Spanish language

Spanish language

Overview
Spanish also known as Castilian
Names given to the Spanish language
There are two names given to the Spanish language: Spanish and Castilian . Spanish speakers from different countries or backgrounds can show a preference for one term or the other, or use them indiscriminately, but political issues or common usage might lead speakers to prefer one term over the...

 , is a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 in the Ibero-Romance group
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

 that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 (present northern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

) into central and southern Iberia during the later Medieval period.

Modern Spanish developed with the readjustment of consonants that began in 15th century. The language continues to adopt foreign words from a variety of other languages as well as developing new words.
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Encyclopedia
Spanish also known as Castilian
Names given to the Spanish language
There are two names given to the Spanish language: Spanish and Castilian . Spanish speakers from different countries or backgrounds can show a preference for one term or the other, or use them indiscriminately, but political issues or common usage might lead speakers to prefer one term over the...

 , is a Romance language
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 in the Ibero-Romance group
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

 that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 (present northern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

) into central and southern Iberia during the later Medieval period.

Modern Spanish developed with the readjustment of consonants that began in 15th century. The language continues to adopt foreign words from a variety of other languages as well as developing new words. Spanish was taken most notably to the Americas
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 as well as to Africa and Asia Pacific
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 with the expansion of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

 between the 15th and 19th centuries, where it became the most important language for government and trade.

In 1999, there were according to Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

 358 million people speaking Spanish as a native language and a total of 417 million speakers worldwide. Currently these figures are up to 400 and 500 million people respectively. Spanish is the second most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 contains the largest population of Spanish speakers
Hispanophone
Hispanophone or Hispanosphere denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.Hispanophones are estimated at...

. Spanish is one of the six official languages
Official languages of the United Nations
The official languages of the United Nations are the six languages that are used in UN meetings, and in which all official UN documents are written...

 of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, and is used as an official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and Mercosur
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

.

Due to its increasing presence in the demographics and popular culture of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, particularly in the fast-growing states of the Sun Belt
Sun Belt
The Sun Belt or Spanish Belt is a region of the United States generally considered to stretch across the South and Southwest . Another rough boundary of the region is the area south of the 36th parallel, north latitude. It is the largest region which the U.S government does not recognize officially...

, Spanish is widely considered to be the most beneficial second language for a native speaker of American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

. The increasing political stability and economies of many larger Hispanophone nations, the language's immense geographic extent in Latin America and Europe for tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, and the growing popularity of warmer, more affordable, and culturally vibrant retirement
Retirement
Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to...

 destinations found in the Hispanic world have contributed significantly to the growth of learning Spanish as a foreign language across the globe.

History




Spanish emerged from its ancestral Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin
Vulgar Latin is any of the nonstandard forms of Latin from which the Romance languages developed. Because of its nonstandard nature, it had no official orthography. All written works used Classical Latin, with very few exceptions...

 (common Latin) dialects in the 9th century. Latin had been brought to Iberia
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 by the Romans during the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War, also referred to as The Hannibalic War and The War Against Hannibal, lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved combatants in the western and eastern Mediterranean. This was the second major war between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of the Berbers on...

 around 210 BC, absorbing influences from the native Iberian languages such as Celtiberian
Celtiberian language
Celtiberian is an extinct Indo-European language of the Celtic branch spoken by the Celtiberians in an area of the Iberian Peninsula lyingbetween the headwaters of the Duero, Tajo, Júcar and Turia rivers and the Ebro river...

, Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

 and other paleohispanic languages
Paleohispanic languages
The Paleohispanic languages were the languages of the pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula, excluding languages of foreign colonies, such as Greek in Emporion and Phoenician in Qart Hadast...

. Later, it gained other external influences, most notably from the Arabic of the later Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 period.

Local versions of Vulgar Latin evolved into Spanish in the central-north of Iberia, in an area defined by the then remote crossroad strips of Alava
Álava
Álava is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Álava. Its capital city is Vitoria-Gasteiz which is also the capital of the autonomous community...

, Cantabria
Cantabria
Cantabria is a Spanish historical region and autonomous community with Santander as its capital city. It is bordered on the east by the Basque Autonomous Community , on the south by Castile and León , on the west by the Principality of Asturias, and on the north by the Cantabrian Sea.Cantabria...

, Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

, Soria
Soria
Soria is a city in north-central Spain, the capital of the province of Soria in the autonomous community of Castile and León. , the municipality has a population of c. 39,500 inhabitants, nearly 40% of the population of the province...

 and La Rioja, within the Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of Castile was one of the medieval kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged as a political autonomous entity in the 9th century. It was called County of Castile and was held in vassalage from the Kingdom of León. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region...

 (see Glosas Emilianenses
Glosas Emilianenses
The Glosas Emilianenses are glosses written in a Latin codex. These marginalia are important as early examples of writing in Basque and a form of Spanish...

). In this formative stage, Spanish (Castilian) developed a strongly differing variant from its close cousin, Leonese
Leonese language
The Leonese language is the endonym term used to refer to all vernacular Romance dialects of the Astur-Leonese linguistic group in the Spanish provinces of León and Zamora; Astur-Leonese also includes the dialects...

, and was distinguished by a heavy Basque influence (see Iberian Romance languages
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

). This distinctive dialect progressively spread south with the advance of the , and so gathered a sizable lexical influence from Al-Andalus Arabic, especially in the later Medieval period.

In the fifteenth century, in a process similar to that affecting other Romance languages, Spanish underwent a dramatic change with the Readjustment of the Consonants . Typical features of Spanish diachronic phonology
Phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

 include lenition
Lenition
In linguistics, lenition is a kind of sound change that alters consonants, making them "weaker" in some way. The word lenition itself means "softening" or "weakening" . Lenition can happen both synchronically and diachronically...

 (Latin , Spanish ), palatalisation (Latin , Spanish , and Latin , Spanish ) and diphthongisation (stem-changing) of stressed short e and o from Vulgar Latin (Latin , Spanish ; Latin , Spanish ).

The , written in Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

 in 1492 by Elio Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Nebrija
Antonio de Lebrija , also known as Antonio de Nebrija, Elio Antonio de Lebrija, Antonius Nebrissensis, and Antonio of Lebrixa, was a Spanish scholar, known for writing a grammar of the Castilian language, credited as one of the first published grammars of a Romance language...

, was the first grammar written for a modern European language. According to a popular anecdote, when Nebrija presented it to Queen Isabella I
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

, she asked him what was the use of such a work, and he answered that language is the instrument of empire.

In his introduction to the grammar, dated August 18, 1492, Nebrija wrote that "... language was always the companion of empire."

From the 16th century onwards, the language was taken to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 and the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

 via Spanish colonization
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is such a well-known reference in the world that Spanish is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").

In the 20th century, Spanish was introduced to Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 and the Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

, and to areas of the United States that had not been part of the Spanish Empire, such as Spanish Harlem
Spanish Harlem
East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem and El Barrio, is a section of Harlem in the northeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. East Harlem is one of the largest predominantly Latino communities in New York City. It includes the area formerly known as Italian Harlem, in which...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. For details on borrowed words and other external influences upon Spanish, see Influences on the Spanish language
Influences on the Spanish language
The Spanish language has a long history of borrowing words, expressions and subtler features of other languages it has come in contact with.Spanish developed from Vulgar Latin, with influence from Celtiberian , Basque and Arabic, and Visigothic in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.-Formative...

.

Geographic distribution


Spanish is recognised as one of the official languages of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, the Organization of American States
Organization of American States
The Organization of American States is a regional international organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States...

, the Organization of Ibero-American States
Organization of Ibero-American States
The Organization of Ibero-American States is an intergovernmental organization, comprising the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking nations of America and Europe, plus Equatorial Guinea in Africa....

, the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

, the Union of South American Nations, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
Antarctic Treaty Secretariat
The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat is an organization created in 2003 by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting for the management of several ATCM tasks such as the support of the annual meeting of signatory countries of the Antarctic Treaty, and the publication of the ATCM annual report.The...

, the Latin Union
Latin Union
The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...

, the Caricom and the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

.
Country Population Spanish as a native language speakers Bilingual and as a second language speakers (in countries where Spanish is official) or as a foreign language (where it is not official) Spanish speakers as percentage of population Total number of Spanish speakers
 Mexico 112,336,538 98.5%
 United States 307,006,550 35,468,501 14,531,499 % 50,000,000
 Spain 47,150,819 98.8%
 Colombia 46,240,000 130,080 99.2%
 Argentina 40,900,496 36,333,605 4,321,488 99.4%
 Venezuela 29,434,660 725,281 98.8%
 Peru 29,797,694 744,942 86.6%
 Chile 17,291,300 17,041,797 85,914 99.3%
 Ecuador 14,306,000 11,907,200 2,126,986 98.1%
 Guatemala 14,361,666 86.4%
 Cuba 11,235,863 11,235,863 99.4%
 Dominican Republic 10,225,000 10,006,500 177,600 99.6%
 Bolivia 10,426,154 87.9%
 Honduras 8,215,313 8,007,563 125,597 99.0%
 El Salvador 6,183,002 6,168,902 99.7%
 Early Modern France 65,821,885 440,106 5,721,380 9.4% 6,161,486
 Nicaragua 5,822,000 5,331,876 315,464 97.0%
 Morocco 31,759,997 20,000 5,480,000 17.32% 5,500,000
 Brazil 190,732,694 460,018 5,000,000 2.86% 5,460,018
 Costa Rica 4,615,646 4,530,228 48,493 99.2%
 Paraguay 6,460,000 3,682,200 446,145 69.5%
 Puerto Rico 3,998,000 98.8%
 United Kingdom 62,041,708 184,867 3,737,633 6.4% 3,922,500
 Uruguay 3,372,000 3,221,800 113,108 98.9%
 Panama 3,508,000 3,006,957 258,991 93.1%
 Philippines 94,013,200 2,930 3,013,843 3.2% 3,016,773
 Germany 81,802,000 178,976 2,527,996 3.3% 2,706,972
 Italy 60,605,053 422,249 1,968,320 3.5% 1,635,976
 Equatorial Guinea 1,170,308 1,683 1,057,446 90.5%
 Canada 33,212,696 909,000 92,853 3% 1,001,853
 Portugal 10,636,888 9,570 727,282 6.9% 737,026
 Netherlands 16,665,900 59,578 622,516 4.1% 682,094
 Belgium 10,918,405 85,990 515,939 5.5% 601,929
 Kingdom of Romania 22,246,862 544,531 2.4% 544,531
 Sweden 9,045,389 101,472 442,601 6% 544,073
 Australia 21,007,310 106,517 374,571 2.3% 481,088
 Poland 38,500,696 316,104 0.8% 316,104
 Austria 8,205,533 267,177 3.3% 267,177
 Côte d'Ivoire 20,179,602 235,806 1.2% 235,806
 Algeria 33,769,669 223,000 0.7% 223,379
 Denmark 5,484,723 219,003 4% 219,003
 Israel 7,112,359 130,000 45,231 2.5% 175,231
 Japan 127,288,419 78,952 60,000 0.1% 138,952
 Switzerland 7,581,520 123,000 14,420 1.7% 137,420
 Kingdom of Bulgaria 7,262,675 133,910 1.8% 133,910
 Belize 301,270 106,795 21,848 42.7% 128,643
 Netherlands Antilles 223,652 10,699 114,835 56.1% 125,534
 Republic of Ireland 4,156,119 123,591 3% 123,591
 Senegal 12,853,259 101,455 0.8% 101,455
 Greece 10,722,816 86,742 0.8% 86,742
 Finland 5,244,749 85,586 1.6% 85,586
 Hungary 9,930,915 85,034 0.9% 85,034
 Aruba 100,018 6,800 68,602 75.3% 75,402
 Independent State of Croatia 4,491,543 73,656 1.6% 73,656
 Andorra 84,484 29,907 25,356 68.7% 58,040
 Slovakia 5,455,407 43,164 0.8% 43,164
 Norway 4,644,457 12,573 23,677 0.8% 36,250
 Russia 140,702,094 3,320 20,000 0.01% 23,320
 New Zealand 4,173,460 21,645 0.5% 21,645
 Guam 154,805 19,092 12.3% 19,092
  US Virgin Islands 108,612 16,788 15.5% 16,788
 Mainland China 1,345,751,000 2,292 12,835 0.001124% 15,127
 Lithuania 3,565,205 13,943 0.4% 13,943
 Gibraltar 27,967 13,857 49.5% 13,857
 Cyprus 792,604 1.4% 11,044
 Turkey 71,892,807 380 8,000 0.01% 8,380
 Jamaica 2,804,322 8,000 0.3% 8,000
 Luxembourg 486,006 3,000 4,344 1.5% 7,344
 Malta 403,532 6,458 1.6% 6,458
 Trinidad and Tobago 1,047,366 4,100 0.4% 4,100
 Western Sahara 513,000 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Other immigrants in the E.U.
Other Spanish students
Total native speakers in the world + bilingual and as a second language where Spanish is official: 6,974,970,386 (Total World Population) 29,242,608 %
Total with Spanish speakers as a foreign language: 78,109,665 %

Hispanosphere



It is estimated that the combined total number of Spanish speakers is between 470 and 500 million, making it the second most widely spoken language in terms of native speakers. Spanish is the third most spoken language by total number of speakers (after Mandarin
Mandarin
-Officials:* Mandarin , a bureaucrat of Imperial China , Vietnam, and by analogy, any senior government bureaucrat-Language:...

 and English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

). Global internet usage
Global internet usage
Global Internet usage provides information on the number of people who use the Internet by language, nationality, geography, etc.-Languages used on the Internet:Most web pages on the Internet are in English....

 statistics for 2007 show Spanish as the third most commonly used language on the Internet, after English and Mandarin.

Europe



In Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Spanish is an official language of Spain, the country after which it is named and from which it originated. It is widely spoken in Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

, although English is the official language. It is also commonly spoken in Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

, although Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 is the official language.

Spanish is spoken in 20 different countries worldwide. It is also spoken by small communities in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Spanish is an official language of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. In Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Spanish is the native language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

 of 1.7% of the population, representing the largest minority after the 4 official languages of the country.

Spanish is the fourth most widely studied second language in Western Europe after English, French, and German. In countries where those languages are natively spoken (chiefly the United Kingdom, France, and Germany), Spanish is often the third most popular foreign language. Neighboring Portugal and France have considerable minorities of their population with a high degree of competency in Spanish.

Spain


In Spain and in some parts of the Spanish speaking world, but not all, Spanish is called (Castilian) as well as (Spanish), that is, the language of the Castile
Castile (historical region)
A former kingdom, Castile gradually merged with its neighbours to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain when united with the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre...

 region, contrasting it with other languages spoken in Spain
Languages of Spain
The languages of Spain are the languages spoken or once spoken in Spain. Romance languages are the most widely spoken in Spain, of which Spanish is the country's official language...

 such as Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, Basque
Basque language
Basque is the ancestral language of the Basque people, who inhabit the Basque Country, a region spanning an area in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. It is spoken by 25.7% of Basques in all territories...

, and Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

. In this manner, the Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978
-Structure of the State:The Constitution recognizes the existence of nationalities and regions . Preliminary Title As a result, Spain is now composed entirely of 17 Autonomous Communities and two autonomous cities with varying degrees of autonomy, to the extent that, even though the Constitution...

 uses the term to define the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of the whole Spanish State, as opposed to (lit. the rest of the Spanish languages). Article III reads as follows:
The Spanish Royal Academy uses the term español (rather than "castellano") in its publications, due to the fact that "the term derives from the Provenzal word espaignol, which in turn derives from the Medieval Latin word Hispaniolus, which means 'from—or pertaining to—Hispania'". The Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas (a linguistic guide published by the Spanish Royal Academy) states that, although the Spanish Royal Academy prefers to use the term español in its publications when referring to the Spanish language, both terms (español and castellano) are regarded as synonymous and equally valid.

Currently, the name castellano, which refers directly to the historical context in which it was introduced in the Americas, is preferred in Spain due to the existence of regions where other official languages are spoken (Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Basque Country
Basque Country (autonomous community)
The Basque Country is an autonomous community of northern Spain. It includes the Basque provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, also called Historical Territories....

, Valencia
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

 and Galicia) as well as in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, instead of , which is more commonly used to refer to the language as a whole when relating to a global context.

Latin America



Most Spanish speakers are in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

; of all countries with a majority of Spanish speakers, only Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 are outside the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 has the most native speakers of any country. Nationally, Spanish is the official language—either de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 or de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

—of Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 (co-official with Quechua and Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

), Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 (co-official with Guaraní
Guaraní language
Guaraní, specifically the primary variety known as Paraguayan Guaraní , is an indigenous language of South America that belongs to the Tupí–Guaraní subfamily of the Tupian languages. It is one of the official languages of Paraguay , where it is spoken by the majority of the population, and half of...

), Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 (co-official with Quechua and, in some regions, Aymara
Aymara language
Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara people of the Andes. It is one of only a handful of Native American languages with over three million speakers. Aymara, along with Quechua and Spanish, is an official language of Peru and Bolivia...

), Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Spanish is also the official language (co-official with English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

) in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

.

Spanish has no official recognition in the former British colony
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

 of Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

; however, per the 2000 census, it is spoken by 43% of the population. Mainly, it is spoken by the descendants of Hispanics who have been in the region since the 17th century; however, English is the official language.

Spain colonized Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 first in 1498, introducing the Spanish language to the Carib people. Also the Cocoa Panyol
Cocoa Panyol
The Cocoa Panyols are an ethnic group in Trinidad & Tobago. The name comes from the patois word for Spanish, espagnol, or even Spanish word Español and reflects the historical association between the group and the cultivation of cacao in Trinidad .This community in Trinidad originated in the late...

s, laborers from Venezuela, took their culture and language with them; they are accredited with the music of "Parang
Parang
Parang is a popular folk music originating out of Trinidad and Tobago, it was brought to Trinidad by Venezuelan migrants who were primarily of Amerindian and African heritage, something which is strongly reflected in the music itself. The word is derived from two Spanish words:'Parranda', meaning...

" ("Parranda
Parranda
Parranda or Parranda de aguinaldo is a musical form from the coastal area of the states Aragua and Carabobo in Venezuela where the tambora becomes present as the main accompanying instrument in an Afro-Venezuelan influence...

") on the island. Because of Trinidad's location on the South American coast, the country is greatly influenced by its Spanish-speaking neighbors. A recent census shows that more than 1 500 inhabitants speak Spanish. In 2004, the government launched the Spanish as a First Foreign Language (SAFFL) initiative in March 2005. Government regulations require Spanish to be taught, beginning in primary school, while thirty percent of public employees are to be linguistically competent within five years.

Spanish is important in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 because of its proximity to and increased trade with its Spanish-speaking neighbors, and because of its membership in the Mercosur
Mercosur
Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

 trading bloc and the Union of South American Nations. In 2005, the National Congress of Brazil
National Congress of Brazil
The National Congress of Brazil is the legislative body of Brazil's federal government.Unlike regional legislative bodies – Legislative Assemblies and City Councils -, the Congress is bicameral, composed of the Federal Senate and the Chamber of Deputies .The Senate represents the 26 states and...

 approved a bill, signed into law by the President
President of Brazil
The president of Brazil is both the head of state and head of government of the Federative Republic of Brazil. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces...

, making Spanish language teaching mandatory in both public and private secondary schools in Brazil. In many border towns and villages (especially in the Uruguayan-Brazilian and Paraguayan-Brazilian border areas), a mixed language
Mixed language
A mixed language is a language that arises through the fusion of two source languages, normally in situations of thorough bilingualism, so that it is not possible to classify the resulting language as belonging to either of the language families that were its source...

 known as Portuñol is spoken.

United States



According to 2006 census data, 44.3 million people of the U.S. population were Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 or Latino
Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 by origin; 34 million people, 12.2 percent, of the population more than five years old speak Spanish at home. Spanish has a long history in the United States because many south-western states were part of Mexico, and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 was also part of Spain, and it recently has been revitalized by Hispanic immigrants. Spanish is the most widely taught language in the country after English. Although the United States has no formally designated "official languages," Spanish is formally recognized at the state level in various states in addition to English; in the U.S. state of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 for instance, 40% of the population speaks the language. It also has strong influence in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Miami, San Antonio, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Tampa
Tâmpa
Tâmpa may refer to several villages in Romania:* Tâmpa, a village in Băcia Commune, Hunedoara County* Tâmpa, a village in Miercurea Nirajului, Mureş County* Tâmpa, a mountain in Braşov city...

, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and in the last decade, the language has rapidly expanded in Atlanta, Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Charlotte
CHARLOTTE
- CHARLOTTE :CHARLOTTE is an American blues-based hard rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1986. Currently, they are signed to indie label, Eonian Records, under which they released their debut cd, Medusa Groove, in 2010. Notable Charlotte songs include 'Siren', 'Little Devils',...

, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

, Philadelphia, Richmond
Richmond-Petersburg
The Greater Richmond Region is a region located in a central part of the state of Virginia in the United States. As of 2010, it had a population of 1,258,251, making it the 43rd largest MSA in the country...

, Washington, DC, and
Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. Spanish is the dominant spoken language in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, a U.S. territory. With a total of 33,701,181 Spanish speakers, according to US Census Bureau, the U.S. has the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking population. Spanish ranks second, behind English, as the language spoken most widely at home.

Africa


In Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Spanish is official in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 (co-official with French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

), as well as an official language of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

. In Equatorial Guinea, Spanish is the predominant language when native and non-native speakers (around 500,000 people) are counted, while Fang
Fang language
Fang is the dominant Bantu language of Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. It is related to the Bulu and Ewondo languages of southern Cameroon. Fang is spoken in northern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and throughout Equatorial Guinea. Shakira used this language in her song, "Waka Waka .".There are many...

 is the most spoken language by number of native speakers.

Today, in Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

, a former Spanish colony, an unknown number of Sahrawis are able to read and write in Spanish, and several thousands have received university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 education in foreign countries as part of aid packages (mainly in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

). Sahrawi Press Service, the official news service of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is a partially recognised state that claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. SADR was proclaimed by the Polisario Front on February 27, 1976, in Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara. The SADR government controls about...

 of Western Sahara
Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

, has been available in Spanish since 2001, the official site of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic is in Spanish and RASD TV, the official television channel of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, broadcasts in Spanish. The Sahara Film Festival
Sahara Film Festival
The International Sahara Film Festival was first held in 2004. It is now an annual event which takes place in the Sahrawi refugee camps in the South West Corner of Algeria, near the border with Western Sahara. The Festival is backed by the Polisario Front...

, Western Sahara's only film festival, mainly shows Spanish-language films. Spanish is used to document Sahrawi poetry and oral traditions and has also be used in Sahrawi literature. Despite Spanish having been used by the Sahrawi people for over a century due to Western Sahara's history as a former Spanish colony, the Cervantes Institute has denied support and Spanish-language education to Sahrawis in Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria. A group of Sahrawi poets known as 'Generación de la Amistad saharaui' produce Sahrawi literature in Spanish.

Spanish is also spoken in the Spanish cities in continental North Africa
Plazas de soberanía
The plazas de soberanía or sovereign territories, referred to in English as Spanish North Africa or simply Spanish Africa, are the current Spanish territories in continental North Africa bordering Morocco, except the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.After the Reconquista, forces of the...

 (Ceuta
Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish...

 and Melilla
Melilla
Melilla is a autonomous city of Spain and an exclave on the north coast of Morocco. Melilla, along with the Spanish exclave Ceuta, is one of the two Spanish territories located in mainland Africa...

) and in the autonomous community of Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 (143,000 and 1,995,833 people, respectively). Within Northern Morocco, a former Franco-Spanish protectorate that is also geographically close to Spain, approximately 20,000 people speak Spanish as a second language. It is spoken by some communities of Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

, because of the Cuban influence from the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, in South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

 among South Sudanese natives that relocated to Cuba during the Sudanese wars and returned in time for their country's independence, and in Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 by the descendants of Afro-Cuban
Afro-Cuban
The term Afro-Cuban refers to Cubans of Sub Saharan African ancestry, and to historical or cultural elements in Cuba thought to emanate from this community...

 ex-slaves.

Asia



Spanish was used by the colonial governments and the educated classes in the former Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

, namely the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 and the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines...

. From 1565 to 1973 it was an official language of the Philippines. Up to 1899 it was the language of government, trade and education, and spoken as a first language by Spaniards and educated Filipinos. In the mid 19th century the colonial government set up a free public school system with Spanish as the medium of instruction. This increased the use of Spanish throughout the islands and led to a class of Spanish-speaking intellectuals called the Ilustrados. Although Spanish never became the language of a majority of the population, Philippine literature and press primarily used Spanish up to the 1940s. It continued as an official language until the change of Constitution in 1973. Following the U.S. occupation and administration of the islands in 1899, the American government increasingly imposed English, especially after the 1920s. The US authorities conducted a campaign of introducing English as the medium of instruction in schools, universities and public spaces, and prohibited the use of Spanish in media and educational institutions.

After the country became independent in 1946, Spanish remained an official language along with English and Tagalog-based Filipino. However, the language lost its official status in 1973 during the regime of Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

. In 2007 the Arroyo administration announced that it would pass legislation to reintroduce Spanish in the Philippine education system. In 2010 a Memorandum was signed between Spanish and Philippine authorities to cooperate in implementing this decree. Today, Radio Manila broadcasts daily in Spanish. Worthy of mention is the Chabacano language spoken by 600,000 people both in the Philippines and Sabah. Chabacano, a Spanish-Philippine pidgin, sounds strange to Spanish speakers but is mutually intelligible.

The local languages of the Philippines retain much Spanish influence, with many words being derived from Spanish from Spain and Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish is a version of the Spanish language, as spoken in Mexico and in various places of Canada and the United States of America, where there are communities of Mexican origin....

, due to the control of the islands by Spain through Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 until 1821, and directly from Madrid until 1898.

Oceania


Among the countries and territories in Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, Spanish is also spoken in Easter Island
Easter Island
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle. A special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888, Easter Island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people...

, a territorial possession of Chile. The U.S. Territories of Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

 and Northern Marianas, and the independent states of Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

, Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
The Republic of the Marshall Islands , , is a Micronesian nation of atolls and islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the International Date Line and just north of the Equator. As of July 2011 the population was 67,182...

 and the Federated States of Micronesia
Federated States of Micronesia
The Federated States of Micronesia or FSM is an independent, sovereign island nation, made up of four states from west to east: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It comprises approximately 607 islands with c...

 all once had majority Spanish speakers, since the Marianas and the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
The Caroline Islands are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the eastern part of the group, and Palau at the extreme western end...

 were Spanish colonial possessions until the late 19th century (see Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

), but Spanish is no longer used by the masses but there are still native and second-language speakers. It also exists as an influence on the local native languages and is spoken by Hispanic American resident populations.

Antarctica


The Antarctic Treaty regulates international relations with respect to Antarctica. Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, both Spanish speaking countries, claim territories according to this treaty. The Argentine Antarctica
Argentine Antarctica
Argentine Antarctica is a sector of Antarctica claimed by Argentina as part of its national territory. The Argentine Antarctic region, consisting of the Antarctic Peninsula and a triangular section extending to the South Pole, is delimited by the 25° West and 74° West meridians and the 60° South...

 sector had a winter population of 169 in 1999, and in the Chilean Antarctic Territory, according to the national census of 2002, the population was 130 (115 male, 15 female).

Royal Spanish Academy


The (Royal Spanish Academy), founded in 1713, together with the 21 other national ones (see Association of Spanish Language Academies
Association of Spanish Language Academies
The Association of Spanish Language Academies is the entity which regulates the Spanish language. It was created in Mexico in 1951 and represents the union of all the separate academies in the Spanish-speaking world....

), exercises a standardizing influence through its publication of dictionaries and widely respected grammar and style guides.
Because of influence and for other sociohistorical reasons, a standardized form of the language (Standard Spanish
Standard Spanish
Standard Spanish or neutral Spanish is a linguistic variety, or lect, that is considered a correct educated standard for the Spanish language. Standard Spanish is not merely Spanish adjusted to fit in prescriptive molds dictated by a linguistic overseeing authority, but also a form of language that...

) is widely acknowledged for use in literature, academic contexts and the media.

Accent variation



There are important variations spoken among the regions of Spain and throughout Spanish-speaking America. One major phonological difference between Spanish from Spain, broadly speaking, the accents spoken in most of Spain, and the accent of much of southern Spain, the Canary Islands and all the Latin American accents of Spanish, is the absence of a voiceless dental fricative
Voiceless dental fricative
The voiceless dental non-sibilant fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. It is familiar to English speakers as the 'th' in thing. Though rather rare as a phoneme in the world's inventory of languages, it is encountered in some of the most widespread and influential...

 (/θ/ as in English thing) in the latter. In Spain, the Madrid accent is commonly regarded as the standard variety used on radio and television, although attitudes towards southern accents have changed significantly in the last 50 years.
In addition to variations in pronunciation, minor lexical and grammatical differences exist. For example, is the use of slightly different pronouns and differs from the standard.

The variety with the most speakers is Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish is a version of the Spanish language, as spoken in Mexico and in various places of Canada and the United States of America, where there are communities of Mexican origin....

. It is spoken by more than the twenty percent of the Spanish speakers (107 million of the total 494 million, according to the table above). One of its main features is the reduction
Vowel reduction
In phonetics, vowel reduction is any of various changes in the acoustic quality of vowels, which are related to changes in stress, sonority, duration, loudness, articulation, or position in the word , and which are perceived as "weakening"...

 or loss of the unstressed vowel
Unstressed vowel
In English, vowel reduction is the centralization and weakening of an unstressed vowel, such as the characteristic change of many vowels at the ends of words to schwa. Stressed vowels are never reduced in English.-Reduced vowels :...

s, mainly when they are in contact with the sound /s/.

Voseo


Spanish has three second-person
Grammatical person
Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event; such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns...

 singular
Grammatical number
In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

 pronoun
Pronoun
In linguistics and grammar, a pronoun is a pro-form that substitutes for a noun , such as, in English, the words it and he...

s: , , and . The use of the pronoun and/or its verb forms is called .

Grammar


is the subject
Subject (grammar)
The subject is one of the two main constituents of a clause, according to a tradition that can be tracked back to Aristotle and that is associated with phrase structure grammars; the other constituent is the predicate. According to another tradition, i.e...

 form [you say] and object of a preposition (a vos digo) [to you I say], while "os" is the direct object
Object (grammar)
An object in grammar is part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It denotes somebody or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. Basically, it is what or whom the verb is acting upon...

 form [I saw you] and indirect object without express preposition [I say to you].

Since vos is historically the 2nd-person
Grammatical person
Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event; such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns...

 plural, verbs are conjugated as such despite the fact the word now refers to a single person:

.

The possessive form is : . Adjectives, when used in conjunction with vos, do not agree with the pronoun but instead with the real referents in gender and number: .

Two main types of may be distinguished: reverential and American dialectal. In archaic solemn usage, expressed special reverence and could be used to address both the second person singular and the second person plural. In contrast, the more commonly known American form of is always used to address only one speaker and implies closeness and familiarity. Unlike the first type, the second one need not involve vos and may instead be expressed simply in the use of the plural form of the verb (even in combination with the pronoun tú).

The pronominal employs the use of as a pronoun to replace and , which are second-person
Grammatical person
Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event; such as the speaker, the addressee, or others. Grammatical person typically defines a language's set of personal pronouns...

 singular
Grammatical number
In linguistics, grammatical number is a grammatical category of nouns, pronouns, and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions ....

 informal.
  • As a subject employs: instead of
  • As a vocative: instead of
  • As a term of preposition: instead of
  • And as a term of comparison: instead of


However, for the (that which uses the pronominal verbs and its complements without preposition) and for the possessive, they employ the forms of , respectively: In other words, in the previous examples the authors conjugate the pronoun subject with the pronominal verbs and its complements of .

The verbal consists of the use of the second person plural, more or less modified, for the conjugated forms of the second person singular: . The verbal paradigm of is characterized by its complexity. On the one hand, it affects, to a distinct extent, each verbal tense. On the other hand, it varies in functions of geographic and social factors and not all the forms are accepted in cultured norms.

Extension in Latin America



is used extensively as the primary spoken form of the second-person singular pronoun, although with wide differences in social consideration. Generally, it can be said that there are zones of exclusive use of in the following areas: almost all of Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the West Indies, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, most of Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, Coastal Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 and the Andean coast of Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

.

They alternate as a cultured form and as a popular or rural form in: Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, north and south of Peru, Andean Ecuador, small zones of the Venezuelan Andes and most notably in the state of Zulia, a great part of Colombia, and the oriental border of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

.

exists as an intermediate formality of treatment and as a familiar treatment in: Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, the Venezuelan Zulia State, the Pacific coast of Colombia, Azuero Peninsula in Panama and the Mexican state of Chiapas
Chiapas
Chiapas officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Chiapas is one of the 31 states that, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 118 municipalities and its capital city is Tuxtla Gutierrez. Other important cites in Chiapas include San Cristóbal de las...

.

Areas of generalized include Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, East of Bolivia, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 and the Colombian region of Valle and Antioquia.

Ustedes


Spanish forms also differ regarding second-person plural pronouns. "Usted" (Ud.) was initially the written abbreviation of "vuestra merced" (your grace). The dialects of Latin America have only one form of the second-person plural for daily use, (formal or familiar, as the case may be, though non-formal usage can sometimes appear in poetry and rhetorical or literary style). In Spain there are two forms — (formal) and (familiar). The pronoun is the plural form of in most of Spain, but in the Americas (and in certain southern Spanish areas such as Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, Cádiz
Cádiz
Cadiz is a city and port in southwestern Spain. It is the capital of the homonymous province, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia....

 and in the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

) it is replaced with . It is notable that the use of for the informal plural "you" in southern Spain does not follow the usual rule for pronoun–verb agreement
Agreement (linguistics)
In languages, agreement or concord is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. Agreement happens when a word changes form depending on the other words to which it relates....

; e.g., while the formal form for "you go", , uses the third-person plural form of the verb, in Seville, Cádiz and other parts of Western Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

 the informal form is constructed as , using the second-person plural of the verb. In the Canary Islands, though, the usual pronoun–verb agreement is preserved in most cases. The 'ustedeo' is mainly used in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...


In Honduras especially in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, "usted" is used as a formal pronoun between couples. It is used to portray respect between the romantic couple, while between colleagues and friends "vos" is used. "Usted" is also used to portray respect between someone who is a generation older or is of higher authority.

Vocabulary


Some words can be different, even significantly so, in different Hispanophone countries. Most Spanish speakers can recognize other Spanish forms, even in places where they are not commonly used, but Spaniards generally do not recognize specifically American usages. For example, Spanish mantequilla, aguacate and albaricoque (respectively, 'butter', 'avocado', 'apricot') correspond to manteca, palta, and damasco, respectively, in Argentina, Chile (except manteca), Paraguay, Peru (except manteca and damasco), and Uruguay. The everyday Spanish words coger ('to take'), pisar ('to step on') and concha ('seashell') are considered extremely rude in parts of Latin America, where the meaning of coger and pisar is also "to have sex" and concha means "vulva". The Puerto Rican word for "bobby pin" (pinche) is an obscenity in Mexico, but in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 it simply means "stingy", and in Spain refers to a chef
Chef
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

's helper. Other examples include taco
Taco
A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety...

, which means "swearword" (among other meanings) in Spain and "traffic jam" in Chile, but is known to the rest of the world as a Mexican dish. Pija in many countries of Latin America and Spain itself is an obscene slang word for "penis", while in Spain the word also signifies "posh girl" or "snobby". Coche, which means "car" in Spain, central Mexico and Argentina, for the vast majority of Spanish-speakers actually means "baby-stroller" or "pushchair", while carro means "car" in some Latin American countries and "cart" in others, as well as in Spain. Papaya
Papaya
The papaya , papaw, or pawpaw is the fruit of the plant Carica papaya, the sole species in the genus Carica of the plant family Caricaceae...

 is the slang term for "vagina" in the parts of Cuba and Venezuela, where the fruit is instead called fruta bomba and lechosa, respectively.

Association of Spanish Language Academies



The Association of Spanish Language Academies
Association of Spanish Language Academies
The Association of Spanish Language Academies is the entity which regulates the Spanish language. It was created in Mexico in 1951 and represents the union of all the separate academies in the Spanish-speaking world....

  is the entity which regulates the Spanish language.
It comprises the academies of 22 countries, ordered by date of Academy foundation: Spain
Real Academia Española
The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

 (1713),
Colombia
Academia Colombiana de la Lengua
The Academia Colombiana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Colombia...

 (1871),
Ecuador
Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua
The Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Ecuador....

 (1874),
Mexico
Academia Mexicana de la Lengua
The Academia Mexicana de la Lengua is the correspondent academy in Mexico of the Royal Spanish Academy...

 (1875),
El Salvador
Academia Salvadoreña de la Lengua
The Academia Salvadoreña de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in El Salvador....

 (1876),
Venezuela
Academia Venezolana de la Lengua
The Academia Venezolana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on Venezuelan Spanish, the variant of the Spanish language in Venezuela. It was founded in Caracas on July 26, 1883. It is a member of the Association of Spanish Language Academies....

 (1883),
Chile
Academia Chilena de la Lengua
The Academia Chilena de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Chile. It is a member of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española....

 (1885),
Peru
Academia Peruana de la Lengua
The Academia Peruana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Peru....

 (1887),
Guatemala
Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua
The Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Guatemala.It was founded on June 30, 1887...

 (1887),
Costa Rica
Academia Costarricense de la Lengua
The Academia Costarricense de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Costa Rica....

 (1923),
Philippines (1924),
Panama
Academia Panameña de la Lengua
The Academia Panameña de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Panama.It was founded in Panama City on August 9, 1926....

 (1926),
Cuba
Academia Cubana de la Lengua
The Academia Cubana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Cuba....

 (1926),
Paraguay
Academia Paraguaya de la Lengua Española
The Academia Paraguaya de la Lengua Española is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Paraguay....

 (1927),
Dominican Republic
Academia Dominicana de la Lengua
The Academia Dominicana de la Lengua is the Dominican Republic's correspondent academy of the Royal Spanish Academy...

 (1927),
Bolivia
Academia Boliviana de la Lengua
The Academia Boliviana de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Bolivia....

 (1927),
Nicaragua
Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua
The Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Nicaragua....

 (1928),
Argentina (1931),
Uruguay
Academia Nacional de Letras, del Uruguay
The Academia Nacional de Letras del Uruguay is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Uruguay.It was founded in Montevideo on February 10, 1943...

 (1943),
Honduras
Academia Hondureña de la Lengua
The Academia Hondureña de la Lengua is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Honduras....

 (1949),
Puerto Rico
Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española
The Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española is an association of academics and experts on the use of the Spanish language in Puerto Rico....

 (1955), and
United States
Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española
The North American Academy of the Spanish Language is an institution made up of prominent Hispanicists, including writers, poets, professors, educators and experts in the language itself, whose mission it is to support and promote the study and correct usage of Spanish in the United States,...

 (1973).

Classification and related languages


Spanish is closely related to the other Iberian
Iberian languages
Iberian languages is a generic term for the languages currently or formerly spoken in the Iberian Peninsula.- Pre-Roman languages :The following languages were spoken in the Iberian Peninsula before the Roman occupation and the spread of the Latin language.* Aquitanian * Proto-Basque* Tartessian*...

 Romance languages: Asturian
Asturian language
Asturian is a Romance language of the West Iberian group, Astur-Leonese Subgroup, spoken in the Spanish Region of Asturias by the Asturian people...

, Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

, Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

, Ladino, Leonese
Leonese language
The Leonese language is the endonym term used to refer to all vernacular Romance dialects of the Astur-Leonese linguistic group in the Spanish provinces of León and Zamora; Astur-Leonese also includes the dialects...

 and Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

. Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

, an Iberian language
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

 is more similar to Occitan to the north than to Spanish or Portuguese to the west.
It should be noted that although Portuguese and Spanish are very closely related, particularly in vocabulary (89% lexically similar according to the Ethnologue of Languages), syntax and grammar, there are also some differences
Differences between Spanish and Portuguese
Although Portuguese and Spanish are closely related, to the point of having a considerable degree of mutual intelligibility, there are also important differences between them, which can pose difficulties for people acquainted with one of the languages who attempt to learn the other...

 that don't exist between Catalan and Portuguese. While Spanish and Portuguese are widely considered to be mutually intelligible, it has been noted that while most Portuguese speakers can understand spoken Spanish with little difficulty, Spanish speakers face more difficulty in understanding spoken Portuguese. The written forms are considered to be equally intelligible, however.

Judaeo-Spanish


Judaeo-Spanish (also known as Ladino), which is essentially medieval Spanish and closer to modern Spanish than any other language, is spoken by many descendants of the Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century
Alhambra decree
The Alhambra Decree was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year.The edict was formally revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second...

. Therefore, its relationship to Spanish is comparable with that of the Yiddish language
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

 to German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

. Ladino speakers are currently almost exclusively Sephardi Jews, with family roots in Turkey, Greece or the Balkans; current speakers mostly live in Israel and Turkey, and the United States, with a few pockets in Latin America. It lacks the Native American vocabulary which was influential during the Spanish colonial period
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

, and it retains many archaic features which have since been lost in standard Spanish. It contains, however, other vocabulary which is not found in standard Spanish, including vocabulary from Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

, French, Greek and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, and other languages spoken where the Sephardim settled.

Judaeo-Spanish is in serious danger of extinction because many native speakers today are elderly as well as elderly olim (immigrants to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

) who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. However, it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardi communities, especially in music. In the case of the Latin American communities, the danger of extinction is also due to the risk of assimilation by modern Castilian.

A related dialect is Haketia
Haketia
Haketia is an endangered Jewish-Moroccan Romance language, also known as Djudeo Spañol or Ladino Occidental , that was spoken and spread throughout the North of Morocco such as in Tetuan, Tangiers and the Spanish towns of Ceuta and Melilla, in the latter of which it has achieved partial...

, the Judaeo-Spanish of northern Morocco. This too tended to assimilate with modern Spanish, during the Spanish occupation of the region.

Vocabulary comparison


Spanish and Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 share a similar phonological system. At present, the lexical similarity
Lexical similarity
In linguistics, lexical similarity is a measure of the degree to which the word sets of two given languages are similar. A lexical similarity of 1 would mean a total overlap between vocabularies, whereas 0 means there are no common words....

 with Italian is estimated at 82%. The lexical similarity with Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 is greater at 89%. Mutual intelligibility
Mutual intelligibility
In linguistics, mutual intelligibility is recognized as a relationship between languages or dialects in which speakers of different but related languages can readily understand each other without intentional study or extraordinary effort...

 between Spanish and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 or Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 is lower (lexical similarity being respectively 75% and 71%): comprehension of Spanish by French speakers who have not studied the language is low at an estimated 45% – the same as English. The common features of the writing systems of the Romance languages allow for a greater amount of interlingual reading comprehension than oral communication would.
Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

Spanish Galician
Galician language
Galician is a language of the Western Ibero-Romance branch, spoken in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it is co-official with Castilian Spanish, as well as in border zones of the neighbouring territories of Asturias and Castile and León.Modern Galician and...

Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

Astur-Leonese Aragonese
Aragonese language
Aragonese is a Romance language now spoken in a number of local varieties by between 10,000 and 30,000 people over the valleys of the Aragón River, Sobrarbe and Ribagorza in Aragon, Spain...

Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

(outros)¹
(archaically also )
(altri)² (autres)³ we
(lit. "true brother")
(archaically also )5
brother
(Classical
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

)
(Ecclesiastical
Ecclesiastical Latin
Ecclesiastical Latin is the Latin used by the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in all periods for ecclesiastical purposes...

)
Tuesday
/cançom4 song
or
(archaically also )

(archaically also )

(archaically also )
more

(also )

(archaically also )
left hand
or
(lit. "no thing born")
/
(neca and nula rés in some expressions; archaically also )
/ / nothing



1. also in early modern Portuguese (e.g. The Lusiads)

2. in Southern Italian dialects and languages

3. Alternatively

4. Depending on the written norm used. See Reintegracionismo

5. Medieval Catalan, e.g. Llibre dels feits del rei en Jacme
Llibre dels fets
The Llibre dels fets is a collection of autobiographical chronicles of the reign of James the Conqueror, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona. It is written in Catalan in the first person and describes the life of James. Though written at his dictation and with his editing, the work was not...




Characterisation


A defining feature of Spanish was the diphthong
Diphthong
A diphthong , also known as a gliding vowel, refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: That is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel...

ization of the Latin short vowels e and o into ie and ue, respectively, when they were stressed. Similar sound changes are found in other Romance languages, but in Spanish, they were significant. Some examples:
  • Lat. > Sp. , It. , Fr. , Rom. , Port./Gal. , Ar. , Ast. , Cat. "stone".
  • Lat. > Sp. , It. , Fr. / , Rom. , Port./Gal. , Ar. , Ast. , Cat. "die".


Peculiar to early Spanish (as in the Gascon
Gascon language
Gascon is usually considered as a dialect of Occitan, even though some specialists regularly consider it a separate language. Gascon is mostly spoken in Gascony and Béarn in southwestern France and in the Aran Valley of Spain...

 dialect of Occitan, and possibly due to a Basque substratum
Substratum
In linguistics, a stratum or strate is a language that influences, or is influenced by another through contact. A substratum is a language which has lower power or prestige than another, while a superstratum is the language that has higher power or prestige. Both substratum and superstratum...

) was the mutation of Latin initial f- into h- whenever it was followed by a vowel that did not diphthongize. Compare for instance:
  • Lat. > It. , Port. , Ar. , Gal. , Ast. , Fr. , Cat. , Occitan , Rom. , (but Gascon ) Sp. (but Ladino );
  • Lat. > Lad. , Port./Gal. , Ar. , Ast. , Sp. ;
  • but Lat. > It. , Port./Gal. , Rom. , Ar. , Ast. Cat. , Sp./Lad. .


Some consonant cluster
Consonant cluster
In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. In English, for example, the groups and are consonant clusters in the word splits....

s of Latin also produced characteristically different results in these languages, for example:
  • Lat. , acc. , > Lad. , , ; Sp. , , . However, in Spanish there are also the forms , , ; Port. , , ; Rom. , , ; Gal. , , ; Ast. , , .
  • Lat. acc. , , > Lad. , , ; Sp. , , ; Port. , , ; Gal. , , ; Rom. , , ; Ast. , , .


By the 16th century, the consonant system of Spanish underwent the following important changes that differentiated it from neighbouring Romance languages
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

 such as Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

:
  • Initial /f/, when it had evolved into a vacillating /h/, was lost in most words (although this etymological h- is preserved in spelling and in some Andalusian and Caribbean dialects it is still aspirated in some words).
  • The consonant written ⟨u⟩ or ⟨v⟩ (in Latin, this was [w], at the time of the merger it may have been a bilabial fricative /β/) merged with the consonant written ⟨b⟩ (a voiced bilabial plosive
    Voiced bilabial plosive
    The voiced bilabial plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is b. The voiced bilabial plosive occurs in English, and it is the sound denoted by the...

    , /b/). In contemporary Spanish, there is no difference between the pronunciation of orthographic ⟨b⟩ and ⟨v⟩, excepting emphatic pronunciations that cannot be considered standard or natural.
  • The voiced alveolar fricative
    Voiced alveolar fricative
    The voiced alveolar fricatives are consonantal sounds. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents these sounds depends on whether a sibilant or non-sibilant fricative is being described....

     /z/ which existed as a separate phoneme in medieval Spanish merged with its voiceless counterpart /s/. The phoneme which resulted from this merger is currently spelled s.
  • The voiced postalveolar fricative
    Voiced postalveolar fricative
    The voiced palato-alveolar fricative or voiced domed postalveolar fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is Z. An alternative symbol used in some...

     /ʒ/ merged with its voiceless counterpart /ʃ/, which evolved into the modern velar sound /x/ by the 17th century, now written with j, or g before e, i. Nevertheless, in most parts of Argentina and in Uruguay, y and ll have both evolved to /ʒ/ or /ʃ/.
  • The voiced alveolar affricate
    Voiced alveolar affricate
    The voiced alveolar affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The sound is transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet with ⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩ , and the equivalent X-SAMPA representation is ⟨dz⟩.-Features:...

     /d͡z/ merged with its voiceless counterpart /t͡s/, which then developed into the interdental /θ/, now written z, or c before e, i. But in Andalusia
    Andalusia
    Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

    , the Canary Islands
    Canary Islands
    The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

     and the Americas this sound merged with /s/ as well. See Ceceo
    Ceceo
    In Spanish dialectology, the terms distinción, seseo and ceceo are used to describe the opposition between dialects that distinguish the phonemes and , and those that exhibit merger of the two sounds into either or .Dialects that distinguish the two sounds, and thus pronounce the words casa...

    , for further information.


The consonant system of Mediaeval Spanish has been better preserved in Ladino and in Portuguese, neither of which underwent these shifts

Writing system


Spanish is written in the Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most recognized alphabet used in the world today. It evolved from a western variety of the Greek alphabet called the Cumaean alphabet, which was adopted and modified by the Etruscans who ruled early Rome...

, with the addition of the character ⟨ñ
Ñ
Ñ is a letter of the modern Latin alphabet, formed by an N with a diacritical tilde. It is used in the Spanish alphabet, Galician alphabet, Asturian alphabet, Basque alphabet, Aragonese old alphabet , Filipino alphabet, Chamorro alphabet and the Guarani alphabet, where it represents...

⟩ ' onMouseout='HidePop("29445")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Tilde">tilde
Tilde
The tilde is a grapheme with several uses. The name of the character comes from Portuguese and Spanish, from the Latin titulus meaning "title" or "superscription", though the term "tilde" has evolved and now has a different meaning in linguistics....

) and the digraphs
Digraph (orthography)
A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined...

 ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ . However, the digraph ⟨rr⟩ , which also represents a distinct phoneme /r/, is not similarly regarded as a single letter. Since 1994 ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ have been treated as letter pairs for collation
Collation
Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. One common type of collation is called alphabetization, though collation is not limited to ordering letters of the alphabet...

 purposes, though they remain a part of the alphabet. Words with ⟨ch⟩ are now alphabetically sorted between those with ⟨cg⟩ and ⟨ci⟩, instead of following ⟨cz⟩ as they used to. The situation is similar for ⟨ll⟩.

Thus, the Spanish alphabet has the following 27 letters and 2 digraphs:
a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.
ch, ll.


The letters "k" and "w" are used only in words and names coming from foreign languages (kilo, folklore, whiskey, William, etc.).

With the exclusion of a very small number of regional terms such as México
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 (see Toponymy of Mexico), pronunciation can be entirely determined from spelling. Under the orthographic conventions, a typical Spanish word is stressed on the syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

 before the last if it ends with a vowel (not including ⟨y⟩) or with a vowel followed by ⟨n⟩ or an ⟨s⟩; it is stressed on the last syllable otherwise. Exceptions to this rule are indicated by placing an acute accent
Acute accent
The acute accent is a diacritic used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek scripts.-Apex:An early precursor of the acute accent was the apex, used in Latin inscriptions to mark long vowels.-Greek:...

 on the stressed vowel
Stress (linguistics)
In linguistics, stress is the relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word, or to certain words in a phrase or sentence. The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables. The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.The stress placed...

.

The acute accent is used, in addition, to distinguish between certain homophone
Homophone
A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose and rose , or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. Homophones that are spelled the same are also both homographs and homonyms...

s, especially when one of them is a stressed word and the other one is a clitic
Clitic
In morphology and syntax, a clitic is a morpheme that is grammatically independent, but phonologically dependent on another word or phrase. It is pronounced like an affix, but works at the phrase level...

: compare ('the', masculine singular definite article) with ('he' or 'it'), or ('you', object pronoun), (preposition 'of'), and (reflexive pronoun) with ('tea'), ('give' [formal imperative/third-person present subjunctive]) and ('I know' or imperative
'be').

The interrogative pronouns also receive accents in direct or indirect questions, and some demonstratives can be accented when used as pronouns. The conjunction ('or') is written with an accent between numerals so as not to be confused with a zero: e.g., should be read as rather than ('10,020'). Accent marks are frequently omitted in capital letters (a widespread practice in the days of typewriter
Typewriter
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed per keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the pieces...

s and the early days of computers when only lowercase vowels were available with accents), although the Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española
The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

 advises against this.

When ⟨u⟩ is written between ⟨g⟩ and a front vowel (⟨e i⟩), it indicates a "hard g
Hard and soft G
In the Latin-based orthographies of many European languages , a distinction between hard and soft ⟨g⟩ occurs in which ⟨g⟩ represents two distinct phonemes...

" pronunciation. A diaeresis (⟨ü⟩) indicates that it is not silent as it normally would be (e.g., cigüeña, 'stork', is pronounced [θiˈɣweɲa]; if it were written ⟨cigueña⟩, it would be pronounced [θiˈɣeɲa]).

Interrogative and exclamatory clauses are introduced with inverted question and exclamation marks (⟨¿⟩ and ⟨¡⟩, respectively).

Phonology


The phonemic inventory listed in the following table includes phoneme
Phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

s that are preserved only in some accents, other accents having merged them (such as yeísmo
Yeísmo
Yeísmo is a distinctive feature of many dialects of the Spanish language, which consists of the loss of the traditional palatal lateral approximant phoneme and its merger into the phoneme , usually realized as a palatal fricative or affricate. In other words, ‹ll› and ‹y› represent the same sound...

 or seseo
Ceceo
In Spanish dialectology, the terms distinción, seseo and ceceo are used to describe the opposition between dialects that distinguish the phonemes and , and those that exhibit merger of the two sounds into either or .Dialects that distinguish the two sounds, and thus pronounce the words casa...

); these are marked with an asterisk (*), marginal phonemes are represented in parentheses . Where symbols appear in pairs, the symbol to the right represents a voiced consonant.
caption | Table of consonant phonemes of Spanish
Labial
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Dental Alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m n ɲ
Plosive p b t  d k  ɡ 
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

f θ* s (ʃ)  ʝ  x 
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

tʃ 
Trill
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

r
Tap
Flap consonant
In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator is thrown against another.-Contrast with stops and trills:...

ɾ
Lateral
Lateral consonant
A lateral is an el-like consonant, in which airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth....

l ʎ*

Lexical stress


Spanish is a syllable-timed language, so each syllable has the same duration regardless of stress. Stress most often occurs on any of the last three syllables of a word, with some rare exceptions at the fourth last or earlier syllables. The tendencies of stress assignment are as follows:
  • In words ending in vowels and /s/, stress most often falls on the penultimate syllable.
  • In words ending in all other consonants, the stress more often falls on the last syllable.
  • Preantepenultimate stress (stress on the syllable that comes three before the last in a word) occurs rarely and only in words like guardándoselos ('saving them for him/her/them') where clitic
    Clitic
    In morphology and syntax, a clitic is a morpheme that is grammatically independent, but phonologically dependent on another word or phrase. It is pronounced like an affix, but works at the phrase level...

    s follow certain verbal forms.


In addition to the many exceptions to these tendencies, there are numerous minimal pair
Minimal pair
In phonology, minimal pairs are pairs of words or phrases in a particular language, which differ in only one phonological element, such as a phone, phoneme, toneme or chroneme and have distinct meanings...

s which contrast solely on stress such as sábana ('sheet') and sabana ('savannah'), as well as límite ('boundary'), limite ('[that] he/she limits') and limité ('I limited'), or also "líquido", "liquido" and "liquidó".

The spelling system unambiguously reflects where the stress occurs: in the absence of an accent mark, the stress falls on the last syllable unless the last letter is "n", "s", or a vowel, in which cases the stress falls on the next-to-last syllable; if and only if the absence of an accent mark would give the wrong stress information, an acute accent mark appears over the stressed syllable.

An amusing example of the significance of intonation in Spanish is the phrase (What do you mean, how do I eat? I eat the way I eat!).

V and B


The letters V and B are both normally pronounced identically as /b/ or similar, and academic authorities now state that this is the only correct pronunciation. The Royal Spanish Academy considers the /v/ pronunciation for the letter V to be incorrect and affected. However some Spanish speakers maintain the pronunciation of the /v/ sound as it is in other western European languages. The sound /v/ is used for the letter V, in the Spanish language, by a few second-language speakers in Spain whose native language is Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

, in the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

, Valencian Community
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

 and southern Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

. In the USA it is also common due to the proximity and influence of English phonology, and the /v/ is also occasionally used in Mexico. Some parts of Central America also use /v/ which the Royal Academy attributes to the interference of local indigenous languages.

Historically, the /v/ pronunciation was uncommon but considered correct well into the 20th century. Spanish schools taught a /v/ pronunciation for most of the 20th century.

Some Spaniards consider the pronunciation of /v/ for the letter V to be more poetic, and it is used by many singers such as Julio Iglesias
Julio Iglesias
Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva , better known simply as Julio Iglesias, is a Spanish singer who has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 15 best selling music artists in history,...

, Juan Pardo, Paloma San Basilio
Paloma San Basilio
Paloma San Basilio is a Spanish singer. Although she was born in Madrid, at the age of 6 months the family moved to Sevilla , where she was raised till the age of 8...

, Amaia Montero
Amaia Montero
Amaia Montero Saldías , also known as the original vocalist of La Oreja de Van Gogh between 1996 and 2007, is a singer/songwriter from Basque Country, Spain. Including her work with the band, Montero has sold more than 7 million albums worldwide.-Background:Amaia Montero is the daughter of José...

 and Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sanz , is a Spanish singer-songwriter and musician. For his work, Sanz has won a total of fifteen Latin Grammy Awards and three Grammy Awards. He has won the Latin Grammy for Album of the Year three times, more than any other artist...

.

Grammar



Spanish is a relatively inflected language, with a two-gender
Grammatical gender
Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

 system and about fifty conjugated
Grammatical conjugation
In linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection . Conjugation may be affected by person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, voice, or other grammatical categories...

 forms per verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

, but limited inflection of noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

s, adjective
Adjective
In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

s, and determiners. (For a detailed overview of verbs, see Spanish verbs
Spanish verbs
Spanish verbs are one of the most complex areas of Spanish grammar. Spanish is a relatively synthetic language with a moderate-to-high degree of inflection, which shows up mostly in the verb conjugation....

 and Spanish irregular verbs
Spanish irregular verbs
Spanish verbs are a complex area of Spanish grammar, with many combinations of tenses, aspects and moods . While conjugation rules are relatively straightforward, a large number of verbs are irregular. Among these, some fall into more-or-less defined deviant patterns, while others are uniquely...

.)

It is right-branching
Branching (linguistics)
In linguistics, branching is the general tendency towards a given order of words within sentences and smaller grammatical units within sentences...

, uses prepositions, and usually, though not always, places adjective
Adjective
In grammar, an adjective is a 'describing' word; the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified....

s after noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

s, as do most other Romance languages. Its syntax
Syntax
In linguistics, syntax is the study of the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages....

 is generally subject–verb–object, though variations are common. It is a pro-drop language
Pro-drop language
A pro-drop language is a language in which certain classes of pronouns may be omitted when they are in some sense pragmatically inferable...

 (or null subject language
Null subject language
In linguistic typology, a null-subject language is a language whose grammar permits an independent clause to lack an explicit subject. Such a clause is then said to have a null subject. Typically, null subject languages express person, number, and/or gender agreement with the referent on the verb,...

) (that is, it allows the deletion of pronouns which are pragmatically unnecessary) and is verb-framed
Verb framing
In linguistics, verb-framing and satellite-framing are typological descriptions of how verb phrases in different languages describe the path of motion or the manner of motion, respectively....

.

Instituto Cervantes



The Instituto Cervantes
Instituto Cervantes
The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes , the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature...

 (Cervantes Institute) is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. This organization has branched out in over 20 different countries with 54 centres devoted to the Spanish and Hispanic American culture and Spanish Language. The ultimate goals of the Institute are to promote the education, the study and the use of Spanish universally as a second language, to support the methods and activities that would help the process of Spanish language education, and to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish and Hispanic American cultures throughout non-Spanish-speaking countries.

See also



  • Names given to the Spanish language
    Names given to the Spanish language
    There are two names given to the Spanish language: Spanish and Castilian . Spanish speakers from different countries or backgrounds can show a preference for one term or the other, or use them indiscriminately, but political issues or common usage might lead speakers to prefer one term over the...

  • Spanish language poets
  • Spanish profanity
    Spanish profanity
    This article is a summary of Spanish profanity, referred to in the Spanish language as lenguaje soez , maldiciones , malas palabras , insultos , vulgaridades , juramentos , palabrotas , tacos , palabras sucias ,...

  • Spanish proverbs
    Spanish proverbs
    Spanish proverbs are a subset of proverbs that are used in Western cultures in general; there are many that have essentially the same form and content as their counterparts in other Western languages...


Spanish language institutions
  • Association of Spanish Language Academies
    Association of Spanish Language Academies
    The Association of Spanish Language Academies is the entity which regulates the Spanish language. It was created in Mexico in 1951 and represents the union of all the separate academies in the Spanish-speaking world....

  • Real Academia Española
    Real Academia Española
    The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

  • Instituto Cervantes
    Instituto Cervantes
    The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. It is named after Miguel de Cervantes , the author of Don Quixote and perhaps the most important figure in the history of Spanish literature...

  • Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish
    Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish
    The Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish, or CELU , is an exam designed to determine the level of proficiency in the Spanish language...

  • Fundéu BBVA (formerly The Foundation of Urgent Spanish)
    Foundation of Urgent Spanish
    The Fundéu BBVA is a non-profit organization created in February 2005 in Madrid, Spain. The Foundation was created in collaboration with the Real Academia Española, and is founded under the Department of Urgent Spanish of Agencia EFE...


Spanish-speaking world
  • Countries where Spanish is an official language
  • Hispanic culture
  • Hispanophone
    Hispanophone
    Hispanophone or Hispanosphere denotes Spanish language speakers and the Spanish-speaking world. The word derives from the Latin political name of the Iberian Peninsula, Hispania, which comprised basically the territory of the modern states of Spain and Portugal.Hispanophones are estimated at...

  • Panhispanism
    Panhispanism
    Panhispanism is a political trend aimed to achieve social, economic, and political cooperation of the Spanish speaking countries, principally those of Latin America, due to the distance between Spain or Equatorial Guinea and the Americas. It focuses principally on the former Spanish Empire's...


Romance languages
  • Differences between Spanish and Portuguese
    Differences between Spanish and Portuguese
    Although Portuguese and Spanish are closely related, to the point of having a considerable degree of mutual intelligibility, there are also important differences between them, which can pose difficulties for people acquainted with one of the languages who attempt to learn the other...

  • Romance languages
    Romance languages
    The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

  • Latin Union
    Latin Union
    The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...



Influences on the Spanish language
Dialects and languages influenced by Spanish
  • Chavacano language
    Chavacano language
    Chavacano or Chabacano, sometimes referred to by linguists as Philippine Creole Spanish, is a Spanish-based creole language spoken in the Philippines...

  • Frespañol
    Frespañol
    Frespañol , is a portmanteau of the words "Français" and "Español", which mean French and Spanish. This "language" is a mixture between French and Spanish, almost always in speech, but may be used in writing occasionally...

  • Llanito
    Llanito
    Llanito or Yanito is an Andalusian Spanish based creole spoken in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English, marked by a great deal of code switching and loanwords from many other Mediterranean languages.Gibraltarians also...

  • Palenquero
    Palenquero
    Palenquero is a Spanish-based creole language spoken in Colombia. Palenquero is the only Spanish-based creole in Latin America. The ethnic group which speaks this Creole consists only of 3,000 people,...

  • Papiamento
    Papiamento
    Papiamento is the most widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands, having the official status on the islands of Aruba and Curaçao. The language is also recognized on Bonaire by the Dutch government....

  • Philippine languages
    Philippine languages
    The Philippine languages are a 1991 proposal by Robert Blust that all the languages of the Philippines and northern Sulawesi—except Sama–Bajaw and a few languages of Palawan—form a subfamily of Austronesian languages...

  • Portuñol
    Portuñol
    Portuñol or Portunhol is the code-switching of Portuguese and Spanish.The word portunhol is a portmanteau of the words Portugués/Português and Español/Espanhol ....

  • Spanglish
    Spanglish
    .Spanglish refers to the blend of Spanish and English, in the speech of people who speak parts of two languages, or whose normal language is different from that of the country where they live. The Hispanic population of the United States and the British population in Argentina use varieties of...

  • Spanish-based creole languages
    Spanish-based Creole languages
    -Chavacano:Chavacano is a Spanish-based Creole language and the name of the Six Dialects of Spanish evolved words turned into a Creole language spoken in the Philippines...

  • List of English words of Spanish origin


Spanish dialects and varieties
Spanish dialects and varieties
Spanish dialects and varieties are the regional variants of the Spanish language, some of which are quite divergent from one another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary, and less so in grammar....

  • European Spanish
    • Andalusian Spanish
      Andalusian Spanish
      The Andalusian varieties of Spanish are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varieties, and also from Standard Spanish...

    • Canarian Spanish
      Canarian Spanish
      Canarian Spanish is a variant of standard Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands by the Canarian people, and in the southeastern section of Louisiana in Isleño communities that emigrated to the Americas as early as the 18th century...

    • Castilian Spanish
      Castilian Spanish
      Castilian Spanish is a term related to the Spanish language, but its exact meaning can vary even in that language. In English Castilian Spanish usually refers to the variety of European Spanish spoken in north and central Spain or as the language standard for radio and TV speakers...

    • Castrapo
      Castrapo
      Castrapo is the pejorative name for the form of the Spanish language spoken in the region of Galicia and which heavily uses Galician vocabulary and syntax....

       (Galician Spanish)
    • Murcian Spanish
      Murcian Spanish
      Murciano, more popularly known as panocho, is a variant of the Peninsular Spanish, spoken mainly in autonomous region of Murcia and the adjacent Comarca of Vega Baja del Segura in the province of Alicante on the Mediterranean coast.It is considered a southern dialect of the Spanish language,...

    Spanish in the Americas
    • North American Spanish
      North American Spanish
      North American Spanish is the name of the Spanish dialects spoken in North America.*Mexican Spanish*Spanish in the United States**New Mexican Spanish...

    • Central American Spanish
      Central American Spanish
      Central American Spanish is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in Central America...

    • Caribbean Spanish
      Caribbean Spanish
      Caribbean Spanish is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. It closely resembles the Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands and Andalusia....

    • South American Spanish
      South American Spanish
      South American Spanish is a broad geographical term for dialects of Spanish spoken on the continent of South America....

    • Spanish in the United States
      Spanish in the United States
      Spanish is the second most used language in the United States. There are more Spanish speakers in the United States than there are speakers of Chinese, French, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined. According to the 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S...

    Spanish in Africa
    • Equatoguinean Spanish
      Equatoguinean Spanish
      Equatoguinean Spanish is the variety of Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea. This is the only Spanish variety that is official in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is spoken by about 90% of the population, estimated at 1,170,308 for the year 2010 , all of them second-language speakers...

    Spanish in Asia
    • Spanish in the Philippines

External links


Dictionary of the RAE Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española
The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

's official Spanish language dictionary