Understand the differences between Spanish and Castilian Spanish and how documents in these languages should be translated!
These terms were originated in different time periods, but officially, vocabulary, spelling and rules are the same.
You have certainly asked yourself the difference between Spanish and Castilian Spanish and believed they were actually different. The difference only exists regarding the time period when the terms were originated. In fact, there is no difference regarding vocabulary, spelling and grammar rules.
The word “Castilian” is older and refers to the Kingdom of Castile, in Middle Age, and it was used to name territories when Spain still did not exist. With the unification of kingdoms in today’s Spain, it was adopted by the new country as an official language in 1492.
Experts say that countries usually “choose” the name of their languages based on political reasons. It is hard to hear an Argentinean saying he/she speaks Spanish, as this reflects the period when the country was under Spanish colonization.
Maybe this explains why “Castilian” is more frequently used in South American countries and “Spanish” is more frequently used in areas with a common border with the English language, like Mexico, for example.
According to the 1978 Spanish Constitution, Castilian is considered the official language of Spain, but several dialects are spoken in the country, such as Galician, Basque and Catalan, adopted in regions with a co-official language spoken on a daily basis.
Despite “Spanish” and “Castilian” are officially synonyms, it is important to note that one language can suffer variations based on local influence, just like European and Brazilian Portuguese.
Therefore, the Spanish language spoken in Latin America is different from the Spanish language spoken in Spain, for example. The language can also suffer variations from one Latin American country to the other.
There are also some lexical differences, i.e. how certain things are expressed in different countries. If you are in Spain, you would say “autobús” for “bus”. But if you are in Colombia, you would say “bus”, in Mexico “camión”, in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic “guagua” and in Argentina “colectivo”.
Despite the differences, Spanish-speaking countries communicate very effectively with one another. However, translations, regardless of the target country, should follow the rules and customs of each country; otherwise, readers may not understand the message correctly.
Translation experts focus not only on the linguistic variations of each region, but also on the culture, customs, pronunciation and grammar.
In order to be provided a suitable translation service, you should take these aspects into consideration and avoid embarrassing situations when making a presentation, showing a translation in a business meeting or when dealing with simple, everyday translations.
If you need a translator to translate Spanish from Spain or from the Americas, Fidelity Translations has a team of experts that is always ready to serve your needs. Our professionals conduct multicultural research about terminology to ensure greater translation clarity and to preserve the content of the original document. If necessary, Fidelity will prepare a glossary for customer approval for a more customized translation and to ensure accuracy and high quality.