Spanish language

Spanish
Castilian
  • español
  • castellano
Pronunciation[espaˈɲol]
[kasteˈʎano], [kasteˈʝano]
Native speakers
493 million native
592 million total [1] (2021)
99 million speakers with limited capacity (22 million students) [1]
Early forms
Latin (Spanish alphabet)
Spanish Braille
Signed Spanish (Mexico, Spain and presumably elsewhere)
Official status
Official language in



Regulated byAssociation of Spanish Language Academies
(Real Academia Española and 22 other national Spanish language academies)
Language codes
ISO 639-1es
ISO 639-2spa
ISO 639-3spa
Glottologstan1288
Linguasphere51-AAA-b
Hispanophone global world map language.svg
  Spanish as official language.
  Unofficial, but spoken by more than 25% of the population.
  Unofficial, but spoken by 10–20% of the population.
  Unofficial, but spoken by 5–9% of the population.
  Spanish-based creole languages spoken.
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Spanish (español or castellano, Castilian) is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that evolved from colloquial Latin spoken in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe. Today, it is a global language with more than 500 million native speakers, mainly in the Americas and Spain. Spanish is the official language of 20 countries. It is the world's second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese;[4][5] the world's fourth-most spoken language overall after English, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu); and the world's most widely spoken Romance language. The largest population of native speakers is in Mexico.[6]

Spanish is part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. The oldest Latin texts with traces of Spanish come from mid-northern Iberia in the 9th century,[7] and the first systematic written use of the language happened in Toledo, a prominent city of the Kingdom of Castile, in the 13th century. Spanish colonialism in the Early Modern Period spurred on the introduction of the language to overseas locations, most notably to the Americas.[8]

As a Romance language, Spanish is a descendant of Latin, and has one of the smaller degrees of difference from it (about 20%) alongside Sardinian and Italian.[9] Around 75% of modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin, including Latin borrowings from Ancient Greek.[10][11] Alongside English and French, it is also one of the most taught foreign languages throughout the world.[12] Spanish does not feature prominently as a scientific language; however, it is better represented in areas like humanities and social sciences.[13] Spanish is also the third most used language on internet websites after English and Chinese.[14]

Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is also used as an official language by the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the African Union and many other international organizations.[15]

  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference viva18 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Eberhard, Simons & Fennig (2020)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2022). "Castilic". Glottolog 4.6. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
  4. ^ Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. (2019). "Summary by language size". Ethnologue. SIL International. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  5. ^ Salvador, Yolanda Mancebo (2002). "Hacia una historia de la puesta en escena de La vida es sueño". Calderón en Europa (in Spanish). Vervuert Verlagsgesellschaft. pp. 91–100. doi:10.31819/9783964565013-007. ISBN 978-3-96456-501-3.
  6. ^ "Countries with most Spanish speakers 2021".
  7. ^ La RAE avala que Burgos acoge las primeras palabras escritas en castellano (in Spanish), ES: El Mundo, 7 November 2010, archived from the original on 24 November 2010, retrieved 24 November 2010
  8. ^ Rice, John (2010). "sejours linguistiques en Espagne". sejours-linguistiques-en-espagne.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  9. ^ Mario A. Pei (1949) A New Methodology for Romance Classification, WORD, 5:2, 135-146, DOI: 10.1080/00437956.1949.11659494.
  10. ^ Robles, Heriberto Camacho Becerra, Juan José Comparán Rizo, Felipe Castillo (1998). Manual de etimologías grecolatinas (3. ed.). México: Limusa. p. 19. ISBN 968-18-5542-6.
  11. ^ Comparán Rizo, Juan José. Raices Griegas y latinas (in Spanish). Ediciones Umbral. p. 17. ISBN 978-968-5430-01-2. Archived from the original on 23 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  12. ^ Spanish in the World Archived 6 February 2021 at the Wayback Machine, Language Magazine, 18 November 2019.
  13. ^ "El español se atasca como lengua científica". Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas (in Spanish). 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  14. ^ Devlin, Thomas Moore (30 January 2019). "What Are The Most-Used Languages On The Internet?". +Babbel Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Official Languages | United Nations". United Nations. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.

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