Spanish Language

Spanish Language

Spanish (espaƱol) is a Romance language that originated in Spain. It is also called Castilian (castellano listen) after the particular region of Spain, Castile, where it originated. There are approximately 407 million people speaking Spanish as a native language, making it the second-most-spoken language by number of native speakers after Mandarin. Spanish has the largest amount of native speakers of any Indo-European language in the world, the largest language family on Earth. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and is used as an official language by the European Union and Mercosur.

Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of spoken Latin in central-northern Iberia around the ninth century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile (present northern Spain) into central and southern Iberia during the later Middle Ages. Early in its history, the Spanish vocabulary was enriched by its contact with Basque, Arabic, Iberian Romance languages related and the language continues to adopt foreign words from a variety of other languages, as well as developing new words. Spanish was taken most notably to the Americas as well as to Africa and Asia-Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, where it became the most important language for government and trade.

Spanish is the most popular second language learned by native speakers of American English. In many other countries as well, in the 21st century, the learning of Spanish as a foreign language has grown significantly, facilitated in part because of the growing population demographics and economic performance of numerous Spanish-speaking countries such as Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. Growing popularity in extensive international tourism and seeking less expensive retirement destinations for North Americans, Europeans, Australians, and Japanese are other common reasons.

Spanish is the most widely understood language in the Western Hemisphere, with significant populations of native Spanish speakers ranging from the tip of Patagonia to as far north as New York City and Chicago. Additionally, there are over 10,000,000 fluent second language speakers in both Brazil and the United States. Since the early 21st century, it has arguably superseded French in becoming the second-most-studied language and the second language in international communication, after English.

Read more about Spanish Language:  Names of The Language, History, Grammar, Geographical Distribution, Dialectal Variation, Relation To Other Languages, Writing System

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