the primary language when America was discovered. However, the mother Spanish language was diluted by the native dialects of the regions, and thus we got the Latin American Spanish that we speak today.
Every country has a distinct dialect of its own. Even though they are not mutually unintelligible, each of them has its unique features. Some of them are softer, some of them are faster, and others are just different in their phrases, but overall Spanish holds a strong position in South America.
Given the fact that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world, it would be unwise to not translate your business. To capture the greater market share, Spanish translation has become very important.