The Info List - Spanish Language

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The Spanish language
Spanish language
(/ˈspænɪʃ/ ( listen);  Español (help·info)), also called the Castilian language[4] (/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.[5][6][7][8][9] Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin
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,[10] 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 Philippines.[11] 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.[12][13] Spanish vocabulary has been in contact with Arabic from an early date, having developed during the Al-Andalus
era in the Iberian Peninsula.[14][15][16][17] With around 8% of its vocabulary being Arabic in origin, this language is the second most important influence after Latin.[14][18][19] It has also been influenced by Basque, Celtiberian, Visigothic, and by neighboring Ibero-Romance languages.[20][14] Additionally, it has absorbed vocabulary from other languages, particularly the Romance languages
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.[21]


1 Estimated number of speakers 2 Names of the language 3 History 4 Grammar 5 Phonology

5.1 Segmental phonology 5.2 Prosody

6 Geographical distribution

6.1 Europe 6.2 Americas

6.2.1 Hispanic
America 6.2.2 United States

6.3 Africa 6.4 Asia-Pacific 6.5 Spanish speakers by country

7 Dialectal variation

7.1 Phonology 7.2 Grammar

7.2.1 Voseo Distribution in Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas

7.2.2 Ustedes 7.2.3 Usted 7.2.4 Third-person object pronouns

7.3 Vocabulary

8 Relation to other languages

8.1 Judaeo-Spanish

9 Writing system 10 Organizations

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 12 References 13 Bibliography 14 Further reading 15 External links

Estimated number of speakers[edit] 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.[22] Instituto Cervantes
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.[23] 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.[24] Spanish is the most popular second language learned in the United States.[25] In 2011 it was estimated by the American Community Survey
American Community Survey
that of the 55 million Hispanic
United States residents who are five years of age and over, 38 million speak Spanish at home.[26] Names of the language[edit] Main article: Names given to the Spanish language

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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.[citation needed][dubious – discuss]

In 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. The 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 Comunidades Autónomas... Castilian is the official Spanish language
Spanish language
of the State. ... The other Spanish languages
Spanish languages
shall also be official in their respective Autonomous Communities...

The Spanish Royal Academy, on the other hand, currently uses the term español in its publications, but from 1713 to 1923 called the language castellano. 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.[27] 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'.[28] Other authorities[29][30] attribute it to a supposed mediaeval Latin
*hispaniōne, with the same meaning. History[edit] 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.[31]

The Spanish language
Spanish language
evolved from Vulgar Latin, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula
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
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 from Germanic languages
Germanic languages
through the migration of tribes and a period of Visigoth
rule in Iberia. In addition, many more words were borrowed from Latin
through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church. The loanwords were taken from both Classical Latin
and Renaissance Latin, the form of Latin
in use at that time. According to the theories of Ramón Menéndez Pidal, local sociolects of Vulgar Latin
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.[32] 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).[33] 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.[32] 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:

Latin Spanish Ladino Aragonese Asturian Galician Portuguese Catalan Gascon / Occitan French Sardinian Italian Romanian English

petra piedra pedra pedra/pèira pierre perda pietra piatrǎ 'stone'

terra tierra terra tèrra terre terra țară 'land'

moritur muere muerre morre mor morís meurt mòrit muore moare 'dies (v.)'

mortem muerte morte mort mòrt mort mòrti morte moarte 'death'

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 > Spanish anillo). 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.[citation needed] 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 borrowings from 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 "satisfied"). Compare the examples in the following table:

Latin Spanish Ladino Aragonese Asturian Galician Portuguese Catalan Gascon / Occitan French Sardinian Italian Romanian English

filium hijo fijo (or ijo) fillo fíu fillo filho fill filh/hilh fils fillu figlio fiu 'son'

facere hacer fazer fer facer fazer fer far/faire/har (or hèr) faire fairi fare a face 'to do'

febrem fiebre febre fèbre/frèbe/hrèbe (or herèbe) fièvre (calentura) febbre febră 'fever'

focum fuego fueu fogo foc fuòc/fòc/huèc feu fogu fuoco foc 'fire'

Some consonant clusters of Latin
also produced characteristically different results in these languages, as shown in the examples in the following table:

Latin Spanish Ladino Aragonese Asturian Galician Portuguese Catalan Gascon / Occitan French Sardinian Italian Romanian English

clāvem llave/clave clave clau llave chave chave clau clé crai chiave cheie 'key'

flamma llama/flama flama chama chama/flama flama flamme framma fiamma flamă 'flame'

plēnum lleno/pleno pleno plen llenu cheo cheio/pleno ple plen plein prenu pieno plin 'plenty, full'

octō ocho güeito ocho/oito oito oito (oito) vuit/huit uèch/uòch/uèit huit otu otto opt 'eight'

multum mucho muy muncho muy muito mui munchu mui moito moi muito (muito) mui (arch.) molt molt (arch.) moult (arch.) (meda) molto mult 'much, very, many'

Antonio de Nebrija, author of Gramática de la lengua castellana, the first grammar of modern European languages.[34]

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
Old Spanish
sibilants) for details. 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.[35] 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.[36] In his introduction to the grammar, dated 18 August 1492, Nebrija wrote that "... language was always the companion of empire."[37] From the sixteenth century onwards, the language was taken to America and the 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").[38] In the twentieth century, Spanish was introduced to Equatorial Guinea and the Western Sahara, and to areas of the United States
United States
that had not been part of the Spanish Empire, such as Spanish Harlem
Spanish Harlem
in New York City. For details on borrowed words and other external influences upon Spanish, see Influences on the Spanish language. Grammar[edit] 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. Verbs express T-V distinction
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 languages. 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 intonation. Phonology[edit]

This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode
characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

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).[39] 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). Segmental phonology[edit]

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[40]). 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 alone. 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 orthography). 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.

Consonant phonemes[41]

Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar





Stop p b t d

tʃ ʝ k ɡ

Continuant f θ* s

(ʃ) x








Prosody[edit] Spanish is classified by its rhythm as a syllable-timed language: each syllable has approximately the same duration regardless of stress.[42][43] 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.[44][45] 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:[46]

In words that end with a vowel, stress most often falls on the penultimate syllable. 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 orthography.) Geographical distribution[edit] See also: Hispanophone

geographical places of the spanish language

  Official or co-official language




Active learning of Spanish.[47]

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.[48][49] 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.[50] Europe[edit] Main article: Peninsular Spanish

Percentage of people who self reportedly know enough Spanish to hold a conversation, in the EU, 2005   Native country   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.[51] Spanish is also spoken by small communities in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.[52] 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.[53] Americas[edit] Hispanic
America[edit] Main article: Spanish language
Spanish language
in the Americas Most Spanish speakers are in Hispanic
America; of all countries with a majority of Spanish speakers, only Spain
and Equatorial Guinea
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 Guaraní),[54] Peru
(co-official with Quechua, Aymara, and "the other indigenous languages"[55]), Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
(co-official with English),[56] 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.[57][58] Mainly, it is spoken by the descendants of Hispanics who have been in the region since the seventeenth century; however, English is the official language.[59] Due to their proximity to Spanish-speaking countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil
have implemented Spanish language
Spanish language
teaching into their education systems. The Trinidad government launched the Spanish as a First Foreign Language (SAFFL) initiative in March 2005.[60] 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.[61] In September 2016 this law was revoked by Michel Temer
Michel Temer
after impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.[62] In many border towns and villages along Paraguay
and Uruguay, a mixed language known as Portuñol
is spoken.[63] United States[edit] Main article: Spanish language
Spanish language
in the United States See also: New Mexican Spanish

Spanish spoken in the United States
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. population were Hispanic
or Hispanic
American by origin;[64] 38.3 million people, 13 percent, of the population over five years old speak Spanish at home.[65] The Spanish language
Spanish language
has a long history of presence in the United States
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.[66] 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.[67] 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.[citation needed] Africa[edit] Main article: Equatoguinean Spanish

Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo, writer, poet, journalist and promoter of the Spanish language.

Bilingual signage of Museum of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army in Western Sahara
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 speakers.[68][69] 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
Canary Islands
archipelago (population 2,000,000), located some 100 km off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. 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 Spanish dialect Haketia
(related to the Ladino dialect spoken in Israel). Spanish is spoken by some small communities in Angola
because of the Cuban influence from the Cold War
Cold War
and in South Sudan
South Sudan
among South Sudanese natives that relocated to Cuba
during the Sudanese wars and returned in time for their country's independence.[70] 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 recognition.[71][72] Asia-Pacific[edit] See also: Spanish language
Spanish language
in the Philippines

La Solidaridad
La Solidaridad
newspaper and Juan Luna
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%.[73] Despite American administration after the defeat of Spain
in the Spanish–American War
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.[74] 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.[75] 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.[76] In 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
encouraged the reintroduction of Spanish-language teaching in the Philippine education system.[77] But by 2012, the number of secondary schools at which the language was either a compulsory subject or an elective had become very limited.[78] Today, despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population report being able to speak the language proficiently.[79] 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.[80] Speakers of the Zamboangueño variety of Chavacano
were numbered about 360,000 in the 2000 census.[81] The local languages of the Philippines
also retain some Spanish influence, with many words being derived from Mexican Spanish, owing to the control of the islands by Spain
through Mexico
City until 1821, and then directly from Madrid
until 1898.[82][83] 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.[84][85] Today, Spanish is not spoken officially in any of these former Spanish territories. In 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 to verify] Spanish speakers by country[edit] The following table shows the number of Spanish speakers in some 79 countries.

Country Population[86] Spanish as a native language speakers[87] Native speakers or very good speakers as a second language[88] Total number of Spanish speakers (including limited competence speakers)[88][89][90]

 Mexico 124,737,789[91] 115,631,930 (92.7%)[92] 122,866,722 (98.5%)[90]

 United States 323,127,515[93] 40,489,813[94] (13.3%)[95] 42,926,496[23] (82%[96] of the 57.4 mill. Hispanics[97] + 2.8 mill. non Hispanics[98]) 58,008,778[23] (40,5 million as a first language, 15 million as a second language,[99] 7.8 million students[89] and some of the 9 million undocumented Hispanics not accounted by the Census[100])[101][102][103][104][105][106]

 Colombia 49,610,000[107] 48,760,000 (850,000 with other mother tongue)[108] 49,213,120 (99.2%)[90]

 Spain 46,539,026[109] 42,879,004 (92,1%)[23] 45,998,324 (98.8%)[90]

 Argentina 44,494,502[110][112] 42,062,795 (95.5%)[113] 43,780,542 (99.4%)[90]

 Venezuela 31,828,110[114] 30,729,866 (1,098,244 with other mother tongue)[115] 31,466,173 (98.8%)[90]

 Peru 32,162,184[116] 27,048,397 (84.1%)[117][118] 28,945,966 (86.6%)[90]

 Chile 18,275,530[119] 17,993,930 (281,600 with other mother tongue)[120] 18,147,601 (99.3%)[90]

 Ecuador 16,674,000[121] 14,700,000[122] 16,357,194 (98.1%)[90]

 Guatemala 16,945,000[86] 10,167,000 (60%)[123] 14,640,480 (86.4%)[90]

 Cuba 11,559,000[86] 11,559,000[124] 11,489,646 (99.4%)[90]

 Dominican Republic 10,819,000[86] 9,300,000[125] 10,775,724 (99.6%)[90]

 Bolivia 11,145,770[126] 6,464,547 (58%)[127] 9,797,132 (87.9%)[90]

 Honduras 8,866,351[128] 8,658,501 (207,750 with other mother tongue)[129] 8,777,687 (99.0%)[90]

 Paraguay 6,953,646[130] 4,721,526 (67.9%)[130][131] 6,953,646 (2,232,120 limited proficiency)[130]

 France 65,635,000[132] 477,564 (1%[133] of 47,756,439[134]) 1,910,258 (4%[135] of 47,756,439[134]) 6,685,901 (14%[136] of 47,756,439[134])

 El Salvador 6,349,939[130] 6,330,889 (99.7%)[137] 6,349,939 (19,050 limited proficiency)[130]

 Nicaragua 6,218,321[130][86] 6,037,990 (97.1%) (490,124 with other mother tongue)[130][138] 6,218,321 (180,331 limited proficiency)[130]

 Brazil 206,120,000[139] 460,018[130] 460,018[130] 6,056,018 (460,018 native speakers + 96,000 limited proficiency + 5,500,000 can hold a conversation)

 Italy 60,795,612[140] 255,459[141] 1,037,248 (2%[135] of 51,862,391[134]) 5,704,863 (11%[136] of 51,862,391[134])

 Costa Rica 4,890,379[142] 4,806,069 (84,310 with other mother tongue)[143] 4,851,256 (99.2%)[90]

 Panama 3,764,166[144] 3,263,123 (501,043 with other mother tongue)[145] 3,504,439 (93.1%)[90]

 Uruguay 3,480,222[146] 3,330,022 (150,200 with other mother tongue)[147] 3,441,940 (98.9%)[90]

 Puerto Rico 3,474,182[148] 3,303,947 (95.1%)[149] 3,432,492 (98.8%)[90]

 Morocco 34,378,000[150] 6,586[151] 6,586 3,415,000[151][152] (10%)[153]

 United Kingdom 64 105 700[154] 120,000[155] 518,480 (1%[135] of 51,848,010[134]) 3,110,880 (6%[136] of 51,848,010[134])

 Philippines 101,562,305[156]

438,882[157] 3,016,773[158][159][160][161][162][163][164]

 Germany 81,292,400[165]

644,091 (1%[135] of 64,409,146[134]) 2,576,366 (4%[136] of 64,409,146[134])

 Equatorial Guinea 1,622,000[166] 1,683[167] 918,000[90] (90.5%)[90][168]

 Romania 21,355,849[169]

182,467 (1%[135] of 18,246,731[134]) 912,337 (5%[136] of 18,246,731[134])

 Portugal 10,636,888[170]

323,237 (4%[135] of 8,080,915[134]) 808,091 (10%[136] of 8,080,915[134])

 Canada 34,605,346[171] 439,000[172] 643,800 (87%[173] of 740,000[174])[23] 736,653[89]

 Netherlands 16,665,900[175]

133,719 (1%[135] of 13,371,980[134]) 668,599 (5%[136] of 13,371,980[134] )

 Sweden 9,555,893[176] 77,912 (1%[133] of 7,791,240[134]) 77,912 (1% of 7,791,240) 467,474 (6%[136] of 7,791,240[134])

 Australia 21,507,717[177] 111,400[178] 111,400 447,175[179]

 Belgium 10,918,405[180]

89,395 (1%[135] of 8,939,546[134]) 446,977 (5%[136] of 8,939,546[134])

 Benin 10,008,749[181]

412,515 (students)[89]

 Ivory Coast 21,359,000[182]

341,073 (students)[89]

 Poland 38,092,000

324,137 (1%[135] of 32,413,735[134]) 324,137 (1% of 32,413,735)

 Austria 8,205,533

70,098 (1%[135] of 7,009,827[134]) 280,393 (4%[136] of 7,009,827[134])

 Algeria 33,769,669


 Belize 333,200[183] 173,597[151] 173,597[151] 195,597[151] (62.8%)[184]

 Senegal 12,853,259

205,000 (students)[89]

 Denmark 5,484,723

45,613 (1%[135] of 4,561,264[134]) 182,450 (4%[136] of 4,561,264[134])

 Israel 7,112,359

130,000[151] 175,231[185]

 Japan 127,288,419 100,229[186] 100,229 167,514 (60,000 students)[89]

 Gabon 1,545,255[187]

167,410 (students)[89]

  Switzerland 7,581,520 150,782 (2,24%)[188][189] 150,782 165,202 (14,420 students)[190]

 Ireland 4,581,269[191]

35,220 (1%[135] of 3,522,000[134]) 140,880 (4%[136] of 3,522,000[134])

 Finland 5,244,749

133,200 (3%[136] of 4,440,004[134])

 Bulgaria 7,262,675

130,750 (2%[135] of 6,537,510[134]) 130,750 (2%[136] of 6,537,510[134])

and  Curaçao 223,652 10,699[151] 10,699[151] 125,534[151]

 Norway 5,165,800 21,187[192]


 Czech Republic 10,513,209[193]

90,124 (1%[136] of 9,012,443[134])

 Hungary 9,957,731[194]

83,206 (1%[136] of 8,320,614[134])

 Aruba 101,484[195] 6,800[151] 6,800[151] 75,402[151]

 Trinidad and Tobago 1,317,714[196] 4,100[151] 4,100[151] 65,886[151] (5%)[197]

 Cameroon 21,599,100[198]

63,560 (students)[89]

 Andorra 84,484 33,305[151] 33,305[151] 54,909[151]


35,194 (2%[135] of 1,759,701[134]) 52,791 (3%[136] of 1,759,701[134])

 New Zealand

21,645[199] 21,645 47,322 (25,677 students)[89]

 Slovakia 5,455,407

45,500 (1%[136] of 4,549,955[134])

 China 1,339,724,852[200]

30,000 (students)[201]

 Gibraltar 29,441[202] 22,758 (77.3%[203])

 Lithuania 2,972,949[204]

28,297 (1%[136] of 2,829,740[134])

 Luxembourg 524,853 4,049 (1%[133] of 404,907[134]) 8,098 (2%[135] of 404,907[134]) 24,294 (6%[136] of 404,907[134])

 Russia 143,400,000[205] 3,320[151] 3,320[151] 23,320[151]

 Western Sahara 513,000[206] n.a.[207]




US Virgin Islands

16,788[209] 16,788[151] 16,788[151]

 Latvia 2,209,000[210]

13,943 (1%[136] of 1,447,866[134])

 Turkey 73,722,988[211] 1,134[151] 1,134[151] 13,480[151][212]


2%[136] of 660,400[134]

 India 1,210,193,422[213]

9,750 (students)[214]


9,457 (1%[136] of 945,733[134])

 Jamaica 2,711,476[215] 8,000[216] 8,000[216] 8,000[216]






3,354 (1%[136] of 335,476[134])

  European Union
European Union
(excluding Spain) 460,624,488[219] 2,397,000 (934,984 already counted)[220]

Total 7,430,000,000 (Total World Population)[221] 460,711,061[2][23] (6.2 %)[222] 497,002,329 [23] (6.6 % ) 545,178,992 [2][23][223] (7.3 %)[224]

Dialectal variation[edit]

A world map attempting to identify the main dialects of Spanish.

Main article: Spanish dialects
Spanish dialects
and varieties There are important variations (phonological, grammatical, and lexical) in the spoken Spanish of the various regions of Spain
and 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 /s/.[225][226] 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.[227][228][229][230] The educated Madrid
variety has most influenced the written standard for Spanish.[231] Phonology[edit] 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/ ("turned y"),[232]

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
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 of 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 most of Hispanic America
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 Americas.[citation needed] 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 Spain
and 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).[233]

Grammar[edit] 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. Voseo[edit] 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 dominance.

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 intimacy.[234] 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)

Indicative Subjunctive Imperative

Present Simple past Imperfect past Future Conditional Present Past

pensás pensaste pensabas pensarás pensarías pienses pensaras pensases pensá

volvés volviste volvías volverás volverías vuelvas volvieras volvieses volvé

dormís dormiste dormías dormirás dormirías duermas durmieras durmieses dormí

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.

Chilean voseo

Indicative Subjunctive Imperative

Present Simple past Imperfect past Future Conditional Present Past

pensáis pensaste pensabais 'pensarás' pensaríais penseís pensarais pensases piensa

volvís volviste volvíais 'volverás' volveríais volváis volvierais volvieses vuelve

dormís dormiste dormíais 'dormirás' dormiríais durmáis durmieras durmieses duerme

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 "verbal voseo". In Chile, for example, verbal voseo is much more common than the actual use of the pronoun vos, which is usually reserved for highly informal situations. And in Central American voseo, one can see even further distinction.

Central American voseo

Indicative Subjunctive Imperative

Present Simple past Imperfect past Future Conditional Present Past

pensás pensaste pensabas pensarás pensarías pensés pensaras pensases pensá

volvés volviste volvías volverás volverías volvás volvieras volvieses volvé

dormís dormiste dormías dormirás dormirías durmás durmieras durmieses dormí

The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.

Distribution in Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas[edit] 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.[235] 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
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.[234] Ustedes[edit] Ustedes functions as formal and informal second person plural in over 90% of the Spanish-speaking world, including all of Hispanic
America, 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[edit] 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[edit] 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 object). Vocabulary[edit] 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), and Uruguay. Relation to other languages[edit] 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.[236][237][238][239] 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.[240][241] 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 Romance languages:

Latin Spanish Galician Portuguese Astur-Leonese Aragonese Catalan French Italian Romanian English

nos nosotros nós1 nós1 nós, nosotros nusatros nosaltres (arch. nós) nous2 noi/noialtri3 noi 'we'

frater germanum (lit. "true brother") hermano irmán irmão hermanu chirmán germà (arch. frare)4 frère fratello frate 'brother'

dies martis (Classical) feria tertia (Ecclesiastical) martes martes/terza feira terça-feira martes martes dimarts mardi martedì marți 'Tuesday'

cantiō(nem) canticum canción cántico canción/cançom5 cántico canção cântico canción (or canciu) canta cançó chanson canzone cântec 'song'

magis plus más (arch. plus) máis mais (arch. chus or plus) más más (or més) més (arch. pus or plus) plus più mai/plus 'more'

manus sinistra mano izquierda6 (arch. mano siniestra) man esquerda6 mão esquerda6 (arch. mão sẽestra) manu izquierda6 (or esquierda; also manzorga) man cucha mà esquerra6 (arch. mà sinistra) main gauche mano sinistra mâna stângă 'left hand'

nihil nullam rem natam (lit. "no thing born") nada nada (also ren and res) nada (neca and nula rés in some expressions; arch. rem) nada (also un res) cosa res rien/nul niente/nulla nimic/nul 'nothing'

cāseus formaticus queso queixo queijo quesu queso formatge fromage formaggio/cacio caș7 'cheese'

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, unfortunate"). 7. Romanian caș (from Latin
cāsevs) means a type of cheese. The universal term for cheese in Romanian is brânză (from unknown etymology).[242] Judaeo-Spanish[edit] 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,[243] is a variety of Spanish which preserves many features of medieval Spanish and Portuguese and is spoken by descendants of the Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews
who were expelled from Spain
in the fifteenth century.[243] 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
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 Hispanic
America.[243] Judaeo-Spanish
lacks 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 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) 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. Writing system[edit] Main article: Spanish orthography

Spanish language




Orthography Names


Old Middle Influences


Determiners Nouns



personal object

Adjectives Prepositions Verbs

conjugation irregular verbs


Peninsular Pan-American Standard


seseo yeísmo voseo leísmo loísmo


Creoles Spanglish Portuñol


Hispanism Institutos RAE

v t e

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⟩.[244][245] 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.[246] Ch,[247] Ll.[248]

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), although the Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española
advises against this and the orthographic conventions taught at schools enforce the use of the accent. 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 *[θiˈɣeɲa]). Interrogative and exclamatory clauses are introduced with inverted question and exclamation marks (¿ and ¡, respectively). Organizations[edit]

The Royal Spanish Academy
Royal Spanish Academy
Headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

Royal Spanish Academy[edit] Main article: Real Academia Española

Arms of the Royal Spanish Academy

The Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española
(Royal Spanish Academy), founded in 1713,[249] 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.[250] 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[edit] Main article: Association of Spanish Language Academies

Countries members of the ASALE.[251]

The 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),[252] Colombia (1871),[253] Ecuador
(1874),[254] Mexico
(1875),[255] El Salvador (1876),[256] Venezuela
(1883),[257] Chile
(1885),[258] Peru (1887),[259] Guatemala
(1887),[260] Costa Rica
Costa Rica
(1923),[261] Philippines
(1924),[262] Panama
(1926),[263] Cuba
(1926),[264] Paraguay
(1927),[265] Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
(1927),[266] Bolivia (1927),[267] Nicaragua
(1928),[268] Argentina
(1931),[269] Uruguay (1943),[270] Honduras
(1949),[271] Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
(1955),[272] United States (1973)[273] and Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea

Cervantes Institute[edit] Main article: Instituto Cervantes

Cervantes Institute
Cervantes Institute
headquarters, Madrid

The Instituto Cervantes
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
Spanish language
education, and to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish and Hispanic
American cultures throughout non-Spanish-speaking countries. Official use by international organizations[edit] 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.

See also[edit]

List of Spanish-language poets Fundéu BBVA Spanish as a second or foreign language

Spanish words and phrases

Longest word in Spanish Most common words in Spanish Spanish profanity Spanish proverbs List of English–Spanish interlingual homographs Cuento

Spanish-speaking world

Countries where Spanish is an official language Hispanic
culture Hispanicization Hispanidad Hispanism Hispanosphere Panhispanism

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

Caló Chamorro Chavacano Frespañol Ladino Llanito Palenquero Papiamento Philippine languages Portuñol Spanglish Spanish-based creole languages List of English words of Spanish origin

Spanish dialects
Spanish dialects
and varieties

European Spanish

Peninsular Spanish

Andalusian Spanish Castilian Spanish Castrapo (Galician Spanish) Castúo (Extremaduran Spanish) Murcian Spanish

Insular Spanish

Canarian Spanish

Spanish in the Americas

North American Spanish Central American Spanish Caribbean Spanish South American Spanish Spanish in the United States

Spanish in Africa

Equatoguinean Spanish Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Spanish in Asia

Spanish in the Philippines[275]


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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). ^ "Reloj animado" (in Spanish). CO: DANE. Retrieved 1 February 2017.  ^ There are 850,000 speakers of American Indian languages ("CO", Ethnologue, archived from the original on 26 March 2014 ) ^ "Datos básicos" (in Spanish). ES: INE. 1 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.  ^ "Argentinian census INDEC estimate for 2017". Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ a b Estimaciones y proyecciones de población 2010-2040: Total del país, INDEC, 2013  ^ 40,872,286 people is the census population result for 2010[111] ^ According to 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.[111] ^ "Proyecciones de Población". ine.gov.ve.  (2017) ^ "Languages", VE, Ethnologue, There are 1,098,244 people who speak 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.  ^ "Census", The World factbook, US: CIA, 2007, Spanish (official) 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 100,000).  ^ "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 March 2014.  ^ "GT", The World factbook, CIA, Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40%  ^ "Cuba". Country (report). Ethnologue. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ Ethnologue
(19 February 1999). "(2011)". Ethnologue. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "(2017)". INE. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.  ^ 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 (98,000).: Ethnologue ^ 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 Spanish.pressreference.com ^ "INSEE estimate to 1/11/2012". Insee.fr. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ 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 survey) ^ 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 (154,000).: Ethnologue ^ 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.  ^ Languages of Italy ^ "ENEC estimation to 2016". INEC. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Costa Rica". Ethnologue.  ^ Census INE estimate for 2013 Archived 7 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (véase "Proyección de Población por municipio 2008–2020") ^ 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 December 2015.  ^ 95.10% of the population speaks Spanish (US. Census Bureau) ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revi sion, Key Findings and Advance Tables" (PDF). United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. p. 15. Retrieved 10 January 2016.  ^ 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 El español en el mundo [Spanish in the world] (PDF), ES: Instituto Cervantes, 2012, p. 6 [permanent dead link] ^ El español en el contexto Sociolingüístico marroquí: Evolución y perspectivas (page 39): Between 4 and 7 million people have Spanish knowledge (M. Ammadi, 2002) Archived 6 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Euromonitor, 2012" (PDF). exteriores.gob.es. p. 32.  ^ "Annual Mid year Population Estimates: 2013". U.K. Gov. Census. 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2016.  ^ Languages of the United Kingdom ^ Medium projection, PH: National Statistics Office, 2015  ^ "native knowledge speakers" (in Spanish). Realinstitutoelcano.org. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ 1,816,773 Spanish + 1,200,000 Spanish creole: Quilis, Antonio (1996), La lengua española en Filipinas (PDF), Cervantes virtual, p. 54 and 55  ^ Ten Reasons (PDF), ES: Mepsyd, p. 23  ^ Philippines, Spanish differences, archived from the original on 21 December 2012  ^ Spanish in the world 2012 (Instituto Cervantes)[permanent dead link]: 3,017,265 Spanish speakers. 439,000 with native knowledge, 2,557,773 with limited knowledge (page 6), and 20,492 Spanish students (page 10). ^ Nestor Diaz: More than 2 million Spanish speakers and around 3 million with Chavacano
speakers (24 April 2010). "FILIPINAS / Vigoroso regreso del español". Aresprensa.com. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ The figure of 2 900 000 Spanish speakers is in Thompson, RW, Pluricentric languages: differing norms in different nations, p. 45  ^ World wide Spanish language, Sispain  ^ German census, DE: Destatis, 31 March 2015  ^ " Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
census". Population statistics. 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.  ^ Spanish according to INE 2011 ^ 14% of the population speaks Spanish natively and other 74% as a second language: "Anuario", CVC (PDF) (in Spanish), ES: Cervantes, 2007  ^ "Eurostat (1/1/2012 estimate)". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ Eurostat 1 January 2010 ^ Statcan, CA: GC  ^ "www12.statcan.gc.ca/census". 2.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ 87% of the Hispanics, speak Spanish. mequieroir.com ^ There are 740,000 Hispanics in Canada
in 2015, according to "Hispanovation: La creciente influencia hispánica en Canadá" (Social Media Week in Toronto): www.univision.com, www.abc.es. ^ "Netherland Census ClockPop". Cbs.nl. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ 2012 censusArchived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "2011 Census". Censusdata.abs.gov.au. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "2071.0 – Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013". Abs.gov.au. Retrieved 14 June 2013.  ^ Page 32 of the "Demografía de la lengua española" ^ "Eurostat estimate to 1/1/2011". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ "Accueil - INSAE". www.insae-bj.org.  ^ "ins.ci Census, 2009".  ^ statisticsbelize.org.bz (2009 mid-year) Archived 9 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Page 32 of Demografía de la lengua española (52,1% native speakers + 11,7% with some Spanish knowledge)) ^ Pages 34, 35 of the "Demografía de la lengua española", page 35. ^ "Migration data" (PDF). iom.int. 2012.  ^ www.state.gov. 2015 estimate ^ Statistik, Bundesamt für. "Bevölkerung". www.bfs.admin.ch. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016.  ^ 111,942 Spaniards in 2016 (INE) + 17,113 Peruvians in 2012 ([1]) + 5706 Argentines in 2012 ([2]) + 2864 Chileans in 2012 ^ "cvc.cervantes.es (annuary 2006–07)" (PDF).  ^ [3] Archived 30 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "cvc.cervantes.es". cvc.cervantes.es. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "czso.cz" (in Czech). czso.cz. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "(2012)". ksh.hu. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "Resultado 2010 – Persona". Censo2010.aw. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ [4] Archived 7 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Data" (PDF). cvc.cervantes.es.  ^ Evolution de la population par sexe de 1976 à 2012 en: Annuaire Statistique du Cameroun 2010. Consultado el 23 August 2012. ^ " New Zealand
New Zealand
census (2006)". Stats.govt.nz. 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "Press Release on Major Figures of the 2010 National Population Census". Stats.gov.cn. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.  ^ 25,000 Spanish students in the university + 5,000 in the "Instituto Cervantes"cervantes.es (page 4) ^ "Statistics – FAQ's". Gibraltar.gov.gi. 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ www.um.es (5.2. Datos descriptivos de los usos de español e inglés, Gráfico 2). 77.3% of the Gibraltar
population speak Spanish with their mother more, or equal than English. ^ "(2013)". db1.stat.gov.lt. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "Демография". Gks.ru. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "2009 estimate" (PDF). UN. 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010.  ^ The Spanish 1970 census claims 16.648 Spanish speakers in Western Sahara ([5]) but probably most of them were people born in Spain
who left after the Moroccan annexation ^ Page 34 of the Demografía de la Lengua Española ^ "2010 Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.  ^ "Population – Key Indicators Latvijas statistika". Csb.gov.lv. 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) ^ "Census of India : Provisional Population Totals : India :Census 2011". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "cervantes.es (page 6)" (PDF). Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "Jamaican Population". Statinja.gov.jm. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ a b c Languages of Jamaica, ^ El español en Namibia, 2005. Instituto Cervantes. ^ "cvc.cervantes.es" (PDF). Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.  ^ Demografía de la lengua española, page 37 (2,397,000 people speak 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 France
(477,564), Italy
(255,459), U.K. (120,000) Sweden
(77,912) and Luxemburg (4,049)). ^ "International Programs – People and Households – U.S. Census 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 January 2013.  ^ 517,824,310 speakers L1 and L2 in 2012 (ethnologue) of 7,097,500,000 people in the World in 2012 (UN): 7.3%. ^ Eleanor Greet Cotton, John M. Sharp (1988) Spanish in the Americas, Volume 2, pp.154–155, URL ^ Lope Blanch, Juan M. (1972) En torno a las vocales caedizas del español mexicano, pp.53 a 73, Estudios sobre el español de México, editorial Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México
URL. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House Inc. 2006.  ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Company. 2006.  ^ Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. 1998.  ^ Encarta World English Dictionary. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2008.  ^ Penny, Ralph (2000). Variation and Change in Spanish. Cambridge University Press. p. 199. ISBN 0-521-78045-4. whatever might be claimed by other centres, such as Valladolid, it was educated varieties of 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 Sociolinguistics, ed. Maurice Westmoreland and Juan Antonio Thomas, 54–63. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 2008. ^ a b "Real Academia Española" (in Spanish). Buscon.rae.es. Retrieved 21 April 2010.  ^ Katia Salamanca
de Abreu, review of Humberto López Morales, Estudios sobre el español de Cuba
(New York: Editorial Las Américas, 1970), in Thesaurus, 28 (1973), 138–146. ^ Jensen (1989) ^ Penny (2000:14) ^ Dalby (1998:501) ^ Ginsburgh & Weber (2011:90) ^ "Spanish". Ethnologue.  ^ "Similar languages to Spanish". EZGlot.  ^ 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, probably from Latin
mantica ('sack'), Italian formaggio and French fromage from formaticus. Romanian Explanatory Dictionary ^ a b c Alfassa, Shelomo (December 1999). "Ladinokomunita". Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture. Retrieved 4 February 2010.  ^ Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, 1st ed. ^ Real Academia Española, Explanation Archived 6 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. at Spanish Pronto Archived 14 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (in Spanish), (in English) ^ "Abecedario". Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (in Spanish). Real Academia Española. 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2008.  ^ "Ch". Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española.  ^ "Ll". Diccionario de la lengua española de la Real Academia Española.  ^ "Scholarly Societies Project". Lib.uwaterloo.ca. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ Batchelor, Ronald Ernest (1992). Using Spanish: a guide to contemporary usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 318. ISBN 0-521-26987-3.  ^ "Association of Spanish Language Academies" (in Spanish). Asale. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Real Academia Española". Spain: RAE. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ "Academia Colombiana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Colombia. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Ecuador. Archived 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 2010.  ^ "Academia Salvadoreña de la Lengua". El Salvador. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Venezolana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Venezuela. Archived 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.  ^ "Academia Peruana de la Lengua". Peru. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ "Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Costarricense de la Lengua". Costa Rica. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ "Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española" (in Spanish). Philippines. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Panameña de la Lengua". Panama. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ "Academia Cubana de la Lengua". Cuba. Retrieved 6 November 2010.  ^ "Academia Paraguaya de la Lengua Española". Paraguay. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Dominicana de la Lengua". República Dominicana. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Boliviana de la Lengua". Bolivia. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Nicaragua. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Argentina
de Letras". Argentina. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Nacional de Letras del Uruguay". Uruguay. Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Hondureña de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Honduras. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española". Puerto Rico. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española". United States. Retrieved 5 February 2011.  ^ "Academia Ecuatoguineana de la Lengua Española". Equatorial Guinea. Retrieved 5 February 2016.  ^ A First Spanish Reader, by Erwin W. Roessler and Alfred Remy


Abercrombie, David (1967). "Elements of General Phonetics". Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.  Butt, John; Benjamin, Carmen (2011). A New Reference Grammar
of Modern Spanish (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1444137699.  Cressey, William Whitney (1978). Spanish Phonology
and Morphology: A Generative View. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 0878400451.  Dalby, Andrew (1998). Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11568-7.  Eddington, David (2000). "Spanish Stress Assignment within the Analogical Modeling of Language" (PDF). Language. 76 (1): 92–109. doi:10.2307/417394. JSTOR 417394.  Ginsburgh, Victor; Weber, Shlomo (2011). How Many Languages Do We Need?: The Economics of Linguistic Diversity. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13689-9.  Harris, James (1967). "Sound Change in Spanish and the Theory of Markedness". Language. Language. 45 (3): 538–52. doi:10.2307/411438. JSTOR 411438.  Hualde, José Ignacio (2014). Los sonidos del español. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-16823-6.  Jensen, John B. (1989). "On the Mutual Intelligibility of Spanish and Portuguese". Hispania. 72 (4): 848–852. doi:10.2307/343562. JSTOR 343562.  Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003). "Castilian Spanish". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 33 (2): 255–59. doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373.  Ladefoged, Peter; Johnson, Keith (2010), A Course in Phonetics (6th ed.), Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4282-3126-9  Moreno Fernández, Francisco; Otero, Jaime (2008), Atlas de la lengua española en el mundo, Barcelona: Ariel  Penny, Ralph (2000). Variation and Change in Spanish. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78045-4.  Population by age, both sexes, annual; estimate for 2012 (XLS), UN  Rubino, Carl (2008), "Zamboangueño Chavacano
and the Potentive Mode.", in Michaelis, Susanne, Roots of Creole Structures: Weighing the Contribution of Substrates and Superstrates, Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp. 279–299, ISBN 9027252556  Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967), Dialectología española, Madrid: Gredos 

Further reading[edit]

"Hats Off: The Rise of Spanish". The Economist. 1 June 2013.  Erichsen, Gerald (20 May 2017). "Does Spanish Have Fewer Words Than English?". ThoughtCo. Dotdash. 

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