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Spanish Language In The Philippines

Spanish Language In The Philippines
are filipino hispanic
(Last Updated On: February 22, 2023)
tagalog and spanish

The Spanish Language:

Spanish is one of the most popular languages in the world today. It originated from Vulgar Latin in the Iberian Peninsula during the 13th century. The Spanish Language has nearly 500 million native speakers. It isn’t just spoken in Mexico City, it is popular all over Latin America. The Spaniards colonized different parts of the world. But even after the countries of Latin America got their independence from Spain, Spanish remained the most popular language in the region. This is why it is the official language of more than twenty countries today.

Due to the influx of Hispanic immigrants, Spanish has also become very popular in the United States. After English, it is the most spoken language in the US. According to estimates, the US will have the highest number of Spanish speakers in the world by the year 2050. This proves the importance of this language.

The Philippines

The Republic of the Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia that consists of 7,641 islands. The country shares its maritime borders with Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and Palau. The Philippines is an ethnically and culturally diverse country. The Spanish reign began in 1565 and lasted for 300 years. The Spanish American War of 1898 brought the end of the Spanish rule. But the Philippines went under American control. It wasn’t until the year 1946 that the people of the Philippines finally got their independence. Today, the country has an emerging market. It is considered a newly industrialized country.

tagalog language origin
philippines speak spanish

Languages of the Philippines

Currently, 184 living languages are spoken in the Philippines. Almost all of these tongues are native to the archipelago. The national language of the country is Filipino. It is also an official language along with English. Filipino is the standardized form of the tongue known as Tagalog. It is spoken as a lingua franca by the majority of the country’s population. It has 57 million speakers in the Philippines. Various other indigenous languages including Cebuano, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon are also spoken in the Philippines. But when people of different ethnic backgrounds have to communicate with each other, they use Filipino.

Tagalog has taken many loanwords from other languages. The English language has had a strong influence on the vocabulary of Tagalog. Indian languages including Tamil and Sanskrit have also influenced Tagalog. It has also taken loanwords from Mandarin, Arabic, and Persian. But the tongue that has had the most influence on Tagalog is Spanish. It has made the biggest contribution to the vocabulary of Tagalog. Many words of Spanish origin are a part of the everyday conversations of the Filipinos.

Do any Filippinos Speak Spanish?

During the colonial period, the Spanish government made Spanish the official language of the archipelago. The language was taught in a free primary public school system. It was also used as the medium of education in other academic institutions. But when the Spanish colonial period ended and the archipelago went under American occupation, English became more popular. It was declared the official language by the American authorities. As a result, the Spanish language in the Philippines lost its popularity. In the earlier 20th century, the Filipinos tried to promote the Spanish language as a way to rebel against the new rulers. But after that, the Filipino languages, especially Tagalog, became more important to the population.

Although a small percentage of the population could still speak Spanish, it lost the footing it had during the colonial period. Today, only a handful of Filipino people can speak Spanish. Even a smaller percentage can speak the language at a native level. Although the Spanish language including the Spanish dialect is mentioned in the constitution as an optional and voluntary language, it has lost its official status. However, many historical documents that were originally published in Spanish have not been translated. There are also old Philippine literature and land titles that are still in Spanish.

Although Spanish itself is not spoken popularly in the Philippines today, there are many Spanish-based creole languages that are spoken by thousands of people. These Spanish creoles are collectively called Chavacano. The Spanish creoles are often divided into two geographical groups: those who are spoken in Luzon and those who are spoken in Mindanao. Due to the popularity of Spanish-based creole languages, many Spanish words are spoken by Filipinos on an everyday basis.

spanish language in philippines
filipino and spanish

The influence of Spanish on the Philippines

Although Spanish is not an official language in the Philippines today, it has still affected the country’s culture and languages in different ways. Tagalog, which is the mother tongue of 22 million Filipinos, has thousands of Spanish words in it. Almost every popular Philippine language has Spanish loanwords. Everything from Philippine literature to the public school system was affected by the Spanish language. But it isn’t just the tongue that was affected, the culture of the country also underwent changes after the Spanish reign and American occupation.

The Castilian dialect that defines Mexican Spanish is closer to Filipino Spanish. The reason behind this is the fact that Mexico often mediated communication between Spain and the Philippines. Once a speaker of Tagalog realizes how many Spanish loanwords they use in their daily conversations, they will find it easier to learn the latter. It becomes a lot easier when you realize you already know plenty of words in the language. The Spanish influence is not only obvious on the primary language of the Philippines but also on the culture of the country.

The Translation of Filipino and Spanish

Although Filipino has taken a lot of loanwords from Spanish, it does not mean that the two are the same language. In fact, they are not even mutually intelligible. There are a lot of languages that have influenced each other. Every vernacular of today has adopted thousands of English words. Being the lingua franca of the world means that it comes in contact with almost every other tongue. This is how English words end up becoming a part of our everyday vocabulary regardless of our mother tongue. Spanish is another language that is spoken in multiple countries and has influenced various other vernaculars. In the Philippines, it has influenced almost all of the Filipino languages.

If you have to show your documents to foreign government officials, you will have to get them translated first. If you require the translation of Filipino, don’t go to Spanish speakers. They might try to help you with your documents but they won’t be able to do much. Translations are very important but they have to be accurate. They can only be handled by native language experts. A lot of people are unaware of the fact that Filipino Spanish does not enjoy official status in the Philippines, nor is it spoken by the majority. So, if you need the translations of Filipino Spanish, you will have a hard time finding a native expert.

Native Tagalog Translator

The best way to find a native Spanish or native Tagalog translator is to find a reliable agency. When choosing an agency, pick the one that only hires native experts and has good turnaround times. Just because an agency is offering you accurate solutions does not mean they can charge you unfairly. Check all the factors before you decide to give your money to a company. It doesn’t matter which Philippine language you need the translation of, you should do your research before hiring a service provider. Only pick the agency with the highest ratings.

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