Spanish – A Brief Overview, Part 1
Spanish (or Español) or Castilian (or Castellano) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. The term Spanish is generally used by Spaniards when referring to their language in contrast to other foreign languages, though they prefer to use the word Castilian (spoken by 74% of Spain’s population) when distinguishing their idiom from other languages spoken in Spain, such as Catalan (17%), Galician (7%) and Basque (2%). Likewise, most South American countries refer to their official language as Castilian.
The Hispanophone community counts 350 million native-speakers living in Spain, small communities in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, and, predominantly, in Latin America. Mexico contains the largest number of Spanish speakers, followed, in alphabetical order, by Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela. Spanish has a co-official status in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru, where native Quechua, Aymara and Guaraní are also spoken, and along with English, in Puerto Rico. Alongside French and Portuguese, it is also one of Equatorial Guinea’s official languages. In addition, Spanish is the language of choice of 34 million Hispanics living in the United States, where it is also the most widely taught foreign language.
Posted August 28, 2014Tags: Spanish Language Facts