Spanish in the U.S.

When you think of the United States, you probably think of an English speaking country. While English is, of course, spoken in all facets of American life, the U.S. has no official language. As the 21st century advances, Spanish is becoming an important language in the everyday.

Are you curious about Spanish spoken in the U.S.? We're happy to share a few interesting facts with you below.

1. Spanish was the first European language spoken in what is now modern-day United States.

In 2016, U.S. vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine created quite a stir when explaining that Spanish was the first European language spoken on U.S. territory.

The Spanish language first came to modern U.S. borders in 1513, when the explorer Juan Ponce de León dropped anchor in Florida.

The Spanish were also responsible for the first settlement in the country, in 1565, which is the city of St. Augustine, Florida. Even the the British lost colony of Roanoake was only settled decades after.

2. The U.S. State of California first published its constitution in Spanish and English.

Up until the conclusion Mexican-American war, much of present day California was part of Mexico, meaning that many of its inhabitants were Spanish speakers.

When California drafted its first constitution in 1849, it was bilingual, being in both English and Spanish. They even hired a certified translator to draft it. In fact, the constitution included an article requiring all official state documents to be published in both languages.

Unfortunately, in 1855, English became the official language of elementary school education. Subsequently, upon renewal of the constitution in 1879, the doctrine of bilingualism was not maintained.

Today, nearly 30 percent of California residents speak Spanish at home, and there is a long-standing debate about whether both languages should be used for all government and official communication.

Do you need English to Spanish translations? Get in touch with Idiomatic Translations here.