Latin American Influence on Canada And The United States-Part I

There is a lot of conjecture about who discovered America, with many disputing the traditional belief that it was Columbus. They point out that it was actually the Vikings who were the first Europeans to set foot in the New World and not the Spaniards as is conventionally believed. Besides, they did it back in the late 1oth century, more than five centuries before Columbus.

Others point out the fact that it wasn’t the Europeans who discovered America in the first place, but rather the Asians who migrated from Siberia to Alaska tens of thousands of years ago and spread across the gigantic American land mass to form the various native American peoples. But there is no doubting the fact that Columbus’s voyage to America led to the mass colonization of the American landmass by Europeans.

Spanish interpreting servicesFor three centuries after Columbus first set foot in America in 1492, Spain ruled over much of South, Central, and North America. The first English settlements in North America began in the first few years of the seventeenth century and soon enough the descendants of these settlers became the dominant power. The French who came along the same time as the early English settlers exercised influence in the Quebec province of Canada.

The newly founded English speaking nation of the United States soon expanded at the cost of the Spanish speaking southern neighbor Mexico, acquiring Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Colorado in the mid 1800s. So to say that there is a Latin American influence on Canada and the United States is stating the obvious.

The influence of Latin America is the greatest in the southern states bordering Mexico where Spanish has been spoken for centuries now. It is therefore not surprising to find that Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the United States after English with 45 million speakers. This large number is partly on account of successive waves of immigration into the U.S. from Latin American nations like Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, and elsewhere. The influence of these people of Latin American origin on the U.S. is consequently immense, and it is reflected in areas of not only language, but culture, sports, food, and entertainment.

The Latin American influence on Canada, though a lot less than that on the U.S., is nevertheless significant with 1.2% of Canadian citizens being of Latin American origin, according to the 2011 census. Many of them hold positions of prominence in important sectors of the Canadian region.
The Latin Americans of Canada may speak not just Spanish or Portuguese, but also English and French. The similarities among Spanish, Portuguese, and French on account of the three being Romance languages, makes that easy. Most Latin American immigrants in Canada came over in the twentieth century from countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Chile, Guatemala, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others.

The reasons ranged from better economic prospects to finding refuge from political persecution. Significant communities of people of Latin American origin are found in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa.

With millions of Latin Americans calling North America their home, it is quite evident that there would be a very large demand for Spanish translation services, Portuguese translation services, Spanish interpreting services, and Portuguese interpreting services. Now the thing about hiring a Spanish translator in the U.S. is that he or she better be good at it! With whole communities numbering in the millions speaking Spanish like a true blue native, the quality of the translation and interpretation has to be out of the top drawer.

This is where reputed translation agencies like Capital Linguists are the people to go to for the best possible Spanish or Portuguese translation and interpretation services. So good are they at their job that when leaders from Latin American nations visit the U.S. they often requisition the services of interpreters provided by Capital Linguists.

Then there are the extensive trade, business, and political relations between the U.S. and the many South American nations that are made possible with the help of Spanish translation services and Portuguese translation services. Latin American leaders and business people come to the US and Canada quite often to negotiate multimillion dollar contracts or bilateral trade agreements. For this too, they need to hire the services of Spanish interpreters or Portuguese interpreters.

They would likely also need simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation carried out by trained professionals. Likewise, English speaking politicians and businesspeople on official visits to countries like Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, or one of the other Latin American nations would need to hire the services of Portuguese or Spanish translation agencies.

Latin America is really the backyard of the U.S. and the nations that comprise it are the wposest geographically. Add to that a shared history and heritage, as well cross-cultural influences and you got a sense of how intricately the destinies of the English speaking people of North America and the Spanish and Portuguese speaking people of Latin America are intertwined.

This is reflected in so many ways- by way of movies, literature, food, folklore, legends, historical incidents of seminal importance, political drama, and so much more. In fact, it will take another blog to talk about all of that. In the meantime mull over the fact that the great North and South American land mass is home to immigrants from many parts of the old world nations of Europe and Asia. Together they make for a fascinating kaleidoscope of people of different ethnic backgrounds, languages, faiths, culture, food habits, and political beliefs forging the destiny of the New World.

When Columbus took his first ginger steps in the land he thought was India, he had no idea what his so-called discovery of the new world would create in the time to come. A land of a billion people, which would become home to thirty-five nations that would shift the power center of the world from the old world to the new. Come to think of it, this is nothing less than a fairy tale that came true.

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