Facts About Spanish

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Spanish belongs to the Indo-European family of languages spoken by more than one-third of the world. Indo-European languages include English, French, German, Scandinavian, Slavic and many languages of India.

Spanish is also considered as a Romance language along with French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian and Catalan [i].

 Fact 1:

The spanishlanguagedomains.com has estimated in their website that there are 517, 423,452 people worlwide who can speak Spanish. Mexico has the most Spanish speakers with 110,637,916, followed by USA with 50,700,000 speakers then Spain with 46,456,779 [ii].

 Fact 2:

Sometimes Spanish is known as Castilan but there are differences between the two.The Castilan Spanish came from the region of Castile and emerged from one of the regional languages and dialects of Spain. It was brought to the New World through the Spanish colonization. Later on, Latin American Spanish has evolved distinct from the European Spanish[iii].

Fact 3:

The “Glosas Emilianenses” is the first known document to be written in Spanish. The said document was from the Monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla in 964 [iv].

Fact 4:

Spanish is one of the phonetic languages in the world, meaning if you know how the word is spelled, you know how it is pronounced[v].

 Fact 5:

La Real Academia Espanola, founded in 1713, regulated the Spanish language. At present, to keep up with the changing times, it’s rules come from examples of the present use of the Spanish language[vi].

 Fact 6:

The present Spanish language was derived from Vulgar Latin, a language once spoken in the north central area of the Iberian Peninsula. Seventy five percent of the Spanish lexicon came from Vulgar Latin. Since the Roman times, the language has evolved for many years and first expanded in the Mediterranean Sea and later to the Spanish colonial empire. The civilizations in the Iberian Peninsula, contacts with native American and Philippine languages molded the Spanish language[vii]

 Fact 7:

The words murcielago, comunidades, ecuación f auténtico are some of the 355 words with all 5 vowels that Amparo Atehortua of Medellin collated after reading the Larousse dictionary[viii].

 Fact 8:

There have been 11 Literature Nobel Prizes in Spanish [ix]:

José Echegaray (Spain, 1904) Browse his work »

Jacinto Benavente (Spain, 1922)

Gabriela Mistral (Chile, 1945)

Juan Ramón Jiménez (Spain, 1956)

Miguel Ángel Asturias (Guatemala, 1967)

Pablo Neruda (Chile, 1971)

Vicente Aleixandre (Spain, 1977)

Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia, 1982)

Camilo José Cela (Spain, 1989)

Octavio Paz (Mexico, 1990)

Mario Vargas Llosa (Spain -born in Perú-, 2010).

 Fact 9: 

Antonio de Nebrija was famous for writing a grammar of the Castillian language which is credited to be the first published grammar for a Romance language in 1492. The year was significant as it was Columbus’ discovery of America and the taking of Granada by the Catholic Kings.He dedicated the book to Isabella I of Castille. He also produced a Latin-Spanish dictionary, wrote commentaries on Sedulius and Persius and was also in charge for correcting the Complutensian Polyglot Bible [x].

 Fact 10:

The United States of America has around 40 million native Spanish speakers. It is projected that by 2050, USA will be the largest Spanish-speaking country in the whole world. There are more Spanish speakers in the USA even if you combine Chinese, French, Italian, Hawaiian and Native American languages[xi].

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