California has been a multi-cultural and multi-lingual territory and state throughout its history. Cities like San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego have all developed as cosmopolitan cities that are also important centers for the language translation industry.
San Francisco, once the chief seaport and the metropolis of California and the Pacific Coast, has always been an important home to immigrants from all over the world. The city is very cosmopolitan, with a large Hispanic quarter where Spanish sounds and signs are dominant. There is also a Little Italy and a Chinese quarter of which no other city has the like. Chinatown, at the foot of Nob Hill, covers some twelve city blocks, and with its temples, rich bazaars, picturesque colors and customs, it is one of the most interesting areas of the city. It was completely destroyed in the fire of 1906, and its inhabitants moved temporarily across the bay to Oakland, but by 1910 the quarter had been practically rebuilt in an improved manner, yet retaining its markedly Asian characteristics. The new Chinatown gained considerably in sanitation and in the housing of its commercial establishments. In addition, the new Chinatown became a center for San Francisco translation service, as the city hosted two official Chinese newspapers and countless other foreign language media outlets.
Like San Francisco, San Jose is another northern California city on the Pacific Coast. Located about 46 miles southeast of San Francisco, San Jose was founded in 1777 and was the first Spanish pueblo of California. The mission of Santa Clara was founded in the vicinity in January 1777, and the mission of San Jose, about 12 miles northeast, in 1797. Throughout the Spanish-Mexican period, San Jose was a place of considerable importance. In 1840 its population was about 750. Since its founding, San Jose has had a strong Spanish language influence. In the last years of Mexican dominion it was the most prominent of the northern settlements in which the Hispano-Californian element predominated over the new American element. As such, San Jose translation services have always played an integral role in the affairs of the city. The town was occupied by the forces of the United States in July 1846; and a skirmish with the natives occurred in its vicinity in January 1847. San Jose was the first capital of the state of California and in 1850 was chartered as a city.
Unlike San Francisco and San Jose, San Diego is a metropolitan this is located in southern California. About 4 miles north of the business center of San Diego is the site of the first Spanish settlement in what is now California. It was occupied in April 1769; a Franciscan “mission” (the earliest of twenty-one established in California) was founded on July 16, and a military presidio somewhat later. San Diego was occupied by the American forces in 1846 and subsequently exchanged hands several times without any bloodshed. This change of hands, along with San Diego’s proximity to Mexico has always meant that the city is an important center for language services. Indeed, San Diego translation services have grown and moved with the city. By 1867 the population of the city had decreased so considerably, that a land developer laid out a new city about 3 miles south of the old town. The location of the new city remains the location of San Diego as it is known today.