28 Feb 5 curious facts about the Spanish language that you probably didn’t know
Whether you are Spanish or currently learning the language, you will no doubt be aware that it is a language spoken in many countries in the Western Hemisphere, more specifically in Spain and many Latin American countries. However, there are some curious facts about this language that you probably don’t know. Let us tell you about them!
- Spanish is the dominant language in the Western Hemisphere.
With 329 million natives who speak it as their first language, this Latin language is the third most spoken language in the world after Chinese (1,200 million) and English (328 million). Its use is increasing rapidly compared to other languages. By 2050, around 600 million people will speak Spanish.
- Spanish is spoken in at least 44 countries
Spanish is spoken by a minimum of 3 million first-language speakers in 44 countries, making it the fourth most spoken language geographically behind English (112 countries), French (60) and Arabic (57).
- Spanish is part of the Indo-European language family
Spanish is part of the Indo-European language family, which is spoken by more than a third of the world’s population. Other members of this language family include French, English, German, the Slavic languages, the Scandinavian languages and various Indian languages. Spanish is also part of the Romance languages subcategory, a small group of languages that includes Portuguese, French, Catalan, Italian and Romanian.
- Spanish dates back to the thirteenth century
Experts have not been able to determine the exact century in which the Castilian Latin of the north-central region of Spain turned into Spanish. However, there is agreement that laws passed by King Alfonso in the thirteenth century to establish Spanish as an official language to be used in government helped shape the language. When Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492, his version of Spanish had evolved to the point where Spanish speakers today could easily understand it.
- Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country
With a population of more than 121 million people who speak Spanish, Mexico is geographically the largest Spanish-speaking country. With almost 53 million people, the United States is home to the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, followed by Colombia, Spain and Argentina.