Spanish language (/ˈspænɪʃ/ ( listen);
Español (help·info)), also called the Castilian
language (/kæˈstɪliən/ ( listen),
castellano (help·info)), is a Western Romance language
that originated in the Castile region of
Spain and today has hundreds
of millions of native speakers in
Latin America and Spain. It is
usually considered the world's second-most spoken native language,
after Mandarin Chinese.
Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which
evolved from several dialects of
Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the
collapse of the
Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. The oldest
Latin texts with traces of Spanish come from mid-northern Iberia in
the 9th century, and the first systematic written use of the
language happened in Toledo, then capital of the Kingdom of Castile,
in the 13th century. Beginning in the early 16th century, Spanish was
taken to the colonies of the Spanish Empire, most notably to the
Americas, as well as territories in Africa,
Oceania and the
Around 75% of modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin. Ancient
Greek has also contributed substantially to Spanish vocabulary,
especially through Latin, where it had a great impact.
Spanish vocabulary has been in contact with Arabic from an early date,
having developed during the
Al-Andalus era in the Iberian
Peninsula. With around 8% of its vocabulary being
Arabic in origin, this language is the second most important influence
after Latin. It has also been influenced by Basque,
Celtiberian, Visigothic, and by neighboring Ibero-Romance
languages. Additionally, it has absorbed vocabulary from other
languages, particularly the
Romance languages French, Italian,
Occitan, and Sardinian, as well as from Nahuatl, Quechua, and other
indigenous languages of the Americas.
Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It
is also used as an official language by the European Union, the
Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations,
the Community of
Latin American and Caribbean States, the African
Union and by many other international organizations.
1 Estimated number of speakers
2 Names of the language
5.1 Segmental phonology
6 Geographical distribution
6.2.2 United States
6.5 Spanish speakers by country
7 Dialectal variation
220.127.116.11 Distribution in Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas
7.2.4 Third-person object pronouns
8 Relation to other languages
9 Writing system
10.1 Royal Spanish Academy
10.2 Association of Spanish Language Academies
10.3 Cervantes Institute
10.4 Official use by international organizations
11 See also
14 Further reading
15 External links
Estimated number of speakers
It is estimated that more than 437 million people speak Spanish as a
native language, which qualifies it as second on the lists of
languages by number of native speakers.
Instituto Cervantes claims
that there are an estimated 477 million Spanish speakers with native
competence and 572 million Spanish speakers as a first or second
language—including speakers with limited competence—and more than
21 million students of Spanish as a foreign language.
Spanish is the official or national language in Spain, Equatorial
Guinea, and 19 countries in the Americas. Speakers in the Americas
total some 418 million. In the European Union, Spanish is the mother
tongue of 8% of the population, with an additional 7% speaking it as a
second language. Spanish is the most popular second language
learned in the United States. In 2011 it was estimated by the
American Community Survey
American Community Survey that of the 55 million
States residents who are five years of age and over, 38 million speak
Spanish at home.
Names of the language
Main article: Names given to the Spanish language
This section may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with
Wikipedia's quality standards. You can help. The discussion page may
contain suggestions. (December 2014)
Geographical distribution of the preferential use of the terms
castellano (Castilian), in red, vs. español (Spanish), in blue,
according to the terminology found in these countries' legal
constitutions.[dubious – discuss]
Spain and in some other parts of the Spanish-speaking world,
Spanish is called not only español (Spanish) but also castellano
(Castilian), the language from the kingdom of Castile, contrasting it
with other languages spoken in
Spain such as Galician, Basque,
Asturian and Catalan.
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978 uses the term castellano to define
the official language of the whole Spanish State in contrast to las
demás lenguas españolas (lit. "the other Spanish languages").
Article III reads as follows:
El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. ... Las
demás lenguas españolas serán también oficiales en las respectivas
Castilian is the official
Spanish language of the State. ... The
Spanish languages shall also be official in their respective
The Spanish Royal Academy, on the other hand, currently uses the term
español in its publications, but from 1713 to 1923 called the
Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (a language 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.
Two etymologies for español have been suggested. The Spanish Royal
Academy Dictionary derives the term from the Provençal word
espaignol, and that in turn from the Medieval
Latin word Hispaniolus,
'from—or pertaining to—Hispania'. Other authorities
attribute it to a supposed mediaeval
Latin *hispaniōne, with the same
Main article: History of the Spanish language
The Visigothic Cartularies of Valpuesta, written in a late form of
Latin, were declared in 2010 by the Spanish Royal Academy as the
record of the earliest words written in Castilian, predating those of
the Glosas Emilianenses.
Spanish language evolved from Vulgar Latin, which was brought to
Iberian Peninsula by the Romans during the Second Punic War,
beginning in 210 BC. Previously, several pre-Roman languages (also
called Paleohispanic languages)—unrelated to Latin, and some of them
unrelated even to Indo-European—were spoken in the Iberian
Peninsula. These languages included Basque (still spoken today),
Iberian, Celtiberian and Gallaecian.
The first documents to show traces of what is today regarded as the
precursor of modern Spanish are from the 9th century. Throughout the
Middle Ages and into the modern era, the most important influences on
the Spanish lexicon came from neighboring Romance
languages—Navarro-Aragonese, Leonese, Catalan, Portuguese, Galician,
Occitan, and later, French and Italian. Spanish also borrowed a
considerable number of words from Arabic, as well as a minor influence
Germanic languages through the migration of tribes and a period
Visigoth rule in Iberia. In addition, many more words were borrowed
Latin through the influence of written language and the
liturgical language of the Church. The loanwords were taken from both
Latin and Renaissance Latin, the form of
Latin in use at
According to the theories of Ramón Menéndez Pidal, local sociolects
Vulgar Latin evolved into Spanish, in the north of Iberia, in an
area centered in the city of Burgos, and this dialect was later
brought to the city of Toledo, where the written standard of Spanish
was first developed, in the 13th century. In this formative stage,
Spanish developed a strongly differing variant from its close cousin,
Leonese, and, according to some authors, was distinguished by a heavy
Basque influence (see Iberian Romance languages). This distinctive
dialect spread to southern
Spain with the advance of the Reconquista,
and meanwhile gathered a sizable lexical influence from the Arabic of
Al-Andalus, much of it indirectly, through the Romance Mozarabic
dialects (some 4,000 Arabic-derived words, make up around 8% of the
language today). The written standard for this new language was
developed in the cities of Toledo, in the 13th to 16th centuries, and
Madrid, from the 1570s.
The development of the Spanish sound system from that of Vulgar Latin
exhibits most of the changes that are typical of Western Romance
languages, including lenition of intervocalic consonants (thus Latin
vīta > Spanish vida). The diphthongization of
Latin stressed short
e and o—which occurred in open syllables in French and Italian, but
not at all in Catalan or Portuguese—is found in both open and closed
syllables in Spanish, as shown in the following table:
Gascon / Occitan
Chronological map showing linguistic evolution in southwest Europe
Spanish is marked by the palatalization of the
Latin double consonants
nn and ll (thus
Latin annum > Spanish año, and
Latin anellum >
The consonant written u or v in
Latin and pronounced [w] in Classical
Latin had probably "fortified" to a bilabial fricative /β/ in Vulgar
Latin. In early Spanish (but not in Catalan or Portuguese) it merged
with the consonant written b (a bilabial with plosive and fricative
allophones). In modern Spanish, there is no difference between the
pronunciation of orthographic b and v, with some exceptions in
Caribbean Spanish.
Peculiar to Spanish (as well as to the neighboring Gascon dialect of
Occitan, and attributed to a Basque substratum) was the mutation of
Latin initial f into h- whenever it was followed by a vowel that did
not diphthongize. The h-, still preserved in spelling, is now silent
in most varieties of the language, although in some Andalusian and
Caribbean dialects it is still aspirated in some words. Because of
Latin and from neighboring Romance languages, there
are many f-/h-doublets in modern Spanish: Fernando and Hernando (both
Spanish for "Ferdinand"), ferrero and herrero (both Spanish for
"smith"), fierro and hierro (both Spanish for "iron"), and fondo and
hondo (both Spanish for "deep", but fondo means "bottom" while hondo
means "deep"); hacer (Spanish for "to make") is cognate to the root
word of satisfacer (Spanish for "to satisfy"), and hecho ("made") is
similarly cognate to the root word of satisfecho (Spanish for
Compare the examples in the following table:
Gascon / Occitan
fijo (or ijo)
far/faire/har (or hèr)
Some consonant clusters of
Latin also produced characteristically
different results in these languages, as shown in the examples in the
Gascon / Occitan
Antonio de Nebrija, author of Gramática de la lengua castellana, the
first grammar of modern European languages.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish underwent a dramatic change in
the pronunciation of its sibilant consonants, known in Spanish as the
reajuste de las sibilantes, which resulted in the distinctive velar
[x] pronunciation of the letter ⟨j⟩ and—in a large part of
Spain—the characteristic interdental [θ] ("th-sound") for the
letter ⟨z⟩ (and for ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩). See
History of Spanish (Modern development of the
Old Spanish sibilants)
The Gramática de la lengua castellana, written in
Salamanca in 1492
by Elio Antonio de Nebrija, was the first grammar written for a modern
European language. According to a popular anecdote, when Nebrija
presented it to Queen Isabella I, 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 18 August 1492,
Nebrija wrote that "... language was always the companion of
From the sixteenth century onwards, the language was taken to America
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies via Spanish colonization of America.
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of Don Quixote, is such a
well-known reference in the world that Spanish is often called la
lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").
In the twentieth century, Spanish was introduced to Equatorial Guinea
and the Western Sahara, and to areas of the
United States that had not
been part of the Spanish Empire, such as
Spanish Harlem in New York
City. For details on borrowed words and other external influences upon
Spanish, see Influences on the Spanish language.
Main article: Spanish grammar
Miguel de Cervantes, considered the greatest figure of Spanish
literature in Europe, and author of Don Quixote, considered the first
modern European novel.
Most of the grammatical and typological features of Spanish are shared
with the other Romance languages. Spanish is a fusional language. The
noun and adjective systems exhibit two genders and two numbers, in
addition articles and some pronouns and determiners have a neuter
gender in singular. There are about fifty conjugated forms per verb,
with 3 tenses: past, present, future; 2 aspects for past: perfective,
imperfective; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional,
imperative; 3 persons: first, second, third; 2 numbers: singular,
plural; 3 verboid forms: infinitive, gerund, and past participle.
T-V distinction by using different persons for formal
and informal addresses. (For a detailed overview of verbs, see Spanish
verbs and Spanish irregular verbs.)
Spanish syntax is considered right-branching, meaning that subordinate
or modifying constituents tend to be placed after their head words.
The language uses prepositions (rather than postpositions or
inflection of nouns for case), and usually—though not
always—places adjectives after nouns, as do most other Romance
The language is classified as a subject–verb–object language;
however, as in most Romance languages, constituent order is highly
variable and governed mainly by topicalization and focus rather than
by syntax. It is a "pro-drop", or "null-subject" language—that is,
it allows the deletion of subject pronouns when they are pragmatically
unnecessary. Spanish is described as a "verb-framed" language, meaning
that the direction of motion is expressed in the verb while the mode
of locomotion is expressed adverbially (e.g. subir corriendo or salir
volando; the respective English equivalents of these examples—'to
run up' and 'to fly out'—show that English is, by contrast,
"satellite-framed", with mode of locomotion expressed in the verb and
direction in an adverbial modifier).
Subject/verb inversion is not required in questions, and thus the
recognition of declarative or interrogative may depend entirely on
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering
support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead
Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see
Spanish spoken in Spain
Main article: Spanish phonology
The Spanish phonemic system is originally descended from that of
Vulgar Latin. Its development exhibits some traits in common with the
neighboring dialects—especially Leonese and Aragonese—as well as
other traits unique to Castilian. Castilian is unique among its
neighbors in the aspiration and eventual loss of the
Latin initial /f/
sound (e.g. Cast. harina vs. Leon. and Arag. farina). The Latin
initial consonant sequences pl-, cl-, and fl- in Spanish typically
become ll- (pronounced [ʎ], [j], [ʝ], [ʒ], or [d͡ʒ]), while in
Aragonese they are preserved, and in Leonese they present a variety of
outcomes, including [tʃ], [ʃ], and [ʎ]. Where
Latin had -li- before
a vowel (e.g. filius) or the ending -iculus, -icula (e.g. auricula),
Modern Spanish produces the velar fricative [x] (hijo, oreja, where
neighboring languages have the palatal lateral [ʎ] (e.g. Portuguese
filho, orelha; Catalan fill, orella).
Spanish vowel chart, from Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
The Spanish phonemic inventory consists of five vowel phonemes (/a/,
/e/, /i/, /o/, /u/) and 17 to 19 consonant phonemes (the exact number
depending on the dialect). The main allophonic variation among
vowels is the reduction of the high vowels /i/ and /u/ to glides—[j]
and [w] respectively—when unstressed and adjacent to another vowel.
Some instances of the mid vowels /e/ and /o/, determined lexically,
alternate with the diphthongs /je/ and /we/ respectively when
stressed, in a process that is better described as morphophonemic
rather than phonological, as it is not predictable from phonology
The Spanish consonant system is characterized by (1) three nasal
phonemes, and one or two (depending on the dialect) lateral
phoneme(s), which in syllable-final position lose their contrast and
are subject to assimilation to a following consonant; (2) three
voiceless stops and the affricate /tʃ/; (3) three or four (depending
on the dialect) voiceless fricatives; (4) a set of voiced
obstruents—/b/, /d/, /ɡ/, and sometimes /ʝ/—which alternate
between approximant and plosive allophones depending on the
environment; and (5) a phonemic distinction between the "tapped" and
"trilled" r-sounds (single ⟨r⟩ and double ⟨rr⟩ in
In the following table of consonant phonemes, /ʎ/ is marked with an
asterisk (*) to indicate that it is preserved only in some dialects.
In most dialects it has been merged with /ʝ/ in the merger called
yeísmo. Similarly, /θ/ is also marked with an asterisk to indicate
that most dialects do not distinguish it from /s/ (see seseo),
although this is not a true merger but an outcome of different
evolution of sibilants in Southern Spain.
The phoneme /ʃ/ is in parentheses () to indicate that it appears only
in loanwords. Each of the voiced obstruent phonemes /b/, /d/, /ʝ/,
and /ɡ/ appears to the right of a pair of voiceless phonemes, to
indicate that, while the voiceless phonemes maintain a phonemic
contrast between plosive (or affricate) and fricative, the voiced ones
alternate allophonically (i.e. without phonemic contrast) between
plosive and approximant pronunciations.
Spanish is classified by its rhythm as a syllable-timed language: each
syllable has approximately the same duration regardless of
Spanish intonation varies significantly according to dialect but
generally conforms to a pattern of falling tone for declarative
sentences and wh-questions (who, what, why, etc.) and rising tone for
yes/no questions. There are no syntactic markers to
distinguish between questions and statements and thus, the recognition
of declarative or interrogative depends entirely on intonation.
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 that end with a vowel, stress most often falls on the
In words that end with a consonant, stress most often falls on the
last syllable, with the following exceptions: The grammatical endings
-n (for third-person-plural of verbs) and -s (whether for plural of
nouns and adjectives or for second-person-singular of verbs) do not
change the location of stress. Thus, regular verbs ending with -n and
the great majority of words ending with -s are stressed on the penult.
Although a significant number of nouns and adjectives ending with -n
are also stressed on the penult (joven, virgen, mitin), the great
majority of nouns and adjectives ending with -n are stressed on their
last syllable (capitán, almacén, jardín, corazón).
Preantepenultimate stress (stress on the fourth-to-last syllable)
occurs rarely, only on verbs with clitic pronouns attached
(guardándoselos 'saving them for him/her/them/you').
In addition to the many exceptions to these tendencies, there are
numerous minimal pairs that contrast solely on stress such as sábana
('sheet') and sabana ('savannah'); límite ('boundary'), limite
('[that] he/she limits') and limité ('I limited'); líquido
('liquid'), liquido ('I sell off') and liquidó ('he/she sold off').
The orthographic 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 (penultimate)
syllable. Exceptions to those rules are indicated by an acute accent
mark over the vowel of the stressed syllable. (See Spanish
See also: Hispanophone
geographical places of the spanish language
Official or co-official language
Active learning of Spanish.
Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries worldwide. 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 and English). Internet usage statistics for 2007 also
show Spanish as the third most commonly used language on the Internet,
after English and Mandarin.
Main article: Peninsular Spanish
Percentage of people who self reportedly know enough Spanish to hold a
conversation, in the EU, 2005
More than 8.99%
Between 4% and 8.99%
Between 1% and 3.99%
Less than 1%
In Europe, 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, and also commonly spoken in Andorra, although Catalan is
the official language there.
Spanish is also spoken by small communities in other European
countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.
Spanish is an official language of the European Union. In Switzerland,
which had a massive influx of Spanish migrants in the 20th century,
Spanish is the native language of 2.2% of the population.
Spanish language in the Americas
Most Spanish speakers are in
Hispanic America; of all countries with a
majority of Spanish speakers, only
Equatorial Guinea are
outside the Americas. Nationally, Spanish is the official
language—either de facto or de jure—of Argentina, Bolivia
(co-official with Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, and 34 other languages),
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El
Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico (co-official with 63 indigenous
languages), Nicaragua, Panama,
Paraguay (co-official with
Peru (co-official with Quechua, Aymara, and "the other
Puerto Rico (co-official with
English), Uruguay, and Venezuela. Spanish has no official
recognition in the former British colony of Belize; 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 seventeenth century; however, English is the official
Due to their proximity to Spanish-speaking countries, Trinidad and
Brazil have implemented
Spanish language teaching into
their education systems. The Trinidad government launched the Spanish
as a First Foreign Language (SAFFL) initiative in March 2005. In
2005, the National Congress of
Brazil approved a bill, signed into law
by the President, making it mandatory for schools to offer Spanish as
an alternative foreign language course in both public and private
secondary schools in Brazil. In September 2016 this law was
Michel Temer after impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. In
many border towns and villages along
Paraguay and Uruguay, a mixed
language known as
Portuñol is spoken.
Spanish language in the United States
See also: New Mexican Spanish
Spanish spoken in the
United States and Puerto Rico. Darker shades of
green indicate higher percentages of Spanish speakers.
According to 2006 census data, 44.3 million people of the U.S.
Hispanic American by origin; 38.3
million people, 13 percent, of the population over five years old
speak Spanish at home. The
Spanish language has a long history of
presence in the
United States due to early Spanish and, later, Mexican
administration over territories now forming the southwestern states,
as well as Florida, which was Spanish territory until 1821.
Spanish is by far the most common second language in the USA with over
50 million total speakers if non-native or second language speakers
are included. While English is the de facto national language of
the country, Spanish is often used in public services and notices at
the federal and state levels. Spanish is also used in administration
in the state of New Mexico. The language also has a strong
influence in major metropolitan areas such as those of Los Angeles,
Miami, San Antonio, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Phoenix; as
well as more recently, Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Denver, Houston,
Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Atlanta,
Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, Raleigh and Baltimore-Washington, D.C. due
to 20th- and 21st-century immigration. At one time the German language
was the second most spoken immigrant language in the country, but in
time this important community assimilated into the English-speaking
mainstream. Experts say that the same scenario will happen with the
Spanish speaking community in the U.S.
Main article: Equatoguinean Spanish
Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, writer, poet, journalist and promoter of the
Bilingual signage of Museum of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army in
Western Sahara written in Spanish and Arabic.
In Africa, Spanish is official (along with Portuguese and French) in
Equatorial Guinea, as well as an official language of the African
Union. In Equatorial Guinea, Spanish is the predominant language when
native and non-native speakers (around 500,000 people) are counted,
while Fang is the most spoken language by number of native
Spanish is also spoken in the integral territories of
Spain in North
Africa, which include the Spanish cities of
Ceuta and Melilla, the
Plazas de soberanía, and the
Canary Islands archipelago (population
2,000,000), located some 100 km off the northwest coast of
Within Northern Morocco, a former Spanish protectorate that is also
geographically close to Spain, approximately 20,000 people speak
Spanish as a second language, while Arabic is the de jure official
language. A small number of Moroccan Jews also speak the Sephardic
Haketia (related to the Ladino dialect spoken in
Israel). Spanish is spoken by some small communities in
of the Cuban influence from the
Cold War and in
South Sudan among
South Sudanese natives that relocated to
Cuba during the Sudanese wars
and returned in time for their country's independence.
In Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, Spanish was officially
spoken during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today,
Spanish in this disputed territory is maintained by populations of
Sahrawi nomads numbering about 500,000 people, and is de facto
official alongside Arabic in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,
although this entity receives limited international
Spanish language in the Philippines
La Solidaridad newspaper and
Juan Luna (a Filipino Ilustrado).
Spanish is present on Easter Island, as it was annexed as a Chilean
province in 1888.
Spanish was an official language of the
Philippines from the beginning
of Spanish rule in 1565 to a constitutional change in 1973. During
Spanish colonization (1565–1898), it was the language of government,
trade and education, and spoken as a first language by Spaniards and
educated Filipinos. In the mid-nineteenth century, the colonial
government set up a free public education system with Spanish as the
medium of instruction. This increased use of Spanish throughout the
islands led to the formation of a class of Spanish-speaking
intellectuals called the Ilustrados. Until the Philippine independence
in 1898, Spanish was spoken by around 10% of the population as their
first and only language. Around 60% of the population spoke Spanish as
their second or third language, that makes a total of 70%.
Despite American administration after the defeat of
Spain in the
Spanish–American War in 1898, the usage of Spanish continued in
Philippine literature and press during the early years of American
rule. Gradually, however, the American government began increasingly
promoting the use of English, and it characterized Spanish as a
negative influence of the past. Eventually, by the 1920s, English
became the primary language of administration and education. But
despite a significant decrease in influence and speakers, Spanish
remained an official language of the
Philippines when it became
independent in 1946, alongside English and Filipino, a standardized
version of Tagalog.
Early flag of the Filipino revolutionaries ("Long live the Philippine
Republic!"). The first two constitutions were written in Spanish.
Spanish was removed from official status in 1973 under the
administration of Ferdinand Marcos, but regained its status as an
official language two months later under Presidential Decree No. 155,
dated 15 March 1973. It remained an official language until 1987,
with the ratification of the present constitution, in which it was
re-designated as a voluntary and optional auxiliary language. In
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo encouraged the reintroduction
of Spanish-language teaching in the Philippine education system.
But by 2012, the number of secondary schools at which the language was
either a compulsory subject or an elective had become very
limited. Today, despite government promotions of Spanish, less
than 0.5% of the population report being able to speak the language
proficiently. Aside from standard Spanish, a Spanish-based creole
language—Chavacano—developed in the southern Philippines. The
number of Chavacano-speakers was estimated at 1.2 million in 1996.
However, it is not mutually intelligible with Spanish. Speakers of
the Zamboangueño variety of
Chavacano were numbered about 360,000 in
the 2000 census. The local languages of the
retain some Spanish influence, with many words being derived from
Mexican Spanish, owing to the control of the islands by
Mexico City until 1821, and then directly from
Spanish was also used by the colonial governments and educated classes
in the former Spanish East Indies, consisting of modern-day Guam,
Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and Micronesia, in addition to the
Philippines. Spanish loan words are present in the local languages of
these territories as a legacy of colonial rule. Today, Spanish
is not spoken officially in any of these former Spanish territories.
Guam it is spoken by Catholic people and Puerto Ricans.[need
quotation to verify]
Judaeo-Spanish was initially spoken by the Sephardic Jewish community
in India, but was later replaced with Judeo-Malayalam.[need quotation
Spanish speakers by country
The following table shows the number of Spanish speakers in some 79
Spanish as a native language speakers
Native speakers or very good speakers as a second language
Total number of Spanish speakers (including limited competence
42,926,496 (82% of the 57.4 mill. Hispanics + 2.8 mill.
58,008,778 (40,5 million as a first language, 15 million as a
second language, 7.8 million students and some of the 9
million undocumented Hispanics not accounted by the
48,760,000 (850,000 with other mother tongue)
30,729,866 (1,098,244 with other mother tongue)
17,993,930 (281,600 with other mother tongue)
8,658,501 (207,750 with other mother tongue)
6,953,646 (2,232,120 limited proficiency)
477,564 (1% of 47,756,439)
1,910,258 (4% of 47,756,439)
6,685,901 (14% of 47,756,439)
6,349,939 (19,050 limited proficiency)
6,037,990 (97.1%) (490,124 with other mother tongue)
6,218,321 (180,331 limited proficiency)
6,056,018 (460,018 native speakers + 96,000 limited proficiency +
5,500,000 can hold a conversation)
1,037,248 (2% of 51,862,391)
5,704,863 (11% of 51,862,391)
4,806,069 (84,310 with other mother tongue)
3,263,123 (501,043 with other mother tongue)
3,330,022 (150,200 with other mother tongue)
64 105 700
518,480 (1% of 51,848,010)
3,110,880 (6% of 51,848,010)
644,091 (1% of 64,409,146)
2,576,366 (4% of 64,409,146)
182,467 (1% of 18,246,731)
912,337 (5% of 18,246,731)
323,237 (4% of 8,080,915)
808,091 (10% of 8,080,915)
643,800 (87% of 740,000)
133,719 (1% of 13,371,980)
668,599 (5% of 13,371,980 )
77,912 (1% of 7,791,240)
77,912 (1% of 7,791,240)
467,474 (6% of 7,791,240)
89,395 (1% of 8,939,546)
446,977 (5% of 8,939,546)
324,137 (1% of 32,413,735)
324,137 (1% of 32,413,735)
70,098 (1% of 7,009,827)
280,393 (4% of 7,009,827)
45,613 (1% of 4,561,264)
182,450 (4% of 4,561,264)
167,514 (60,000 students)
165,202 (14,420 students)
35,220 (1% of 3,522,000)
140,880 (4% of 3,522,000)
133,200 (3% of 4,440,004)
130,750 (2% of 6,537,510)
130,750 (2% of 6,537,510)
Bonaire and Curaçao
90,124 (1% of 9,012,443)
83,206 (1% of 8,320,614)
Trinidad and Tobago
35,194 (2% of 1,759,701)
52,791 (3% of 1,759,701)
47,322 (25,677 students)
45,500 (1% of 4,549,955)
28,297 (1% of 2,829,740)
4,049 (1% of 404,907)
8,098 (2% of 404,907)
24,294 (6% of 404,907)
US Virgin Islands
13,943 (1% of 1,447,866)
2% of 660,400
9,457 (1% of 945,733)
3,354 (1% of 335,476)
European Union (excluding Spain)
2,397,000 (934,984 already counted)
7,430,000,000 (Total World Population)
460,711,061 (6.2 %)
497,002,329  (6.6 % )
545,178,992  (7.3 %)
A world map attempting to identify the main dialects of Spanish.
Spanish dialects and varieties
There are important variations (phonological, grammatical, and
lexical) in the spoken Spanish of the various regions of
throughout the Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas.
The variety with the most speakers is Mexican Spanish. It is spoken by
more than twenty percent of the world's Spanish speakers (more than
112 million of the total of more than 500 million, according to the
table above). One of its main features is the reduction or loss of
unstressed vowels, mainly when they are in contact with the sound
In Spain, northern dialects are popularly thought of as closer to the
standard, although positive attitudes toward southern dialects have
increased significantly in the last 50 years. Even so, the speech of
Madrid, which has typically southern features such as yeísmo and
s-aspiration, is the standard variety for use on radio and
television. The educated
Madrid variety has most
influenced the written standard for Spanish.
The four main phonological divisions are based respectively on (1) the
phoneme /θ/ ("theta"), (2) the debuccalization of syllable-final /s/,
(3) the sound of the spelled ⟨s⟩, (4) and the phoneme /ʎ/
The phoneme /θ/ (spelled c before e or i and spelled ⟨z⟩
elsewhere), a voiceless dental fricative as in English thing, is
maintained by a majority of Spain's population, especially in the
northern and central parts of the country. In other areas (some parts
of southern Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Americas), /θ/ is
merged with /s/. The maintenance of phonemic contrast is called
distinción in Spanish, while the merger is generally called seseo (in
reference to the usual realization of the merged phoneme as [s]) or,
occasionally, ceceo (referring to its interdental realization, [θ],
in some parts of southern Spain). In most of
Hispanic America, the
spelled ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and spelled ⟨z⟩ is
always pronounced as a voiceless alveolar "hissing" sibilant.
The debuccalization (pronunciation as [h], or loss) of syllable-final
/s/ is associated with the southern half of
Spain and lowland
Americas: Central America (except central
Costa Rica and Guatemala),
the Caribbean, coastal areas of southern Mexico, and South America
except Andean highlands.
Debuccalization is frequently called
"aspiration" in English, and aspiración in Spanish. When there is no
debuccalization, the syllable-final /s/ is pronounced as voiceless
"apico-alveolar" "grave" sibilant or as a voiceless alveolar "hissing"
sibilant in the same fashion as in the next paragraph.
The sound that corresponds to the letter ⟨s⟩ is pronounced in most
Spain as a voiceless "apico-alveolar" sibilant [s̺] (also
described acoustically as "grave" and articulatorily as "retracted"),
with a weak "hushing" sound reminiscent of retroflex fricatives. In
Hispanic America (except in the Paisa region of Colombia) it
is pronounced as a voiceless alveolar hissing sibilant [s], much like
the most frequent pronunciation of the /s/ of English. Because /s/ is
one of the most frequent phonemes in Spanish, the difference of
pronunciation is one of the first to be noted by a Spanish-speaking
person to differentiate Spaniards from Spanish-speakers of the
The phoneme /ʎ/ spelled ⟨ll⟩, palatal lateral consonant sometimes
compared in sound to the sound of the ⟨lli⟩ of English million,
tends to be maintained in less-urbanized areas of northern
in highland areas of South America. Meanwhile, in the speech of most
other Spanish-speakers, it is merged with /ʝ/ ("curly-tail j"), a
non-lateral, usually voiced, usually fricative, palatal consonant,
sometimes compared to English /j/ (yod) as in yacht and spelled
⟨y⟩ in Spanish. As with other forms of allophony across world
languages, the small difference of the spelled ⟨ll⟩ and the
spelled ⟨y⟩ is usually not perceived (the difference is not heard)
by people who do not produce them as different phonemes. Such a
phonemic merger is called yeísmo in Spanish. In Rioplatense Spanish,
the merged phoneme is generally pronounced as a postalveolar
fricative, either voiced [ʒ] (as in English measure or the French
⟨j⟩) in the central and western parts of the dialectal region
(zheísmo), or voiceless [ʃ] (as in the French ⟨ch⟩ or Portuguese
⟨x⟩) in and around Buenos Aires and Montevideo (sheísmo).
The main grammatical variations between dialects of Spanish involve
differing uses of pronouns, especially those of the second person and,
to a lesser extent, the object pronouns of the third person.
Main article: Voseo
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An examination of the dominance and stress of the voseo dialect in
Hispanic America. Data generated as illustrated by the Association of
Spanish Language Academies. The darker the area, the stronger its
Virtually all dialects of Spanish make the distinction between a
formal and a familiar register in the second-person singular and thus
have two different pronouns meaning "you": usted in the formal and
either tú or vos in the familiar (and each of these three pronouns
has its associated verb forms), with the choice of tú or vos varying
from one dialect to another. The use of vos (and/or its verb forms) is
called voseo. In a few dialects, all three pronouns are used, with
usted, tú, and vos denoting respectively formality, familiarity, and
In voseo, vos is the subject form (vos decís, "you say") and the form
for the object of a preposition (voy con vos, "I am going with you"),
while the direct and indirect object forms, and the possessives, are
the same as those associated with tú: Vos sabés que tus amigos te
respetan ("You know your friends respect you").
The verb forms of general voseo are the same as those used with tú
except in the present tense (indicative and imperative) verbs. The
forms for vos generally can be derived from those of vosotros (the
traditional second-person familiar plural) by deleting the glide
[i̯], or /d/, where it appears in the ending: vosotros pensáis >
vos pensás; vosotros volvéis > vos volvés, pensad! (vosotros)
> pensá! (vos), volved! (vosotros) > volvé! (vos) .
General voseo (River Plate Spanish)
The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.
In Chilean voseo on the other hand, almost all verb forms are distinct
from their standard tú-forms.
The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.
The use of the pronoun vos with the verb forms of tú (vos piensas) is
called "pronominal voseo". Conversely, the use of the verb forms of
vos with the pronoun tú (tú pensás or tú pensái) is called
In Chile, for example, verbal voseo is much more common than the
actual use of the pronoun vos, which is usually reserved for highly
And in Central American voseo, one can see even further distinction.
Central American voseo
The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.
Distribution in Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas
Although vos is not used in Spain, it occurs in many Spanish-speaking
regions of the
Americas as the primary spoken form of the
second-person singular familiar pronoun, with wide differences in
social consideration. Generally, it can be said that there are zones
of exclusive use of tuteo (the use of tú) in the following areas:
almost all of Mexico, the West Indies, Panama, most of Colombia, Peru,
Venezuela and coastal Ecuador.
Tuteo as a cultured form alternates with voseo as a popular or rural
form in Bolivia, in the north and south of Peru, in Andean Ecuador, in
small zones of the Venezuelan Andes (and most notably in the
Venezuelan state of Zulia), and in a large part of Colombia. Some
researchers maintain that voseo can be heard in some parts of eastern
Cuba, and others assert that it is absent from the island.
Tuteo exists as the second-person usage with an intermediate degree of
formality alongside the more familiar voseo in Chile, in the
Venezuelan state of Zulia, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, in the
Azuero Peninsula in Panama, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, and in
parts of Guatemala.
Areas of generalized voseo include Argentina, Nicaragua, eastern
Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Paraguay,
Uruguay and the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda,
Quindio and Valle del Cauca.
Ustedes functions as formal and informal second person plural in over
90% of the Spanish-speaking world, including all of
the Canary Islands, and some regions of Andalusia. In Seville, Huelva,
Cadiz, and other parts of western Andalusia, the familiar form is
constructed as ustedes vais, using the traditional second-person
plural form of the verb. Most of
Spain maintains the formal/familiar
distinction with ustedes and vosotros respectively.
Usted is the usual second-person singular pronoun in a formal context,
but it is used jointly with the third-person singular voice of the
verb. It is used to convey respect toward someone who is a generation
older or is of higher authority ("you, sir"/"you, ma'am"). It is also
used in a familiar context by many speakers in
Colombia and Costa Rica
and in parts of
Ecuador and Panama, to the exclusion of tú or vos.
This usage is sometimes called ustedeo in Spanish.
In Central America, especially in Honduras, usted is often used as a
formal pronoun to convey respect between the members of a romantic
couple. Usted is also used that way as well as between parents and
children in the Andean regions of Ecuador,
Colombia and Venezuela.
Third-person object pronouns
Most speakers use (and the
Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española prefers) the
pronouns lo and la for direct objects (masculine and feminine
respectively, regardless of animacy, meaning "him", "her", or "it"),
and le for indirect objects (regardless of gender or animacy, meaning
"to him", "to her", or "to it"). The usage is sometimes called
"etymological", as these direct and indirect object pronouns are a
continuation, respectively, of the accusative and dative pronouns of
Latin, the ancestor language of Spanish.
Deviations from this norm (more common in
Spain than in the Americas)
are called "leísmo", "loísmo", or "laísmo", according to which
respective pronoun, le, lo, or la, has expanded beyond the
etymological usage (le as a direct object, or lo or la as an indirect
Some words can be significantly different 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 (word used for lard in
Peninsular Spanish), palta, and damasco, respectively, in Argentina,
Chile (except manteca), Paraguay,
Peru (except manteca and damasco),
Relation to other languages
Further information: Comparison of Portuguese and Spanish
Spanish is closely related to the other West Iberian Romance
languages, including Asturian, Aragonese, Galician, Ladino, Leonese,
Mirandese and Portuguese.
It is generally acknowledged that Portuguese- and Spanish-speakers can
communicate, with varying degrees of mutual
intelligibility. Meanwhile, mutual intelligibility
of the written Spanish and Portuguese languages is remarkably high,
and the occasional difficulties of the spoken forms are based more on
phonology than on grammatical and lexical dissimilarities. Ethnologue
gives estimates of the lexical similarity between related languages in
terms of precise percentages. For Spanish and Portuguese, that figure
is 89%. Italian, on the other hand—although its phonology is similar
to that of Spanish— has a lower lexical similarity of 82%. Mutual
intelligibility between Spanish and French or between Spanish and
Romanian is lower still, given lexical similarity ratings of 75% and
71% respectively. And comprehension of Spanish by French
speakers who have not studied the language is much lower, at an
estimated 45%. In general, thanks to the common features of the
writing systems of the Romance languages, interlingual comprehension
of the written word is greater than that of oral communication.
The following table compares the forms of some common words in several
(lit. "true brother")
dies martis (Classical)
feria tertia (Ecclesiastical)
(arch. chus or plus)
(arch. pus or plus)
(arch. mano siniestra)
(arch. mão sẽestra)
(arch. mà sinistra)
nullam rem natam
(lit. "no thing born")
(also ren and res)
(neca and nula rés
in some expressions; arch. rem)
(also un res)
1. Also nós outros in early modern Portuguese (e.g. The Lusiads), and
nosoutros in Galician.
2. Alternatively nous autres in French.
3. Also noialtri in Southern Italian dialects and languages.
4. Medieval Catalan (e.g. Llibre dels fets).
5. Depending on the written norm used (see Reintegrationism).
6. From Basque esku, "hand" + erdi, "half, incomplete". Notice that
this negative meaning also applies for
Latin sinistra(m) ("dark,
7. Romanian caș (from
Latin cāsevs) means a type of cheese. The
universal term for cheese in Romanian is brânză (from unknown
Further information: Judaeo-Spanish
The Rashi script, originally used to print Judaeo-Spanish.
An original letter in Haketia, written in 1832.
Judaeo-Spanish, also known as Ladino, is a variety of Spanish
which preserves many features of medieval Spanish and Portuguese and
is spoken by descendants of the
Sephardi Jews who were expelled from
Spain in the fifteenth century. Conversely, in
Portugal the vast
majority of the Portuguese Jews converted and became 'New Christians'.
Therefore, its relationship to Spanish is comparable with that of the
Yiddish language to German. Ladino speakers today are almost
exclusively Sephardi Jews, with family roots in Turkey, Greece, or the
Balkans, and living mostly in Israel, Turkey, and the United States,
with a few communities in
the Native American vocabulary which was acquired by standard Spanish
during the Spanish colonial period, 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, French, Greek and Turkish, and other
languages spoken where the
Judaeo-Spanish is in serious danger of extinction because many native
speakers today are elderly as well as elderly olim (immigrants to
Israel) 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, the
Judaeo-Spanish of northern Morocco.
This too tended to assimilate with modern Spanish, during the Spanish
occupation of the region.
Main article: Spanish orthography
Spanish is written in the
Latin script, with the addition of the
character ⟨ñ⟩ (eñe, representing the phoneme /ɲ/, a letter
distinct from ⟨n⟩, although typographically composed of an ⟨n⟩
with a tilde) and the digraphs ⟨ch⟩ (che, representing the phoneme
/t͡ʃ/) and ⟨ll⟩ (elle, representing the phoneme /ʎ/). However,
the digraph ⟨rr⟩ (erre fuerte, 'strong r', erre doble, 'double r',
or simply erre), 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 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
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.
The letters k and w are used only in words and names coming from
foreign languages (kilo, folklore, whisky, kiwi, etc.).
With the exclusion of a very small number of regional terms such as
México (see Toponymy of Mexico), pronunciation can be entirely
determined from spelling. Under the orthographic conventions, a
typical Spanish word is stressed on the syllable 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 on
the stressed vowel.
The acute accent is used, in addition, to distinguish between certain
homophones, especially when one of them is a stressed word and the
other one is a clitic: compare el ('the', masculine singular definite
article) with él ('he' or 'it'), or te ('you', object pronoun) with
té ('tea'), de (preposition 'of') versus dé ('give' [formal
imperative/third-person present subjunctive]), and se (reflexive
pronoun) versus sé ('I know' or imperative 'be').
The interrogative pronouns (qué, cuál, dónde, quién, etc.) also
receive accents in direct or indirect questions, and some
demonstratives (ése, éste, aquél, etc.) can be accented when used
as pronouns. Accent marks used to be omitted on capital letters (a
widespread practice in the days of typewriters and the early days of
computers when only lowercase vowels were available with accents),
Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española advises against this and the
orthographic conventions taught at schools enforce the use of the
When u is written between g and a front vowel e or i, it indicates a
"hard g" 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
Interrogative and exclamatory clauses are introduced with inverted
question and exclamation marks (¿ and ¡, respectively).
Royal Spanish Academy
Royal Spanish Academy Headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
Royal Spanish Academy
Main article: Real Academia Española
Arms of the Royal Spanish Academy
Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy), founded in
1713, together with the 21 other national ones (see Association
of Spanish Language Academies), 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) is widely acknowledged for use in literature, academic
contexts and the media.
Association of Spanish Language Academies
Main article: Association of Spanish Language Academies
Countries members of the ASALE.
Association of Spanish Language Academies
Association of Spanish Language Academies (Asociación de
Academias de la Lengua Española, or ASALE) 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. It comprises the academies of 23 countries,
ordered by date of Academy foundation:
Spain (1713), Colombia
Mexico (1875), El Salvador
Chile (1885), Peru
Costa Rica (1923),
Dominican Republic (1927), Bolivia
Argentina (1931), Uruguay
Puerto Rico (1955), United
States (1973) and
Equatorial Guinea (2016).
Main article: Instituto Cervantes
Cervantes Institute headquarters, Madrid
Instituto Cervantes (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 centers 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
Official use by international organizations
Main article: List of countries where Spanish is an official language
§ International organizations where Spanish is official
Spanish is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the
European Union, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of
American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the
African Union, the Union of South American Nations, the Antarctic
Treaty Secretariat, the
Latin Union, the Caricom, the North American
Free Trade Agreement, and numerous other international organizations.
List of Spanish-language poets
Spanish as a second or foreign language
Spanish words and phrases
Longest word in Spanish
Most common words in Spanish
List of English–Spanish interlingual homographs
Countries where Spanish is an official language
Influences on the Spanish language
Arabic influence on the Spanish language
List of Spanish words of Germanic origin
List of Spanish words of Nahuatl origin
List of Spanish words of Indigenous American Indian origin
List of Spanish words of Philippine origin
Dialects and languages influenced by Spanish
Spanish-based creole languages
List of English words of Spanish origin
Spanish dialects and varieties
Castrapo (Galician Spanish)
Castúo (Extremaduran Spanish)
Spanish in the Americas
North American Spanish
Central American Spanish
South American Spanish
Spanish in the United States
Spanish in Africa
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Spanish in Asia
Spanish in the Philippines
^ El español: una lengua viva – Informe 2017 (PDF) (Report).
Instituto Cervantes. 2017.
^ a b c Spanish at
Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds.
(2017). "Standard Spanish".
Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck
Institute for the Science of Human History.
^ Note that in English, "Castilian" or "Castilian Spanish" may be
understood as referring to European Spanish ("Spanish Spanish") to the
exclusion of dialects in the New World or to
Castilian Spanish to the
exclusion of any other dialect, rather than as a synonym for the
^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's
100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin. Asterisks
mark the 2010 estimates for the top dozen languages.
^ "Summary by language size".
^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency".
^ "Logga in på NE". www.ne.se.
^ Según la revista
Ethnology en su edición de octubre de 2009
(eldia.es Archived 23 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine.)
^ La RAE avala que
Burgos acoge las primeras palabras escritas en
castellano (in Spanish), ES: El mundo, 7 November 2010
Spanish languages "Becoming the language for trade" in
sejours-linguistiques-en-espagne.com. Archived from the original on 18
January 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
^ Robles, Heriberto Camacho Becerra, Juan José Comparán Rizo, Felipe
Castillo (1998). Manual de etimologías grecolatinas (3. ed.).
México: Limusa. p. 19. ISBN 9681855426.
^ Comparán Rizo, Juan José. Raices Griegas y latinas (in Spanish).
Ediciones Umbral. p. 17. ISBN 9789685430012.
^ a b c Dworkin, Steven N. (2012). A History of the Spanish Lexicon: A
Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 83.
^ Versteegh, Kees (2003). The
Arabic language (Repr. ed.). Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press. p. 228. ISBN 0748614362.
^ Lapesa, Raphael (1960). Historia de la lengua española. Madrid.
^ Quintana, Lucía; Mora, Juan Pablo (2002). "Enseñanza del acervo
léxico árabe de la lengua española" (PDF). ASELE. Actas XIII:
705. : "El léxico español de procedencia árabe es muy
abundante: se ha señalado que constituye, aproximadamente, un 8% del
^ Macpherson, I. R. (1980). Spanish phonology. Manchester: Manchester
University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0719007887.
^ Martínez Egido, José Joaquín (2007). Constitución del léxico
español. p. 15.
^ Cervantes, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de. "La época visigoda /
Susana Rodríguez Rosique Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes".
www.cervantesvirtual.com (in Spanish).
^ "Official Languages United Nations". www.un.org. Retrieved 19
^ "Summary by language size". Ethnologue.
^ a b c d e f g h Cervantes.es –
Instituto Cervantes (2017)
^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January
2016. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
^ "Most Studied Foreign Languages in the U.S". Infoplease.com.
Retrieved 20 August 2012.
^ US Census Bureau. "
American Community Survey
American Community Survey (ACS)".
^ Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, 2005, p. 271–272.
^ "Diccionario de la lengua española" (in Spanish). Buscon.rae.es.
Retrieved 6 November 2010.
^ Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Manual de gramática histórica española
(Espasa-Calpe, 1968), §66.2
^ Lloyd A. Kasten and Florian J. Cody, Tentative Dictionary of
Medieval Spanish (2nd ed.,
Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies,
^ "cartularioshistoria". www.euskonews.com.
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^ 2018 population estimate (in Spanish), MX: CONAPO estimate
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the census (Pálidos de hambre (editorial) (in Spanish), Impre, 19
April 2009 )
^ Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, El castellano
^ Ansón, José Ma, José Ma. Ansón: "Casi cincuenta millones" hablan
español en EE. UU., El Castellano
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Univision.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2011.
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^ Rodríguez Barilari, Elbio, Congresos de la lengua (in Spanish),
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Lengua Española (in Spanish), ES: ABC de Sevilla, 29 March 2008
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United States is now the second-largest
Spanish-speaking country in the world, with more Spanish speakers than
Spain, and exceeded only by Mexico).
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país, INDEC, 2013
^ 40,872,286 people is the census population result for 2010
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Ethnologue (see "Argentina". Ethnologue ), there
were 40,3 million speakers Spanish as mother tongue in 2013. The
Argentinian population in 2013 was projected to be 42,2 million.
^ "Proyecciones de Población". ine.gov.ve. (2017)
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other language as their mother tongue (main languages: Chinese
400,000, Portuguese 254,000, Wayuu 199,000, Arabic 110,000)
^ Quispe Fernández, Ezio (2017). "Cifras" [Numbers] (PDF) (in
Spanish). PE: INEI.
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84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other
native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian
languages) 0.7%, other 0.2%
^ "PE", Country, Ethnologue, There are 5,782,260 people who speak
other language as mother tongue (main languages: Quechua (among 32
Quechua's varieties) 4,773,900, Aymara (2 varieties) 661 000, Chinese
^ "Informes" [Reports] (PDF). Proyecciones (in Spanish). CL: INE.
2017. p. 36. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 February
2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
^ "CL", Country, Ethnologue, There are 281,600 people who speak
another language, mainly Mapudungun (250.000)
^ "Estimate", Pop. clock (SWF), EC: INEC
Ethnologue (19 February 1999). "(2011)". Ethnologue. Retrieved 24
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^ According to the 1992 Census, 58 per cent of the population speaks
Spanish as its mother tongue. unicef.org
^ "INE (2017 estimate)". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011.
Retrieved 5 February 2011.
^ There are 207,750 people who speak another language, mainly Garifuna
^ a b c d e f g h i j Informe 2017 (PDF), ES: Instituto Cervantes,
2017, p. 7
^ According to the 1992 census, 50% use both Spanish and the
indigenous language Guarani at home, 37% speak Guarani only, 7% speak
Spanish only.findarticles.com. About 75 percent can speak
^ "INSEE estimate to 1/11/2012". Insee.fr. Retrieved 20 August
^ a b c Eurobarometr 2012 (page T40): Native speakers.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae
af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap Eurobarometr 2012 (page TS2):
Population older than 15. (age scale used for the Eurobarometer
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Eurobarometr 2012 (page T74): Non
native people who speak Spanish very well.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Eurobarometr 2012
(page T64): Non native people who speak Spanish well enough in order
to be able to have a conversation.
^ There are 14,100 people who speak other language as their mother
tongue (main language, Kekchí with 12,300 speakers): Ethnologue.
^ There are 490,124 people who speak another language, mainly Mískito
^ IBGE population estimation [IBGE publishes the populational
estimates for municipalities in 2 011] (in Portuguese), BR, 2016
^ "Eurostat 2015 estimation". Istat.it. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
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March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
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Machine. (véase "Proyección de Población por municipio
^ There are 501,043 people who speak another language as mother
tongue: PA, Ethnologue
^ "2016 INE estimation". 2016.
^ There are 150,200 people who speak another language as mother
tongue, UY, Ethnologue
^ "2015 US. census Bureau". Archived from the original (PDF) on 23
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Advance Tables" (PDF).
United Nations Department of Economic and
Social Affairs/Population Division. p. 15. Retrieved 10 January
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español en el mundo [Spanish in the world] (PDF), ES: Instituto
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y perspectivas (page 39): Between 4 and 7 million people have Spanish
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(1996), La lengua española en Filipinas (PDF), Cervantes virtual,
p. 54 and 55
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link]: 3,017,265 Spanish speakers. 439,000 with native knowledge,
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Chavacano speakers (24 April 2010). "FILIPINAS / Vigoroso
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Canada in 2015, according to
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Media Week in Toronto): www.univision.com, www.abc.es.
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2012–2013". Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
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2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
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+ 11,7% with some Spanish knowledge))
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5706 Argentines in 2012 () + 2864 Chileans in 2012
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Cervantes"cervantes.es (page 4)
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inglés, Gráfico 2). 77.3% of the
Gibraltar population speak Spanish
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2010. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
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Sahara () but probably most of them were people born in
left after the Moroccan annexation
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2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
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Retrieved 14 June 2013.
^ "::Welcome to Turkish Statistical Institute(TurkStat)'s Web
Pages::". TurkStat. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
^ 8,000 (Page 37 of the Demografía de la lengua española) + 4,346
Spanish Students (according to the Instituto Cervantes)
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India :Census 2011". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 24 March
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Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March
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Spanish as a native language in the E.U. excluded Spain, but It is
already counted population who speak Spanish as a native language in
Italy (255,459), U.K. (120,000)
Sweden (77,912) and
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Bureau". Census.gov. 5 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19
August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
^ 426,515,910 speakers L1 in 2012 (ethnologue) of 7,097,500,000 people
in the World in 2012 (UN): 6%.
^ "The 30 Most Spoken Languages in the World". KryssTal. Retrieved 16
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people in the World in 2012 (UN): 7.3%.
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University Press. p. 199. ISBN 0-521-78045-4. whatever might
be claimed by other centres, such as Valladolid, it was educated
Madrid Spanish that were mostly regularly reflected in
the written standard.
^ The IPA symbol "turned y" (ʎ), with its "tail" leaning to the
right, resembles, but is technically different from, the Greek letter
lambda (λ), whose tail leans to the left.
^ Charles B. Chang, "Variation in palatal production in Buenos Aires
Spanish". Selected Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Spanish
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^ Often considered to be a substratum word. Other theories suggest, on
the basis of what is used to make cheese, a derivation from Latin
brandeum (originally meaning a linen covering, later a thin cloth for
relic storage) through an intermediate root *brandea. For the
development of the meaning, cf. Spanish manteca, Portuguese manteiga,
Latin mantica ('sack'), Italian formaggio and French
fromage from formaticus. Romanian Explanatory Dictionary
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for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture. Retrieved 4
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Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 5 February
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29 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
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from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February
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from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
^ "Academia Mexicana de la Lengua". Mexico. 22 September 2010.
Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November
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original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
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from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
^ "Academia Chilena de la Lengua". Chile. Archived from the original
on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
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Retrieved 5 February 2011.
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Spanish edition of, the free encyclopedia
Spanish edition of Wikisource, the free library
Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española (in Spanish)
Spanish language at BBC Online
Tips to Learn Spanish Fast
Spanish language at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
Spanish at Wikibooks
Films for learning Spanish
Varieties of Spanish by continent
Central western Argentina
Los Llanos Colombia/Venezuela
spoken by Catalan speakers
Papiamento (Portuguese-based creole with Spanish influence)
Cocoliche and Lunfardo
Coastal Argentina, Uruguay
Romance languages (Classification)
North Italian dialects
Gallo-Italic of Sicily
Gallo-Italic of Basilicata
Mediterranean Lingua Franca
Central, Sardinian and Eastern
Italics indicate extinct languages
Bold indicates languages with more than 5 million speakers
Languages between parentheses are varieties of the language on their
Languages of Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina
States with limited
Isle of Man
Languages of South America
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
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