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The Spanish Language



Language History:

The Spanish language has evolved from the colloquial form of Latin, which arrived in the Iberian Peninsula with the Romans in c.210 BC. Before the arrival of the Romans, several languages including Iberian, and Celtiberian were commonly spoken. These languages were influential in the development of the language and indeed are still partially found in modern Castilian Spanish.

The Spanish language has widely-travelled the world (most notably Latin America) due to the many explorers, colonists and the infamous conquistadores (Hernán Cortés for example).



Number of People Speaking:

The estimated number of Spanish speakers is around 500 million (over 400 million mother-tongue and approx. 100 million fluent and second language speakers). Spanish is also one of six official languages of the United Nations, and an official language of the EU.



Dialects:

There are many differences in the spoken language between Peninsular or European Spanish and Spanish from the Americas. Each of these has a number of different regional and geographical dialects including Mexican Spanish and Catalan.



Countries Spoken:

Spanish is primarily spoken in Spain and Latin America, however it is also the official language in over twenty two other countries including; the Dominican Republic and Cuba. It is also spoken as a minority language in the USA, the Philippines, Gibraltar, Andorra and Belize.  



Facts about Spanish:

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world. It ranks below Chinese which has 1.2 billion speakers and above English with 328 million speakers.

The Spanish language is one of the most phonetic languages of the world. If you know how to write a word, you will almost always be able to pronounce it correctly.