The Spanish language is a Romance language that originated in the Castille region of Spain. That is why it is also known as Castilian (especially in Latin America).
Since it is developed on the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish is also referred to as the Iberian Romance language like Galician, Portuguese, Catalan, etc. Like many other Romantic languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, etc.
The Spanish language has its roots in Latin, which was brought to the Iberian peninsula after the Roman conquest in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC. In the 13th century, King Alfonso made that dialect (Castilian) the official language of government administration.
The Castilian became the primary language of the area now known as Spain. However, other Latin languages such as Galician, Catalan, Basque, etc., remain relevant in this region and continue to be used in large numbers today.
After the fall of the Roman empire, there has been no Europe-based empire extending outside the continent.
The Spanish Empire was one of the largest empires in history.
Starting in the 16th century, Spanish colonization carried the language to Mexico, Central, Western, and Southern South America, where it is spoken in the present day.
Over 500,000,000 persons speak Spanish in Spain, all of Central and South America except Brazil (where the closely related Portuguese language is spoken), as well as in the Canary Islands, parts of Morocco, and the Philippines.
It is the second most spoken language in the world, next to Mandarin Chinese. It is also considered the world’s second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese as per various research. It is also the third most studied language in the world.
There are 21 Spanish-speaking countries in the world. It is the official language or the de facto language of Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Thus, there is a significant Spanish-speaking population in the world.
In the USA, Over 50 million people speak Spanish as their native or second language. The dialect of Spanish used in Arab-occupied Spain before the 12th century was called Mozarabic.
- Español Mexicano y Centroamericano – Spoken in Mexico, Central America and USA.
- Español Andino – Spoken in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and parts of Bolivia and Venezuela.
- Español Rioplatense – Spoken in Argentina and Uruguay.
- Español Caribeño – Spoken in the Caribbean region (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, as well as in Panama, Venezuela, and the Caribbean coast of Colombia).
- Español Chileno – Spoken in Chile
- Español Filipino – Spoken in the Philippines.
- Español Ibérico (o Español Europeo) – Spoken in Spain and neighboring countries. Spanish (Castilian), spoken by about 99% of Spaniards as a first or second language, Catalan / Valencian is spoken by 17%, Galician by 7%, and Basque by 2% of the population in Spain.
Compared to other languages, the difference in Spanish dialects around the world is not challenging to master. Spanish speakers from different countries can still communicate effectively without knowing the specific vernacular tongue.