The Spanish Language originated with the “Vulgar Latin” of Roman times, which aids in its translation into other languages.
Spanish traces its roots back to the glory of the Roman Empire where Latin was the spoken and written language. In the 3rd century, the Visigoths, a subculture of the Goths, came from the delta area of the Danube River, now a part of modern Germany. They invaded Rome and became the first barbarian nation within the Roman Empire.
For the next three centuries, the Visigoths set their sights on Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. This invasion and occupation inspired attempts to translate from Latin into Visigoth. However, the Visigoth language was eventually forsaken in favor of Vulgar Latin, a more utilitarian dialect than the more formal Classical Latin, which was spoken throughout the Roman Empire. From this “Vulgar Latin,” was born the Romance Languages with which we are familiar today: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.
In the ninth century, modern Spanish began as a member of the Ibero-Romance group that drew from several dialects of spoken Latin in the north-central region of Iberia. During the later Middle Ages, it spread slowly with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile (present northern Spain), into central and southern Iberia.
Early on, the Spanish vocabulary was enriched through contact with the Basque people and Arabic invaders. Even now the language continues evolve and adapt by incorporating foreign terms from a variety of other languages, as well as developing new words on its own.
Spanish travelled with the conquistadors to the Americas as well as to Africa and Asia-Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. It became the most important language for government and trade.
Today Spanish continues its worldwide influence as the fourth most spoken language on the planet. I myself find it useful for communicating with my Italian relatives, since both languages stem from the same Latin base, which makes the translations so much easier.
Do you find your knowledge of Spanish has helped you with your translation of other Romance and Latin based languages? Which language do you find it most helpful in translating?