|Region||Spain, Hispanic America, Equatorial Guinea (see below)|
|483 million native speakers (2019)|
75 million L2 speakers and speakers with limited capacity + 22 million students
|Latin (Spanish alphabet)|
|Signed Spanish (Mexico, Spain and presumably elsewhere)|
Official language in
|Regulated by||Association of Spanish Language Academies|
(Real Academia Española and 22 other national Spanish language academies)
Co-official with indigenous languages
Cultural or secondary language (more than 20% Spanish speakers or large cultural influence)
Spanish (español (help·info)) or Castilian[b] (// (listen), castellano (help·info)) is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula of Europe and today is a global language with more than 483 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese, and the world's fourth-most spoken language, after English, Mandarin Chinese and Hindi.
Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century. The oldest Latin texts with traces of Spanish come from mid-northern Iberia in the 9th century, and the first systematic written use of the language happened in Toledo, a prominent city of the Kingdom of Castile, in the 13th century. Beginning in 1492, the Spanish language was taken to the viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire, most notably to the Americas, as well as territories in Africa, Oceania and the Philippines.
A 1949 study by Italian-American linguist Mario Pei, analyzing the degree of difference from a language's parent (Latin, in the case of Romance languages) by comparing phonology, inflection, syntax, vocabulary, and intonation, indicated the following percentages (the higher the percentage, the greater the distance from Latin): In the case of Spanish, it is one of the closest Romance languages to Latin (20% distance), only behind Sardinian (8% distance) and Italian (12% distance). Around 75% of modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin, including Latin borrowings from Ancient Greek. Spanish vocabulary has been in contact with Arabic from an early date, having developed during the Al-Andalus era in the Iberian Peninsula and around 8% of its vocabulary has an Arabic lexical root. It has also had small influences from Basque, Iberian, Celtiberian, Visigothic, and other neighboring Ibero-Romance languages. Additionally, it has absorbed vocabulary from other languages, particularly other Romance languages—French, Italian, Andalusi Romance, Portuguese, Galician, Catalan, Occitan, and Sardinian—as well as from Quechua, Nahuatl, and other indigenous languages of the Americas.
Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. It is also used as an official language by the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the African Union and many other international organizations.
Despite its large number of speakers, the Spanish language does not feature prominently in scientific writing, though it is better represented in the humanities. 75% of scientific production in Spanish is divided into three thematic areas: social sciences, medical sciences and arts/humanities. Spanish is the third most used language on the internet after English and Chinese.
Estimated number of speakers
It is estimated that there are more than 437 million people who speak Spanish as a native language, which qualifies it as second on the lists of languages by number of native speakers. Instituto Cervantes claims that there are an estimated 477 million Spanish speakers with native competence and 572 million Spanish speakers as a first or second language—including speakers with limited competence—and more than 21 million students of Spanish as a foreign language.
Spanish is the official or national language in Spain, Equatorial Guinea, and 18 countries and one territory in the Americas. Speakers in the Americas total some 418 million. It is also an optional language in the Philippines as it was a Spanish colony from 1569 to 1899. In the European Union, Spanish is the mother tongue of 8% of the population, with an additional 7% speaking it as a second language. The country with the largest number of native speakers is Mexico. Spanish is the most popular second language learned in the United States. In 2011 it was estimated by the American Community Survey that of the 55 million Hispanic United States residents who are five years of age and over, 38 million speak Spanish at home.
According to a 2011 paper by U.S. Census Bureau Demographers Jennifer Ortman and Hyon B. Shin, the number of Spanish speakers is projected to rise through 2020 to anywhere between 39 million and 43 million, depending on the assumptions one makes about immigration. Most of these Spanish speakers will be Hispanic, with Ortman and Shin projecting between 37.5 million and 41 million Hispanic Spanish speakers by 2020.
Names of the language and etymology
Names of the language
In Spain and in some other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, Spanish is called not only español (Spanish) but also castellano (Castilian), the language from the kingdom of Castile, contrasting it with other languages spoken in Spain such as Galician, Basque, Asturian, Catalan, Aragonese and Occitan.
The Spanish Constitution of 1978 uses the term castellano to define the official language of the whole Spanish State in contrast to las demás lenguas españolas (lit. "the other Spanish languages"). Article III reads as follows:
El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. ... Las demás lenguas españolas serán también oficiales en las respectivas Comunidades Autónomas...
Castilian is the official Spanish language of the State. ... The other Spanish languages shall also be official in their respective Autonomous Communities...
The Spanish Royal Academy, on the other hand, currently uses the term español in its publications, but from 1713 to 1923 called the language castellano.
The Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (a language guide published by the Spanish Royal Academy) states that, although the Royal Spanish Academy prefers to use the term español in its publications when referring to the Spanish language, both terms—español and castellano—are regarded as synonymous and equally valid.
Different etymologies have been suggested for the term español (Spanish). According to the Royal Spanish Academy, español derives from the Provençal word espaignol and that, in turn, derives from the Vulgar Latin *hispaniolus. It comes from the Latin name of the province of Hispania that included the current territory of the Iberian Peninsula.
There are other hypotheses apart from the one suggested by the Royal Spanish Academy. Spanish philologist Menéndez Pidal suggested that the classic hispanus or hispanicus took the suffix -one from Vulgar Latin, as it happened with other words such as bretón (Breton) or sajón (Saxon). The word *hispanione evolved into the Old Spanish españón, which eventually, became español.
The Spanish language evolved from Vulgar Latin, which was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Romans during the Second Punic War, beginning in 210 BC. Previously, several pre-Roman languages (also called Paleohispanic languages)—some related to Latin via Indo-European, and some that are not related at all—were spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. These languages included Basque (still spoken today), Iberian, Celtiberian and Gallaecian.
The first documents to show traces of what is today regarded as the precursor of modern Spanish are from the 9th century. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the modern era, the most important influences on the Spanish lexicon came from neighboring Romance languages—Mozarabic (Andalusi Romance), Navarro-Aragonese, Leonese, Catalan, Portuguese, Galician, Occitan, and later, French and Italian. Spanish also borrowed a considerable number of words from Arabic, as well as a minor influence from the Germanic Gothic language through the migration of tribes and a period of Visigoth rule in Iberia. In addition, many more words were borrowed from Latin through the influence of written language and the liturgical language of the Church. The loanwords were taken from both Classical Latin and Renaissance Latin, the form of Latin in use at that time.
According to the theories of Ramón Menéndez Pidal, local sociolects of Vulgar Latin evolved into Spanish, in the north of Iberia, in an area centered in the city of Burgos, and this dialect was later brought to the city of Toledo, where the written standard of Spanish was first developed, in the 13th century. In this formative stage, Spanish developed a strongly differing variant from its close cousin, Leonese, and, according to some authors, was distinguished by a heavy Basque influence (see Iberian Romance languages). This distinctive dialect spread to southern Spain with the advance of the Reconquista, and meanwhile gathered a sizable lexical influence from the Arabic of Al-Andalus, much of it indirectly, through the Romance Mozarabic dialects (some 4,000 Arabic-derived words, make up around 8% of the language today). The written standard for this new language was developed in the cities of Toledo, in the 13th to 16th centuries, and Madrid, from the 1570s.
The development of the Spanish sound system from that of Vulgar Latin exhibits most of the changes that are typical of Western Romance languages, including lenition of intervocalic consonants (thus Latin vīta > Spanish vida). The diphthongization of Latin stressed short e and o—which occurred in open syllables in French and Italian, but not at all in Catalan or Portuguese—is found in both open and closed syllables in Spanish, as shown in the following table:
|Latin||Spanish||Ladino||Aragonese||Asturian||Galician||Portuguese||Catalan||Gascon / Occitan||French||Sardinian||Italian||Romanian||English|
|petra||piedra||pedra||pedra, pèira||pierre||pedra, perda||pietra||piatrǎ||'stone'|
Spanish is marked by the palatalization of the Latin double consonants nn and ll (thus Latin annum > Spanish año, and Latin anellum > Spanish anillo).
The consonant written u or v in Latin and pronounced [w] in Classical Latin had probably "fortified" to a bilabial fricative /β/ in Vulgar Latin. In early Spanish (but not in Catalan or Portuguese) it merged with the consonant written b (a bilabial with plosive and fricative allophones). In modern Spanish, there is no difference between the pronunciation of orthographic b and v, with some exceptions in Caribbean Spanish.
Peculiar to Spanish (as well as to the neighboring Gascon dialect of Occitan, and attributed to a Basque substratum) was the mutation of Latin initial f into h- whenever it was followed by a vowel that did not diphthongize. The h-, still preserved in spelling, is now silent in most varieties of the language, although in some Andalusian and Caribbean dialects it is still aspirated in some words. Because of borrowings from Latin and from neighboring Romance languages, there are many f-/h-doublets in modern Spanish: Fernando and Hernando (both Spanish for "Ferdinand"), ferrero and herrero (both Spanish for "smith"), fierro and hierro (both Spanish for "iron"), and fondo and hondo (both Spanish for "deep", but fondo means "bottom" while hondo means "deep"); hacer (Spanish for "to make") is cognate to the root word of satisfacer (Spanish for "to satisfy"), and hecho ("made") is similarly cognate to the root word of satisfecho (Spanish for "satisfied").
Compare the examples in the following table:
|Latin||Spanish||Ladino||Aragonese||Asturian||Galician||Portuguese||Catalan||Gascon / Occitan||French||Sardinian||Italian||Romanian||English|
|filium||hijo||fijo (or hijo)||fillo||fíu||fillo||filho||fill||filh, hilh||fils||fizu, fìgiu, fillu||figlio||fiu||'son'|
|facere||hacer||fazer||fer||facer||fazer||fer||far, faire, har (or hèr)||faire||fàghere, fàere, fàiri||fare||a face||'to do'|
|febrem||fiebre (calentura)||febre||fèbre, frèbe, hrèbe (or
|focum||fuego||fueu||fogo||foc||fuòc, fòc, huèc||feu||fogu||fuoco||foc||'fire'|
Some consonant clusters of Latin also produced characteristically different results in these languages, as shown in the examples in the following table:
|Latin||Spanish||Ladino||Aragonese||Asturian||Galician||Portuguese||Catalan||Gascon / Occitan||French||Sardinian||Italian||Romanian||English|
|clāvem||llave, clave||clave||clau||llave||chave||chave||clau||clé||giae, crae, crai||chiave||cheie||'key'|
|flamma||llama, flama||flama||chama||chama, flama||flama||flamme||framma||fiamma||flamă||'flame'|
|plēnum||lleno, pleno||pleno||plen||llenu||cheo||cheio, pleno||ple||plen||plein||prenu||pieno||plin||'plenty, full'|
|octō||ocho||güeito||ocho, oito||oito||oito (oito)||vuit, huit||uèch, uòch, uèit||huit||oto||otto||opt||'eight'|
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish underwent a dramatic change in the pronunciation of its sibilant consonants, known in Spanish as the reajuste de las sibilantes, which resulted in the distinctive velar [x] pronunciation of the letter ⟨j⟩ and—in a large part of Spain—the characteristic interdental [θ] ("th-sound") for the letter ⟨z⟩ (and for ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩). See History of Spanish (Modern development of the Old Spanish sibilants) for details.
The Gramática de la lengua castellana, written in Salamanca in 1492 by Elio Antonio de Nebrija, was the first grammar written for a modern European language. According to a popular anecdote, when Nebrija presented it to Queen Isabella I, she asked him what was the use of such a work, and he answered that language is the instrument of empire. In his introduction to the grammar, dated 18 August 1492, Nebrija wrote that "... language was always the companion of empire."
From the sixteenth century onwards, the language was taken to the Spanish-discovered America and the Spanish East Indies via Spanish colonization of America. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, is such a well-known reference in the world that Spanish is often called la lengua de Cervantes ("the language of Cervantes").
In the twentieth century, Spanish was introduced to Equatorial Guinea and the Western Sahara, and to areas of the United States that had not been part of the Spanish Empire, such as Spanish Harlem in New York City. For details on borrowed words and other external influences upon Spanish, see Influences on the Spanish language.
Most of the grammatical and typological features of Spanish are shared with the other Romance languages. Spanish is a fusional language. The noun and adjective systems exhibit two genders and two numbers. In addition, articles and some pronouns and determiners have a neuter gender in their singular form. There are about fifty conjugated forms per verb, with 3 tenses: past, present, future; 2 aspects for past: perfective, imperfective; 4 moods: indicative, subjunctive, conditional, imperative; 3 persons: first, second, third; 2 numbers: singular, plural; 3 verboid forms: infinitive, gerund, and past participle. Verbs express T-V distinction by using different persons for formal and informal addresses. (For a detailed overview of verbs, see Spanish verbs and Spanish irregular verbs.)
Spanish syntax is considered right-branching, meaning that subordinate or modifying constituents tend to be placed after their head words. The language uses prepositions (rather than postpositions or inflection of nouns for case), and usually—though not always—places adjectives after nouns, as do most other Romance languages.
The language is classified as a subject–verb–object language; however, as in most Romance languages, constituent order is highly variable and governed mainly by topicalization and focus rather than by syntax. It is a "pro-drop", or "null-subject" language—that is, it allows the deletion of subject pronouns when they are pragmatically unnecessary. Spanish is described as a "verb-framed" language, meaning that the direction of motion is expressed in the verb while the mode of locomotion is expressed adverbially (e.g. subir corriendo or salir volando; the respective English equivalents of these examples—'to run up' and 'to fly out'—show that English is, by contrast, "satellite-framed", with mode of locomotion expressed in the verb and direction in an adverbial modifier).
Subject/verb inversion is not required in questions, and thus the recognition of declarative or interrogative may depend entirely on intonation.
The Spanish phonemic system is originally descended from that of Vulgar Latin. Its development exhibits some traits in common with the neighboring dialects—especially Leonese and Aragonese—as well as other traits unique to Castilian. Castilian is unique among its neighbors in the aspiration and eventual loss of the Latin initial /f/ sound (e.g. Cast. harina vs. Leon. and Arag. farina). The Latin initial consonant sequences pl-, cl-, and fl- in Spanish typically become ll- (originally pronounced [ʎ]), while in Aragonese they are preserved, and in Leonese they present a variety of outcomes, including [tʃ], [ʃ], and [ʎ]. Where Latin had -li- before a vowel (e.g. filius) or the ending -iculus, -icula (e.g. auricula), Old Spanish produced [ʒ], that in Modern Spanish became the velar fricative [x] (hijo, oreja, where neighboring languages have the palatal lateral [ʎ] (e.g. Portuguese filho, orelha; Catalan fill, orella).
The Spanish phonemic inventory consists of five vowel phonemes (/a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/) and 17 to 19 consonant phonemes (the exact number depending on the dialect). The main allophonic variation among vowels is the reduction of the high vowels /i/ and /u/ to glides—[j] and [w] respectively—when unstressed and adjacent to another vowel. Some instances of the mid vowels /e/ and /o/, determined lexically, alternate with the diphthongs /je/ and /we/ respectively when stressed, in a process that is better described as morphophonemic rather than phonological, as it is not predictable from phonology alone.
The Spanish consonant system is characterized by (1) three nasal phonemes, and one or two (depending on the dialect) lateral phoneme(s), which in syllable-final position lose their contrast and are subject to assimilation to a following consonant; (2) three voiceless stops and the affricate /tʃ/; (3) three or four (depending on the dialect) voiceless fricatives; (4) a set of voiced obstruents—/b/, /d/, /ɡ/, and sometimes /ʝ/—which alternate between approximant and plosive allophones depending on the environment; and (5) a phonemic distinction between the "tapped" and "trilled" r-sounds (single ⟨r⟩ and double ⟨rr⟩ in orthography).
In the following table of consonant phonemes, /ʎ/ is marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate that it is preserved only in some dialects. In most dialects it has been merged with /ʝ/ in the merger called yeísmo. Similarly, /θ/ is also marked with an asterisk to indicate that most dialects do not distinguish it from /s/ (see seseo), although this is not a true merger but an outcome of different evolution of sibilants in Southern Spain.
The phoneme /ʃ/ is in parentheses () to indicate that it appears only in loanwords. Each of the voiced obstruent phonemes /b/, /d/, /ʝ/, and /ɡ/ appears to the right of a pair of voiceless phonemes, to indicate that, while the voiceless phonemes maintain a phonemic contrast between plosive (or affricate) and fricative, the voiced ones alternate allophonically (i.e. without phonemic contrast) between plosive and approximant pronunciations.
Spanish intonation varies significantly according to dialect but generally conforms to a pattern of falling tone for declarative sentences and wh-questions (who, what, why, etc.) and rising tone for yes/no questions. There are no syntactic markers to distinguish between questions and statements and thus, the recognition of declarative or interrogative depends entirely on intonation.
Stress most often occurs on any of the last three syllables of a word, with some rare exceptions at the fourth-last or earlier syllables. The tendencies of stress assignment are as follows:
- In words that end with a vowel, stress most often falls on the penultimate syllable.
- In words that end with a consonant, stress most often falls on the last syllable, with the following exceptions: The grammatical endings -n (for third-person-plural of verbs) and -s (whether for plural of nouns and adjectives or for second-person-singular of verbs) do not change the location of stress. Thus, regular verbs ending with -n and the great majority of words ending with -s are stressed on the penult. Although a significant number of nouns and adjectives ending with -n are also stressed on the penult (joven, virgen, mitin), the great majority of nouns and adjectives ending with -n are stressed on their last syllable (capitán, almacén, jardín, corazón).
- Preantepenultimate stress (stress on the fourth-to-last syllable) occurs rarely, only on verbs with clitic pronouns attached (guardándoselos 'saving them for him/her/them/you').
In addition to the many exceptions to these tendencies, there are numerous minimal pairs that contrast solely on stress such as sábana ('sheet') and sabana ('savannah'); límite ('boundary'), limite ('[that] he/she limits') and limité ('I limited'); líquido ('liquid'), liquido ('I sell off') and liquidó ('he/she sold off').
The orthographic system unambiguously reflects where the stress occurs: in the absence of an accent mark, the stress falls on the last syllable unless the last letter is ⟨n⟩, ⟨s⟩, or a vowel, in which cases the stress falls on the next-to-last (penultimate) syllable. Exceptions to those rules are indicated by an acute accent mark over the vowel of the stressed syllable. (See Spanish orthography.)
Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries worldwide. It is estimated that the combined total number of Spanish speakers is between 470 and 500 million, making it the second most widely spoken language in terms of native speakers.
Spanish is the third most spoken language by total number of speakers (after Mandarin and English). Internet usage statistics for 2007 also show Spanish as the third most commonly used language on the Internet, after English and Mandarin.
In Europe, Spanish is an official language of Spain, the country after which it is named and from which it originated. It is widely spoken in Gibraltar, and also commonly spoken in Andorra, although Catalan is the official language there.
Spanish is also spoken by small communities in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. Spanish is an official language of the European Union. In Switzerland, which had a massive influx of Spanish migrants in the 20th century, Spanish is the native language of 2.2% of the population.
Most Spanish speakers are in Hispanic America; of all countries with a majority of Spanish speakers, only Spain and Equatorial Guinea are outside the Americas. Nationally, Spanish is the official language—either de facto or de jure—of Argentina, Bolivia (co-official with Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, and 34 other languages), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (co-official with 63 indigenous languages), Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay (co-official with Guaraní), Peru (co-official with Quechua, Aymara, and "the other indigenous languages"), Puerto Rico (co-official with English), Uruguay, and Venezuela. Spanish has no official recognition in the former British colony of Belize; however, per the 2000 census, it is spoken by 43% of the population. Mainly, it is spoken by the descendants of Hispanics who have been in the region since the seventeenth century; however, English is the official language.
Due to their proximity to Spanish-speaking countries, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil have implemented Spanish language teaching into their education systems. The Trinidad government launched the Spanish as a First Foreign Language (SAFFL) initiative in March 2005. In 2005, the National Congress of Brazil approved a bill, signed into law by the President, making it mandatory for schools to offer Spanish as an alternative foreign language course in both public and private secondary schools in Brazil. In September 2016 this law was revoked by Michel Temer after impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. In many border towns and villages along Paraguay and Uruguay, a mixed language known as Portuñol is spoken.
According to 2006 census data, 44.3 million people of the U.S. population were Hispanic or Hispanic American by origin; 38.3 million people, 13 percent of the population over five years old speak Spanish at home. The Spanish language has a long history of presence in the United States due to early Spanish and, later, Mexican administration over territories now forming the southwestern states, also Louisiana ruled by Spain from 1762 to 1802, as well as Florida, which was Spanish territory until 1821.
Spanish is by far the most common second language in the US, with over 50 million total speakers if non-native or second-language speakers are included. While English is the de facto national language of the country, Spanish is often used in public services and notices at the federal and state levels. Spanish is also used in administration in the state of New Mexico. The language also has a strong influence in major metropolitan areas such as those of Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Phoenix; as well as more recently, Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, Raleigh and Baltimore-Washington, D.C. due to 20th- and 21st-century immigration.
In Africa, Spanish is official (along with Portuguese and French) in Equatorial Guinea, as well as an official language of the African Union. In Equatorial Guinea, Spanish is the predominant language when native and non-native speakers (around 500,000 people) are counted, while Fang is the most spoken language by number of native speakers.
Spanish is also spoken in the integral territories of Spain in North Africa, which include the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the Plazas de soberanía, and the Canary Islands archipelago (population 2,000,000), located some 100 km (62 mi) off the northwest coast of mainland Africa. In northern Morocco, a former Spanish protectorate that is also geographically close to Spain, approximately 20,000 people speak Spanish as a second language, while Arabic is the de jure official language. A small number of Moroccan Jews also speak the Sephardic Spanish dialect Haketia (related to the Ladino dialect spoken in Israel). Spanish is spoken by some small communities in Angola because of the Cuban influence from the Cold War and in South Sudan among South Sudanese natives that relocated to Cuba during the Sudanese wars and returned in time for their country's independence.
In Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, Spanish was officially spoken during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Today, Spanish in this disputed territory is maintained by populations of Sahrawi nomads numbering about 500,000 people, and is de facto official alongside Arabic in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, although this entity receives limited international recognition.
Spanish and Philippine Spanish was an official language of the Philippines from the beginning of Spanish administration in 1565 to a constitutional change in 1973. During Spanish colonization (1565–1898), it was the language of government, trade and education, and spoken as a first language by Spaniards and educated Filipinos. In the mid-nineteenth century, the colonial government set up a free public education system with Spanish as the medium of instruction. This increased use of Spanish throughout the islands led to the formation of a class of Spanish-speaking intellectuals called the Ilustrados. By the time of Philippine independence in 1898, around 70% of the population had knowledge of Spanish, with 10% speaking it as their first and only language and about 60% of the population spoke it as their second or third language.
Despite American administration after the defeat of Spain in the Spanish–American War in 1898, the usage of Spanish continued in Philippine literature and press during the early years of American administration. Gradually, however, the American government began increasingly promoting the use of English, and it characterized Spanish as a negative influence of the past. Eventually, by the 1920s, English became the primary language of administration and education. But despite a significant decrease in influence and speakers, Spanish remained an official language of the Philippines when it became independent in 1946, alongside English and Filipino, a standardized version of Tagalog.
Spanish was removed from official status in 1973 under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, but regained its status as an official language two months later under Presidential Decree No. 155, dated 15 March 1973. It remained an official language until 1987, with the ratification of the present constitution, in which it was re-designated as a voluntary and optional auxiliary language. In 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo encouraged the reintroduction of Spanish-language teaching in the Philippine education system. But by 2012, the number of secondary schools at which the language was either a compulsory subject or an elective had become very limited. Today, despite government promotions of Spanish, less than 0.5% of the population report being able to speak the language proficiently. Aside from standard Spanish, a Spanish-based creole language—Chavacano—developed in the southern Philippines. The number of Chavacano-speakers was estimated at 1.2 million in 1996. However, it is not mutually intelligible with Spanish. Speakers of the Zamboangueño variety of Chavacano were numbered about 360,000 in the 2000 census. The local languages of the Philippines also retain Spanish influence, with many words being derived from Mexican Spanish, owing to the administration of the islands by Spain through New Spain until 1821, and then directly from Madrid until 1898.
Philippine Spanish is a dialect of the Spanish language in the Philippines. The variant is very similar to Mexican Spanish, because of Mexican and Latin American emigration to the Spanish East Indies over the years. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines, which were a part of the Spanish East Indies, were governed by the Captaincy General of the Philippines as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain centered in Mexico. It was only administered directly from Spain in 1821 after Mexico gained its independence that same year. Since the Philippines was a former territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain for most of the Spanish colonial period, Spanish as was spoken in the Philippines had a greater affinity to American Spanish rather than to Peninsular Spanish.
Chavacano or Chabacano [tʃaβaˈkano] is a group of Spanish-based creole language varieties spoken in the Philippines. The variety spoken in Zamboanga City, located in the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao, has the highest concentration of speakers. Other currently existing varieties are found in Cavite City and Ternate, located in the Cavite province on the island of Luzon. Chavacano is the only Spanish-based creole in Asia.
Spanish is also the official language and the most spoken on Easter Island which is geographically part of Polynesia in Oceania and politically part of Chile. Easter Island's traditional language is Rapa Nui, an Eastern Polynesian language.
Spanish speakers by country
The following table shows the number of Spanish speakers in some 79 countries.
|Country||Population||Spanish as a native language speakers||Native speakers and proficient speakers as a second language||Total number of Spanish speakers (including limited competence speakers)|
|Mexico*||127,792,286 ||118,463,449 (92.7%)||123,702,933 (96,8%)||125,875,402 (98.5%)|
|United States||327,167,439||41,460,427 (13.5%)||41,460,427(82% of the Hispanics speak Spanish very well in 2011. There are 59.8 mill. of Hispanics in 2018 + 2.8 mill. non Hispanic Spanish speakers)||56,817,620 (41 million as a first language + 15.8 million as a second language (8 million students). Not considered some of the 8.4 million undocumented Hispanics not accounted by the Census|
|Colombia*||50,372,424||49,522,424 (98,9%)||49,969,445 (99,2%)|
|Spain*||47,329,981 ||43,496,253 (91,9%)||46,383,381 (98%)|
|Argentina*||45,376,763||42,269,777 (95.5%)||44 514 605 (98,1%)||45,104,502 (99.4%)|
|Venezuela*||32,605,423||31,507,179 (1,098,244 with other mother tongue)||31,725,077 (97.3%)||32,214,158 (98.8%)|
|Peru*||32,824,358||27,211,393 (82.9%)||29,541,922 (86.6%)|
|Chile*||19,458,310||18 660 519 (281,600 with other mother tongue)||18,660,519 (95.9%)||19,322,102 (99.3%)|
|Ecuador*||17,424,000||16 204 320 (93%)||16,692,192 (95.8%)||16,845,732 (98.1%)|
|Guatemala*||18,055,025||12,620,462 (69.9%)||14,137,085 (78.3%)||15,599,542 (86.4%)|
|Cuba*||11,209,628||11 187 209 (99.8%)||11,187,209 (99.8%)|
|Dominican Republic*||10,448,499||10 197 735 (97.6%)||10 197 735 (97.6%)||10,302,220 (99.6%)|
|Bolivia*||11,584,000||7,031,488 (60.7%)||9,614,720 (83%)||10,182,336 (87.9%)|
|Honduras*||9,251,313||9 039 287 (207,750 with other mother tongue)||9,039,287 (98.7%)|
|El Salvador*||6,765,753||6 745 456 ||6,745,456 (99.7%)|
|France||65,635,000||477,564 (1% of 47,756,439)||1,910,258 (4% of 47,756,439)||6,685,901 (14% of 47,756,439)|
|Nicaragua*||6,218,321||6,037,990 (97.1%) (490,124 with other mother tongue)||6,218,321 (180,331 limited proficiency)|
|Brazil||211,671,000||460,018 ||460,018||6,056,018 (460,018 native speakers + 96,000 limited proficiency + 5,500,000 can hold a conversation)|
|Italy||60,795,612||255,459||1,037,248 (2% of 51,862,391)||5,704,863 (11% of 51,862,391)|
|Costa Rica*||4,890,379||4,806,069 (84,310 with other mother tongue)||4,851,256 (99.2%)|
|Paraguay*||7,252,672||4,460,393 (61.5%)||4,946,322 (68,2%)|
|Panama*||3,764,166||3,263,123 (501,043 with other mother tongue)||3,504,439 (93.1%)|
|Uruguay*||3,480,222||3,330,022 (150,200 with other mother tongue)||3,441,940 (98.9%)|
|Puerto Rico*||3,474,182||3,303,947 (95.1%)||3,432,492 (98.8%)|
|United Kingdom||64,105,700||120,000||518,480 (1% of 51,848,010)||3,110,880 (6% of 51,848,010)|
|Germany||81,292,400||644,091 (1% of 64,409,146)||2,576,366 (4% of 64,409,146)|
|Morocco||34,378,000||6,586||6,586||1,664,823  (10%)|
|Equatorial Guinea*||1,622,000||1,683||918,000 (90.5%)|
|Romania||21,355,849||182,467 (1% of 18,246,731)||912,337 (5% of 18,246,731)|
|Portugal||10,636,888||323,237 (4% of 8,080,915)||808,091 (10% of 8,080,915)|
|Canada||34,605,346||553,495||643,800 (87% of 740,000)||736,653|
|Netherlands||16,665,900||133,719 (1% of 13,371,980)||668,599 (5% of 13,371,980 )|
|Sweden||9,555,893||77,912 (1% of 7,791,240)||77,912 (1% of 7,791,240)||467,474 (6% of 7,791,240)|
|Belgium||10,918,405||89,395 (1% of 8,939,546)||446,977 (5% of 8,939,546)|
|Ivory Coast||21,359,000||341,073 (students)|
|Poland||38,092,000||324,137 (1% of 32,413,735)||324,137 (1% of 32,413,735)|
|Austria||8,205,533||70,098 (1% of 7,009,827)||280,393 (4% of 7,009,827)|
|Denmark||5,484,723||45,613 (1% of 4,561,264)||182,450 (4% of 4,561,264)|
|Japan||127,288,419||100,229||100,229||167,514 (60,000 students)|
|Switzerland||7,581,520||150,782 (2,24%)||150,782||165,202 (14,420 students)|
|Ireland||4,581,269||35,220 (1% of 3,522,000)||140,880 (4% of 3,522,000)|
|Finland||5,244,749||133,200 (3% of 4,440,004)|
|Bulgaria||7,262,675||130,750 (2% of 6,537,510)||130,750 (2% of 6,537,510)|
|Bonaire and Curaçao||223,652||10,699||10,699||125,534|
|Czech Republic||10,513,209||90,124 (1% of 9,012,443)|
|Hungary||9,957,731||83,206 (1% of 8,320,614)|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1,317,714||4,100||4,100||65,886 (5%)|
|Slovenia||35,194 (2% of 1,759,701)||52,791 (3% of 1,759,701)|
|New Zealand||21,645||21,645||47,322 (25,677 students)|
|Slovakia||5,455,407||45,500 (1% of 4,549,955)|
|Lithuania||2,972,949||28,297 (1% of 2,829,740)|
|Luxembourg||524,853||4,049 (1% of 404,907)||8,098 (2% of 404,907)||24,294 (6% of 404,907)|
|US Virgin Islands||16,788||16,788||16,788|
|Latvia||2,209,000||13,943 (1% of 1,447,866)|
|Cyprus||2% of 660,400|
|Estonia||9,457 (1% of 945,733)|
|Malta||3,354 (1% of 335,476)|
|European Union (excluding Spain)*||460,624,488||2,397,000 (934,984 already counted)|
|Total||7,626,000,000 (Total World Population)||476,539,415 (6.2 %)||498,922,113 (6.5 % )||552,081,838 (7.2 %)|
The variety with the most speakers is Mexican Spanish. It is spoken by more than twenty percent of the world's Spanish speakers (more than 112 million of the total of more than 500 million, according to the table above). One of its main features is the reduction or loss of unstressed vowels, mainly when they are in contact with the sound /s/.
In Spain, northern dialects are popularly thought of as closer to the standard, although positive attitudes toward southern dialects have increased significantly in the last 50 years. Even so, the speech of Madrid, which has typically southern features such as yeísmo and s-aspiration, is the standard variety for use on radio and television. However, the variety used in the media is that of Madrid's educated classes, where southern traits are less evident, in contrast with the variety spoken by working-class Madrid, where those traits are pervasive. The educated variety of Madrid is indicated by many as the one that has most influenced the written standard for Spanish.
The four main phonological divisions are based respectively on (1) the phoneme /θ/ ("theta"), (2) the debuccalization of syllable-final /s/, (3) the sound of the spelled ⟨s⟩, (4) and the phoneme /ʎ/ ("turned y"),
- The phoneme /θ/ (spelled c before e or i and spelled ⟨z⟩ elsewhere), a voiceless dental fricative as in English thing, is maintained by a majority of Spain's population, especially in the northern and central parts of the country. In other areas (some parts of southern Spain, the Canary Islands, and the Americas), /θ/ doesn't exist and /s/ occurs instead. The maintenance of phonemic contrast is called distinción in Spanish, while the merger is generally called seseo (in reference to the usual realization of the merged phoneme as [s]) or, occasionally, ceceo (referring to its interdental realization, [θ], in some parts of southern Spain). In most of Hispanic America, the spelled ⟨c⟩ before ⟨e⟩ or ⟨i⟩, and spelled ⟨z⟩ is always pronounced as a voiceless dental sibilant.
- The debuccalization (pronunciation as [h], or loss) of syllable-final /s/ is associated with the southern half of Spain and lowland Americas: Central America (except central Costa Rica and Guatemala), the Caribbean, coastal areas of southern Mexico, and South America except Andean highlands. Debuccalization is frequently called "aspiration" in English, and aspiración in Spanish. When there is no debuccalization, the syllable-final /s/ is pronounced as voiceless "apico-alveolar" sibilant or as a voiceless dental sibilant in the same fashion as in the next paragraph.
- The sound that corresponds to the letter ⟨s⟩ is pronounced in northern and central Spain as a voiceless "apico-alveolar" sibilant [s̺] (also described acoustically as "grave" and articulatorily as "retracted"), with a weak "hushing" sound reminiscent of retroflex fricatives. In Andalusia, Canary Islands and most of Hispanic America (except in the Paisa region of Colombia) it is pronounced as a voiceless dental sibilant [s], much like the most frequent pronunciation of the /s/ of English. Because /s/ is one of the most frequent phonemes in Spanish, the difference of pronunciation is one of the first to be noted by a Spanish-speaking person to differentiate Spaniards from Spanish-speakers of the Americas.
- The phoneme /ʎ/ spelled ⟨ll⟩, palatal lateral consonant sometimes compared in sound to the sound of the ⟨lli⟩ of English million, tends to be maintained in less-urbanized areas of northern Spain and in highland areas of South America. Meanwhile, in the speech of most other Spanish-speakers, it is merged with /ʝ/ ("curly-tail j"), a non-lateral, usually voiced, usually fricative, palatal consonant, sometimes compared to English /j/ (yod) as in yacht and spelled ⟨y⟩ in Spanish. As with other forms of allophony across world languages, the small difference of the spelled ⟨ll⟩ and the spelled ⟨y⟩ is usually not perceived (the difference is not heard) by people who do not produce them as different phonemes. Such a phonemic merger is called yeísmo in Spanish. In Rioplatense Spanish, the merged phoneme is generally pronounced as a postalveolar fricative, either voiced [ʒ] (as in English measure or the French ⟨j⟩) in the central and western parts of the dialectal region (zheísmo), or voiceless [ʃ] (as in the French ⟨ch⟩ or Portuguese ⟨x⟩) in and around Buenos Aires and Montevideo (sheísmo).
The main morphological variations between dialects of Spanish involve differing uses of pronouns, especially those of the second person and, to a lesser extent, the object pronouns of the third person.
Virtually all dialects of Spanish make the distinction between a formal and a familiar register in the second-person singular and thus have two different pronouns meaning "you": usted in the formal and either tú or vos in the familiar (and each of these three pronouns has its associated verb forms), with the choice of tú or vos varying from one dialect to another. The use of vos (and/or its verb forms) is called voseo. In a few dialects, all three pronouns are used, with usted, tú, and vos denoting respectively formality, familiarity, and intimacy.
In voseo, vos is the subject form (vos decís, "you say") and the form for the object of a preposition (voy con vos, "I am going with you"), while the direct and indirect object forms, and the possessives, are the same as those associated with tú: Vos sabés que tus amigos te respetan ("You know your friends respect you").
The verb forms of general voseo are the same as those used with tú except in the present tense (indicative and imperative) verbs. The forms for vos generally can be derived from those of vosotros (the traditional second-person familiar plural) by deleting the glide [i̯], or /d/, where it appears in the ending: vosotros pensáis > vos pensás; vosotros volvéis > vos volvés, pensad! (vosotros) > pensá! (vos), volved! (vosotros) > volvé! (vos) .
|Present||Simple past||Imperfect past||Future||Conditional||Present||Past|
|The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.|
In Chilean voseo on the other hand, almost all verb forms are distinct from their standard tú-forms.
|Present||Simple past||Imperfect past||Future||Conditional||Present||Past|
|The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.|
The use of the pronoun vos with the verb forms of tú (vos piensas) is called "pronominal voseo". Conversely, the use of the verb forms of vos with the pronoun tú (tú pensás or tú pensái) is called "verbal voseo".
In Chile, for example, verbal voseo is much more common than the actual use of the pronoun vos, which is usually reserved for highly informal situations.
And in Central American voseo, one can see even further distinction.
|Present||Simple past||Imperfect past||Future||Conditional||Present||Past|
|The forms in bold coincide with standard tú-conjugation.|
Distribution in Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas
Although vos is not used in Spain, it occurs in many Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas as the primary spoken form of the second-person singular familiar pronoun, with wide differences in social consideration. Generally, it can be said that there are zones of exclusive use of tuteo (the use of tú) in the following areas: almost all of Mexico, the West Indies, Panama, most of Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and coastal Ecuador.
Tuteo as a cultured form alternates with voseo as a popular or rural form in Bolivia, in the north and south of Peru, in Andean Ecuador, in small zones of the Venezuelan Andes (and most notably in the Venezuelan state of Zulia), and in a large part of Colombia. Some researchers maintain that voseo can be heard in some parts of eastern Cuba, and others assert that it is absent from the island.
Tuteo exists as the second-person usage with an intermediate degree of formality alongside the more familiar voseo in Chile, in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, in the Azuero Peninsula in Panama, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, and in parts of Guatemala.
Areas of generalized voseo include Argentina, Nicaragua, eastern Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Colombian departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and Valle del Cauca.
Ustedes functions as formal and informal second person plural in over 90% of the Spanish-speaking world, including all of Hispanic America, the Canary Islands, and some regions of Andalusia. In Seville, Huelva, Cadiz, and other parts of western Andalusia, the familiar form is constructed as ustedes vais, using the traditional second-person plural form of the verb. Most of Spain maintains the formal/familiar distinction with ustedes and vosotros respectively.
Usted is the usual second-person singular pronoun in a formal context, but it is used jointly with the third-person singular voice of the verb. It is used to convey respect toward someone who is a generation older or is of higher authority ("you, sir"/"you, ma'am"). It is also used in a familiar context by many speakers in Colombia and Costa Rica and in parts of Ecuador and Panama, to the exclusion of tú or vos. This usage is sometimes called ustedeo in Spanish.
In Central America, especially in Honduras, usted is often used as a formal pronoun to convey respect between the members of a romantic couple. Usted is also used that way between parents and children in the Andean regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.
Third-person object pronouns
Most speakers use (and the Real Academia Española prefers) the pronouns lo and la for direct objects (masculine and feminine respectively, regardless of animacy, meaning "him", "her", or "it"), and le for indirect objects (regardless of gender or animacy, meaning "to him", "to her", or "to it"). The usage is sometimes called "etymological", as these direct and indirect object pronouns are a continuation, respectively, of the accusative and dative pronouns of Latin, the ancestor language of Spanish.
Deviations from this norm (more common in Spain than in the Americas) are called "leísmo", "loísmo", or "laísmo", according to which respective pronoun, le, lo, or la, has expanded beyond the etymological usage (le as a direct object, or lo or la as an indirect object).
Some words can be significantly different in different Hispanophone countries. Most Spanish speakers can recognize other Spanish forms even in places where they are not commonly used, but Spaniards generally do not recognize specifically American usages. For example, Spanish mantequilla, aguacate and albaricoque (respectively, 'butter', 'avocado', 'apricot') correspond to manteca (word used for lard in Peninsular Spanish), palta, and damasco, respectively, in Argentina, Chile (except manteca), Paraguay, Peru (except manteca and damasco), and Uruguay.
Relation to other languages
It is generally acknowledged that Portuguese and Spanish speakers can communicate in written form, with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. Mutual intelligibility of the written Spanish and Portuguese languages is remarkably high, and the difficulties of the spoken forms are based more on phonology than on grammatical and lexical dissimilarities. Ethnologue gives estimates of the lexical similarity between related languages in terms of precise percentages. For Spanish and Portuguese, that figure is 89%. Italian, on the other hand its phonology similar to Spanish, but has a lower lexical similarity of 82%. Mutual intelligibility between Spanish and French or between Spanish and Romanian is lower still, given lexical similarity ratings of 75% and 71% respectively. And comprehension of Spanish by French speakers who have not studied the language is much lower, at an estimated 45%. In general, thanks to the common features of the writing systems of the Romance languages, interlingual comprehension of the written word is greater than that of oral communication.
The following table compares the forms of some common words in several Romance languages:
(lit. "true brother")
|dies martis (Classical)
feria tertia (Ecclesiastical)
(arch. chus or plus)
(arch. pus or plus)
|manus sinistra||mano izquierda6
(arch. mano siniestra)
|man esquerda6||mão esquerda6
(arch. mão sẽestra)
|man cucha||mà esquerra6
(arch. mà sinistra)
|main gauche||mano sinistra||mâna stângă||'left hand'|
nullam rem natam
(lit. "no thing born")
(also ren and res)
(neca and nula rés
in some expressions; arch. rem)
(also un res)
1. Also nós outros in early modern Portuguese (e.g. The Lusiads), and nosoutros in Galician.
2. Alternatively nous autres in French.
3. Also noialtri in Southern Italian dialects and languages.
4. Medieval Catalan (e.g. Llibre dels fets).
5. Depending on the written norm used (see Reintegrationism).
6. From Basque esku, "hand" + erdi, "half, incomplete". Notice that this negative meaning also applies for Latin sinistra(m) ("dark, unfortunate").
7. Romanian caș (from Latin cāsevs) means a type of cheese. The universal term for cheese in Romanian is brânză (from unknown etymology).
Judaeo-Spanish, also known as Ladino, is a variety of Spanish which preserves many features of medieval Spanish and Portuguese and is spoken by descendants of the Sephardi Jews who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century. Conversely, in Portugal the vast majority of the Portuguese Jews converted and became 'New Christians'. Therefore, its relationship to Spanish is comparable with that of the Yiddish language to German. Ladino speakers today are almost exclusively Sephardi Jews, with family roots in Turkey, Greece, or the Balkans, and living mostly in Israel, Turkey, and the United States, with a few communities in Hispanic America. Judaeo-Spanish lacks the Native American vocabulary which was acquired by standard Spanish during the Spanish colonial period, and it retains many archaic features which have since been lost in standard Spanish. It contains, however, other vocabulary which is not found in standard Spanish, including vocabulary from Hebrew, French, Greek and Turkish, and other languages spoken where the Sephardim settled.
Judaeo-Spanish is in serious danger of extinction because many native speakers today are elderly as well as elderly olim (immigrants to Israel) who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. However, it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardi communities, especially in music. In the case of the Latin American communities, the danger of extinction is also due to the risk of assimilation by modern Castilian.
A related dialect is Haketia, the Judaeo-Spanish of northern Morocco. This too tended to assimilate with modern Spanish, during the Spanish occupation of the region.
Spanish around the 13th century
Spanish is written in the Latin script, with the addition of the character ⟨ñ⟩ (eñe, representing the phoneme /ɲ/, a letter distinct from ⟨n⟩, although typographically composed of an ⟨n⟩ with a tilde). Formerly the digraphs ⟨ch⟩ (che, representing the phoneme /t͡ʃ/) and ⟨ll⟩ (elle, representing the phoneme /ʎ/), were also considered single letters. However, the digraph ⟨rr⟩ (erre fuerte, 'strong r', erre doble, 'double r', or simply erre), which also represents a distinct phoneme /r/, was not similarly regarded as a single letter. Since 1994 ⟨ch⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ have been treated as letter pairs for collation purposes, though they remained a part of the alphabet until 2010. Words with ⟨ch⟩ are now alphabetically sorted between those with ⟨cg⟩ and ⟨ci⟩, instead of following ⟨cz⟩ as they used to. The situation is similar for ⟨ll⟩.
Thus, the Spanish alphabet has the following 27 letters:
- A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Ñ, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z.
Since 2010, none of the digraphs (ch, ll, rr, gu, qu) is considered a letter by the Spanish Royal Academy.
The letters k and w are used only in words and names coming from foreign languages (kilo, folklore, whisky, kiwi, etc.).
With the exclusion of a very small number of regional terms such as México (see Toponymy of Mexico), pronunciation can be entirely determined from spelling. Under the orthographic conventions, a typical Spanish word is stressed on the syllable before the last if it ends with a vowel (not including ⟨y⟩) or with a vowel followed by ⟨n⟩ or an ⟨s⟩; it is stressed on the last syllable otherwise. Exceptions to this rule are indicated by placing an acute accent on the stressed vowel.
The acute accent is used, in addition, to distinguish between certain homophones, especially when one of them is a stressed word and the other one is a clitic: compare el ('the', masculine singular definite article) with él ('he' or 'it'), or te ('you', object pronoun) with té ('tea'), de (preposition 'of') versus dé ('give' [formal imperative/third-person present subjunctive]), and se (reflexive pronoun) versus sé ('I know' or imperative 'be').
The interrogative pronouns (qué, cuál, dónde, quién, etc.) also receive accents in direct or indirect questions, and some demonstratives (ése, éste, aquél, etc.) can be accented when used as pronouns. Accent marks used to be omitted on capital letters (a widespread practice in the days of typewriters and the early days of computers when only lowercase vowels were available with accents), although the Real Academia Española advises against this and the orthographic conventions taught at schools enforce the use of the accent.
When u is written between g and a front vowel e or i, it indicates a "hard g" pronunciation. A diaeresis ü indicates that it is not silent as it normally would be (e.g., cigüeña, 'stork', is pronounced [θiˈɣweɲa]; if it were written *cigueña, it would be pronounced *[θiˈɣeɲa]).
Interrogative and exclamatory clauses are introduced with inverted question and exclamation marks (¿ and ¡, respectively).
Royal Spanish Academy
The Royal Spanish Academy (Spanish: Real Academia Española), founded in 1713, together with the 21 other national ones (see Association of Spanish Language Academies), exercises a standardizing influence through its publication of dictionaries and widely respected grammar and style guides. Because of influence and for other sociohistorical reasons, a standardized form of the language (Standard Spanish) is widely acknowledged for use in literature, academic contexts and the media.
Association of Spanish Language Academies
The Association of Spanish Language Academies (Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española, or ASALE) is the entity which regulates the Spanish language. It was created in Mexico in 1951 and represents the union of all the separate academies in the Spanish-speaking world. It comprises the academies of 23 countries, ordered by date of Academy foundation: Spain (1713), Colombia (1871), Ecuador (1874), Mexico (1875), El Salvador (1876), Venezuela (1883), Chile (1885), Peru (1887), Guatemala (1887), Costa Rica (1923), Philippines (1924), Panama (1926), Cuba (1926), Paraguay (1927), Dominican Republic (1927), Bolivia (1927), Nicaragua (1928), Argentina (1931), Uruguay (1943), Honduras (1949), Puerto Rico (1955), United States (1973) and Equatorial Guinea (2016).
The Instituto Cervantes (Cervantes Institute) is a worldwide nonprofit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. This organization has branched out in over 20 different countries, with 75 centers devoted to the Spanish and Hispanic American cultures and Spanish language. The ultimate goals of the Institute are to promote universally the education, the study, and the use of Spanish as a second language, to support methods and activities that help the process of Spanish-language education, and to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish and Hispanic American cultures in non-Spanish-speaking countries. The institute's 2015 report "El español, una lengua viva" (Spanish, a living language) estimated that there were 559 million Spanish speakers worldwide. Its latest annual report "El español en el mundo 2018" (Spanish in the world 2018) counts 577 million Spanish speakers worldwide. Among the sources cited in the report is the U.S. Census Bureau, which estimates that the U.S. will have 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050, making it the biggest Spanish-speaking nation on earth, with Spanish the mother tongue of almost a third of its citizens.
Official use by international organizations
Spanish is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the African Union, the Union of South American Nations, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, the Latin Union, the Caricom, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Inter-American Development Bank, and numerous other international organizations.
Spanish words and phrases
Influences on the Spanish language
Dialects and languages influenced by Spanish
Spanish dialects and varieties
- In yeísmo dialects, castellano is pronounced [kasteˈɟʝano].
- Note that in English, "Castilian" or "Castilian Spanish" may be understood as referring to European Spanish (peninsular Spanish) to the exclusion of dialects in the New World or to Castilian Spanish to the exclusion of any other dialect, rather than as a synonym for the entire language.
- El español: una lengua viva – Informe 2019 (PDF) (Report). Instituto Cervantes. 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- Eberhard et al. (2020) harvcoltxt error: no target: CITEREFEberhard_et_al.2020 (help)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Spanish". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "Summary by language size". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
- Según la revista Ethnology en su edición de octubre de 2009 (eldia.es Archived 23 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine)
- La RAE avala que Burgos acoge las primeras palabras escritas en castellano (in Spanish), ES: El Mundo, 7 November 2010, archived from the original on 24 November 2010, retrieved 24 November 2010
- "Spanish languages "Becoming the language for trade" in Spain and". sejours-linguistiques-en-espagne.com. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Pei, Mario (1949). Story of Language. ISBN 03-9700-400-1.
- Robles, Heriberto Camacho Becerra, Juan José Comparán Rizo, Felipe Castillo (1998). Manual de etimologías grecolatinas (3. ed.). México: Limusa. p. 19. ISBN 968-18-5542-6.
- Comparán Rizo, Juan José. Raices Griegas y latinas (in Spanish). Ediciones Umbral. p. 17. ISBN 978-968-5430-01-2. Archived from the original on 23 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Dworkin, Steven N. (2012). A History of the Spanish Lexicon: A Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-19-954114-0. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.,Macpherson, I. R. (1980). Spanish phonology. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-7190-0788-7. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.,Martínez Egido, José Joaquín (2007). Constitución del léxico español. p. 15. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Versteegh, Kees (2003). The Arabic language (Repr. ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 228. ISBN 0-7486-1436-2. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Lapesa, Raphael (1960). Historia de la lengua española. Madrid. p. 97. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Quintana, Lucía; Mora, Juan Pablo (2002). "Enseñanza del acervo léxico árabe de la lengua española" (PDF). ASELE. Actas XIII: 705. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.: "El léxico español de procedencia árabe es muy abundante: se ha señalado que constituye, aproximadamente, un 8% del vocabulario total"
- Cervantes, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de. "La época visigoda / Susana Rodríguez Rosique | Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes". www.cervantesvirtual.com (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 8 February 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- Penny (1991:224–236)
- "Official Languages | United Nations". www.un.org. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
- "El español se atasca como lengua científica". Servicio de Información y Noticias Científicas (in Spanish). 5 March 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
- "577 millones de personas hablan español, el 7,6 de la población mundial". www.cervantes.es. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- Cervantes.es Archived 21 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine – Instituto Cervantes (2017)
- "Europeans and their Languages" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Spanish Speaking Countries Archived 31 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine World Population Review. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
- "Most Studied Foreign Languages in the U.S". Infoplease.com. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- US Census Bureau. "American Community Survey (ACS)". Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- Bureau, US Census. "Language Projections: 2010 to 2020". The United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
- Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, 2005, p. 271–272.
- "cartularioshistoria". www.euskonews.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- Penny, Ralph (2002). A History Of The Spanish Language (2 ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–21.
- "Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2008.
- "Harold Bloom on Don Quixote, the first modern novel | Books | The Guardian". London: Books.guardian.co.uk. 12 December 2003. Archived from the original on 14 June 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
- "Spanish Language Facts". Encyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- Crow, John A. (2005). Spain: the root and the flower. University of California Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-520-24496-2.
- Thomas, Hugh (2005). Rivers of Gold: the rise of the Spanish empire, from Columbus to Magellan. Random House Inc. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8129-7055-5.
- "La lengua de Cervantes" (PDF) (in Spanish). Ministerio de la Presidencia de España. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2008. Cite journal requires
|journal=(help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Zamora Vicente (1967:117 and 222)
- Hualde (2014:39)
- Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
- Cressey (1978:152)
- Abercrombie (1967:98)
- John B. Dabor, Spanish Pronunciation: Theory and Practice (3rd ed.: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1997), Ch. 7
- "John B. Dalbor's Voice Files to Accompany Spanish Pronunciation". Auburn.edu. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Eddington (2000:96)
- "Instituto Cervantes 06-07" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "Most widely spoken Languages in the World". Nations Online. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- "CIA The World Factbook United States". Cia.gov. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Internet World Users by Language". Miniwatts Marketing Group. 2008. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
- "Background Note: Andorra". U.S. Department of State: Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. January 2007. Archived from the original on 22 January 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
- "BBC Education — Languages Across Europe — Spanish". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Swiss Federal Statistical Office > Languages". Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Constitución de la República del Paraguay Archived 8 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Article 140
- Constitución Política del Perú Archived 17 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Article 48
- "Puerto Rico Elevates English". the New York Times. 29 January 1993. Archived from the original on 22 January 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
- "Population Census, Major Findings" (PDF). Belize: Central Statistical Office, Ministry of Budget Management. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2007.
- "Belize Population and Housing Census 2000". CR: UCR. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "Belize". World Factbook. CIA. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "FAQ". The Secretariat for The Implementation of Spanish. Trinidad and Tobago: Government of the Republic. Archived from the original on 3 November 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Brazilian Law 11.161". Presidência da República. 5 August 2005. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- "Novo ensino médio terá currículo flexível e mais horas de aula". O Globo. 23 September 2016. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
- Lipski, John M (2006). Face, Timothy L; Klee, Carol A (eds.). "Too close for comfort? the genesis of "portuñol/portunhol"" (PDF). Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project: 1–22. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- U.S. Census Bureau Hispanic or Latino by specific origin.
- U.S. Census Bureau (2007). "United States. S1601. Language Spoken at Home". 2005–2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
- "Más 'speak spanish' que en España". Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2007. (in Spanish)
- Crawford, John (1992). Language loyalties: a source book on the official English controversy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 62.
- "Equatorial Guinea (2000)". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "CIA World Factbook – Equatorial Guinea". CIA. 20 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- Los cubanos, la élite de Sudán del Sur (in Spanish), FR: Radio France International, 6 July 2011, archived from the original on 12 January 2012, retrieved 20 December 2011
- "Como saharauis queremos conservar el español" (in Spanish). 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Historia de un país" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "Estadisticas: El idioma español en Filipinas" (in Spanish). ES: Busco enlaces. 15 November 2000. Archived from the original on 24 August 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- Ocampo, Ambeth (4 December 2007). "The loss of Spanish". Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Daily Inquirer (INQUIRER.net). Opinion. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Presidential Decree No. 155 : PHILIPPINE LAWS, STATUTES and CODES : CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY". Chanrobles.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Article XIV, Sec 7: "For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein. Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis."
- Rodríguez-Ponga, Rafael. "New Prospects for the Spanish Language in the Philippines". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Legaspi, Amita O. (3 July 2012). "PNoy (President Benigno Aquino III) and Spain's Queen Sofia welcome return of Spanish language in Philippine schools". GMA News.
- Medium projection, PH: National Statistics Office, 2010, archived from the original on 11 August 2011
- Spanish creole: Quilis, Antonio (1996), La lengua española en Filipinas (PDF), Cervantes virtual, p. 54 and 55, archived (PDF) from the original on 6 August 2009, retrieved 1 December 2009
- Rubino (2008:279)
- 1973 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, The corpus juris, Article XV, Section 3(3), archived from the original on 17 April 2008, retrieved 6 April 2008
- "Spanish Influence on Language, Culture, and Philippine History". Archived from the original on 5 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Engelberg, Stefan. "The Influence of German on the Lexicon of Palauan and Kosraean (Dissertation)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- "Spanish language in Philippines". Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "UN 2011 to 2100 estimate". UN Population data. Archived from the original (MS Excel PDF) on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Ethnologue, 18th Ed.: es:Anexo:Hablantes de español según Ethnologue (edición 18).
- Eurobarometer (PDF), EU: Page TS2: Population older than 15 years old of each country. page T74: Speakers who speak Spanish very well. Page T46: Speakers who speak well enough in order to be able to have a conversation. es:Anexo:Hablantes de español en la U.E. según el Eurobarómetro (2012), 2012, archived (PDF) from the original on 29 April 2013, retrieved 12 April 2013
- "Cifras", El español: una lengua viva (PDF) (in Spanish), ES: Instituto Cervantes, p. 10, archived (PDF) from the original on 24 February 2016, retrieved 14 February 2016 Students across the World.
- Demografía de la lengua española (PDF) (in Spanish), ES, p. 10, archived (PDF) from the original on 23 September 2010, retrieved 23 February 2010, to countries with official Spanish status.
- 2018 population estimate (in Spanish), MX: CONAPO estimate, archived from the original on 10 February 2018, retrieved 30 January 2018
- "MX", The World Factbook, USA: CIA, archived from the original on 29 January 2018, retrieved 1 May 2011: Spanish only 92.7%
- (1 July, 2018), US: Census Bureau
- Spanish speakers older than 5 years old (Table, US: Census Bureau, 2018)
- Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder – Results". census.gov. Archived from the original on 14 February 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- Romero, Simon (23 August 2017). "Spanish Thrives in the U.S. Despite an English-Only Drive". Archived from the original on 4 January 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2019 – via NYTimes.com.
- "15 datos sobre el peso del español en EEUU que Donald Trump debería ver". La Información. Archived from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- Taylor, Paul. "(2011)". pewhispanic.org. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Census Bureau (01/July/2018)". Census.gov.
- Gonzalez, Ana (13 August 2013). "(2011)". pewresearch.org. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "PROYECCIONES DE POBLACIÓN" (in Spanish). CO: DANE. 2020. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
- "Datos básicos" (PDF) (in Spanish). ES: INE. 1 January 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 December 2019. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
- Eurobarometr 2012 Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine (page T74): Non native people who speak Spanish very well.
- "Argentinian census INDEC estimate for 2017". Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Estimaciones y proyecciones de población 2010–2040: Total del país, INDEC, 2013, archived from the original on 1 October 2018, retrieved 22 February 2015
- 40,872,286 people is the census population result for 2010
- According to Ethnologue (see "Argentina". Ethnologue), there were 40,3 million speakers Spanish as mother tongue in 2013. The Argentinian population in 2013 was projected to be 42,2 million.
- "Proyecciones de Población". ine.gov.ve. Archived from the original on 13 November 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2014. (2020)
- "Languages", VE, Ethnologue,
There are 1,098,244 people who speak other language as their mother tongue (main languages: Chinese 400,000, Portuguese 254,000, Wayuu 199,000, Arabic 110,000)
- Quispe Fernández, Ezio (2020). "Cifras" [Numbers] (PDF) (in Spanish). PE: INEI. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2017.
- "Census", The World factbook, US: CIA, 2007, archived from the original on 5 November 2016, retrieved 4 October 2011,
Spanish (official) 84.1%, Quechua (official) 13%, Aymara 1.7%, Ashaninka 0.3%, other native languages (includes a large number of minor Amazonian languages) 0.7%, other 0.2%
- "PE", Country, Ethnologue,
There are 5,782,260 people who speak other language as mother tongue (main languages: Quechua (among 32 Quechua's varieties) 4,773,900, Aymara (2 varieties) 661 000, Chinese 100,000).
- "Informes" [Reports] (PDF). Proyecciones (in Spanish). CL: INE. 2017. p. 36. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "CL", Country, Ethnologue,
There are 281,600 people who speak another language, mainly Mapudungun (250.000)
- "Estimate", Pop. clock (SWF), EC: INEC, archived from the original on 5 December 2015, retrieved 5 January 2016
- CIA Factbook (19 February 1999). "(2019)". CIA Factbook. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- www.oj.gob.gt Archived 23 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine Estmation for 2020
- "GT", The World factbook, CIA,
Spanish (official) 69.9%, Amerindian languages 40%
- http://www.onei.gob.cu/ Archived 14 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine ONEI (31 December 2018 estimation)
- https://www.one.gob.do/demograficas/proyecciones-de-poblacion/poblacion-estimada-y-proyectada Archived 14 November 2019 at the Wayback Machine ONE estimate"
- "Population clock". INE. Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- "South America :: Bolivia — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
- "INE (Pop clock)". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- There are 207,750 people who speak another language, mainly Garifuna (98,000).: Ethnologue Archived 13 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Informe 2017 (PDF), ES: Instituto Cervantes, 2017, p. 7, archived (PDF) from the original on 21 July 2017, retrieved 20 July 2017
- There are 14,100 people who speak other language as their mother tongue (main language, Kekchí with 12,300 speakers): Ethnologue Archived 7 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "INSEE estimate to 1/11/2012". Insee.fr. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Eurobarometr 2012 Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine (page T40): Native speakers.
- Eurobarometr 2012 Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine (page TS2): Population older than 15. (age scale used for the Eurobarometer survey)
- Eurobarometr 2012 Archived 29 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine (page T64): Non native people who speak Spanish well enough in order to be able to have a conversation.
- There are 490,124 people who speak another language, mainly Mískito (154,000).: Ethnologue Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- IBGE population estimation [IBGE publishes the populational estimates for municipalities in 2 011] (in Portuguese), BR, 2016, archived from the original on 16 November 2015, retrieved 7 January 2016
- El español: una lengua viva – Informe 2019 (PDF) (Report). Instituto Cervantes. 2019. pp. 9–10. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- "Eurostat 2015 estimation". Istat.it. Archived from the original on 7 August 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Languages of Italy
- "ENEC estimation to 2016". INEC. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Costa Rica". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "www.dgeec.gov.py" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- "South America :: Paraguay — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency". www.cia.gov. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Census INE estimate for 2013 Archived 7 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine (véase "Proyección de Población por municipio 2008–2020")
- There are 501,043 people who speak another language as mother tongue: PA, Ethnologue, archived from the original on 21 October 2011, retrieved 17 October 2011
- "2016 INE estimation". 2016. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019.
- There are 150,200 people who speak another language as mother tongue, UY, Ethnologue, archived from the original on 16 November 2011, retrieved 17 October 2011
- "2015 US. census Bureau". Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2015.
- 95.10% of the population speaks Spanish (US. Census Bureau Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine)
- "Annual Mid year Population Estimates: 2013". U.K. Gov. Census. 2014. Archived from the original on 15 May 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- Languages of the United Kingdom
- Medium projection, PH: National Statistics Office, 2015, archived from the original on 3 April 2019, retrieved 8 June 2013
- "native knowledge speakers" (in Spanish). Realinstitutoelcano.org. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- 1,816,773 Spanish + 1,200,000 Spanish creole: Quilis, Antonio (1996), La lengua española en Filipinas (PDF), Cervantes virtual, p. 54 and 55, archived (PDF) from the original on 6 August 2009, retrieved 1 December 2009
- Ten Reasons (PDF), ES: Mepsyd, p. 23, archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017
- Philippines, Spanish differences, archived from the original on 21 December 2012
- Spanish in the world 2012 (Instituto Cervantes): 3,017,265 Spanish speakers. 439,000 with native knowledge, 2,557,773 with limited knowledge (page 6), and 20,492 Spanish students (page 10).
- Nestor Diaz: More than 2 million Spanish speakers and around 3 million with Chavacano speakers (24 April 2010). "FILIPINAS / Vigoroso regreso del español". Aresprensa.com. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- The figure of 2 900 000 Spanish speakers is in Thompson, RW, Pluricentric languages: differing norms in different nations, p. 45
- World wide Spanish language, Sispain, archived from the original on 4 March 2016, retrieved 11 October 2012
- German census, DE: Destatis, 31 March 2015, archived from the original on 28 June 2016, retrieved 7 January 2016
- "World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revi sion, Key Findings and Advance Tables". United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 March 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- El español en el mundo [Spanish in the world] (PDF), ES: Instituto Cervantes, 2012, p. 6, archived from the original (PDF) on 17 October 2012
- El español en el contexto Sociolingüístico marroquí: Evolución y perspectivas (page 39): Between 4 and 7 million people have Spanish knowledge (M. Ammadi, 2002) Archived 6 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Euromonitor, 2012" (PDF). exteriores.gob.es. p. 32. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Equatorial Guinea census". Population statistics. 2010. Archived from the original on 6 August 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Spanish according to INE 2011
- 14% of the population speaks Spanish natively and other 74% as a second language: "Anuario", CVC (PDF) (in Spanish), ES: Cervantes, 2007, archived (PDF) from the original on 26 October 2012, retrieved 7 February 2010
- "Eurostat (1/1/2012 estimate)". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 17 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Eurostat 1 January 2010
- Statcan, CA: GC, archived from the original on 4 July 2016, retrieved 7 August 2012
- "An increasingly diverse linguistic profile: Corrected data from the 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- 87% of the Hispanics, speak Spanish. mequieroir.com Archived 1 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- There are 740,000 Hispanics in Canada in 2015, according to "Hispanovation: La creciente influencia hispánica en Canadá" (Social Media Week in Toronto): www.univision.com Archived 21 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine, www.abc.es Archived 31 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Netherland Census ClockPop". Cbs.nl. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- 2012 censusArchived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "2011 Census". Censusdata.abs.gov.au. Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "2071.0 – Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013". Abs.gov.au. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Page 32 of the "Demografía de la lengua española" Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Eurostat estimate to 1/1/2011". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Accueil – INSAE". www.insae-bj.org. Archived from the original on 17 December 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "ins.ci Census, 2009". Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
- "Belize Airports Analysis | Statistical Institute of Belize" (PDF). www.statisticsbelize.org.bz. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 December 2013.
- Page 32 of Demografía de la lengua española Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine (52,1% native speakers + 11,7% with some Spanish knowledge))
- Pages 34, 35 of the "Demografía de la lengua española", page 35 Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Migration data" (PDF). iom.int. 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- www.state.gov Archived 4 June 2019 at the Wayback Machine. 2015 estimate
- Statistik, Bundesamt für. "Bevölkerung". www.bfs.admin.ch. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016.
- 111,942 Spaniards in 2016 (INE Archived 18 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine) + 17,113 Peruvians in 2012 ( Archived 9 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine) + 5706 Argentines in 2012 ( Archived 4 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine) + 2864 Chileans in 2012
- "cvc.cervantes.es (annuary 2006–07)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
-  Archived 30 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "cvc.cervantes.es". cvc.cervantes.es. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "czso.cz" (in Czech). czso.cz. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "(2012)". ksh.hu. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Resultado 2010 – Persona". Censo2010.aw. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
-  Archived 7 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Data" (PDF). cvc.cervantes.es. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- Evolution de la population par sexe de 1976 à 2012 Archived 15 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine en: Annuaire Statistique du Cameroun 2010. Consultado el 23 August 2012.
- "New Zealand census (2006)". Stats.govt.nz. 13 February 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Press Release on Major Figures of the 2010 National Population Census". Stats.gov.cn. Archived from the original on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- 25,000 Spanish students in the university + 5,000 in the "Instituto Cervantes"cervantes.es (page 4) Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Statistics – FAQ's". Gibraltar.gov.gi. 12 November 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- www.um.es Archived 26 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine (5.2. Datos descriptivos de los usos de español e inglés, Gráfico 2). 77.3% of the Gibraltar population speak Spanish with their mother more, or equal than English.
- "(2013)". db1.stat.gov.lt. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Демография". Gks.ru. 27 December 2011. Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "2009 estimate" (PDF). UN. 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- The Spanish 1970 census claims 16.648 Spanish speakers in Western Sahara ( Archived 17 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine) but probably most of them were people born in Spain who left after the Moroccan annexation
- Page 34 of the Demografía de la Lengua Española Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "2010 Census". Census.gov. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Population – Key Indicators | Latvijas statistika". Csb.gov.lv. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "::Welcome to Turkish Statistical Institute(TurkStat)'s Web Pages::". TurkStat. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- 8,000 (Page 37 of the Demografía de la lengua española Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine) + 4,346 Spanish Students (according to the Instituto Cervantes)
- "Census of India : Provisional Population Totals : India :Census 2011". Censusindia.gov.in. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "cervantes.es (page 6)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 June 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Jamaican Population". Statinja.gov.jm. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Languages of Jamaica Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine,
- El español en Namibia, 2005. Archived 2 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine Instituto Cervantes.
- "cvc.cervantes.es" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu. 17 October 2013. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Demografía de la lengua española, page 37 Archived 23 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine (2,397,000 people speak Spanish as a native language in the E.U. excluded Spain, but It is already counted population who speak Spanish as a native language in France (477,564), Italy (255,459), U.K. (120,000) Sweden (77,912) and Luxemburg (4,049)).
- "International Programs – People and Households – U.S. Census Bureau". Census.gov. 5 January 2016. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Spanish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- 426,515,910 speakers L1 in 2012 (ethnologue Archived 28 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine) of 7,097,500,000 people in the World in 2012 (): 6%.
- "The 30 Most Spoken Languages in the World". KryssTal. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- 517,824,310 speakers L1 and L2 in 2012 (ethnologue Archived 28 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine) of 7,097,500,000 people in the World in 2012 (): 7.3%.
- Eleanor Greet Cotton, John M. Sharp (1988) Spanish in the Americas, Volume 2, pp.154–155, URL Archived 15 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Lope Blanch, Juan M. (1972) En torno a las vocales caedizas del español mexicano, pp.53 a 73, Estudios sobre el español de México, editorial Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México URL Archived 5 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House Inc. 2006.
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). Houghton Mifflin Company. 2006.
- Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. MICRA, Inc. 1998.
- Encarta World English Dictionary. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 2007. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
- Penny, Ralph (2000). Variation and Change in Spanish. Cambridge University Press. p. 199. ISBN 0-521-78045-4.
whatever might be claimed by other centres, such as Valladolid, it was educated varieties of Madrid Spanish that were mostly regularly reflected in the written standard.
- The IPA symbol "turned y" (ʎ), with its "tail" leaning to the right, resembles, but is technically different from, the Greek letter lambda (λ), whose tail leans to the left.
- Charles B. Chang, "Variation in palatal production in Buenos Aires Spanish" Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Selected Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics, ed. Maurice Westmoreland and Juan Antonio Thomas, 54–63. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 2008.
- "Real Academia Española" (in Spanish). Buscon.rae.es. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Katia Salamanca de Abreu, review of Humberto López Morales, Estudios sobre el español de Cuba Archived 21 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine (New York: Editorial Las Américas, 1970), in Thesaurus, 28 (1973), 138–146.
- Jensen (1989)
- Penny (2000:14) harvcoltxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFPenny2000 (help)
- Dalby (1998:501)
- Ginsburgh & Weber (2011:90)
- "Spanish". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2005.
- "Similar languages to Spanish". EZGlot. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- Often considered to be a substratum word. Other theories suggest, on the basis of what is used to make cheese, a derivation from Latin brandeum (originally meaning a linen covering, later a thin cloth for relic storage) through an intermediate root *brandea. For the development of the meaning, cf. Spanish manteca, Portuguese manteiga, probably from Latin mantica ('sack'), Italian formaggio and French fromage from formaticus. Romanian Explanatory Dictionary Archived 18 February 2020 at the Wayback Machine
- Alfassa, Shelomo (December 1999). "Ladinokomunita". Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture. Archived from the original on 2 April 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
- Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas Archived 16 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 1st ed.
- Real Academia Española Archived 11 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Explanation Archived 6 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine at Spanish Pronto Archived 14 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish and English)
- "Exclusión de ch y ll del abecedario | Real Academia Española". www.rae.es. Archived from the original on 28 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
- "Scholarly Societies Project". Lib.uwaterloo.ca. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- Batchelor, Ronald Ernest (1992). Using Spanish: a guide to contemporary usage. Cambridge University Press. p. 318. ISBN 0-521-26987-3.
- "Association of Spanish Language Academies" (in Spanish). Asale. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Real Academia Española". Spain: RAE. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Colombiana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Colombia. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Ecuador. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Mexicana de la Lengua". Mexico. 22 September 2010. Archived from the original on 15 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Salvadoreña de la Lengua". El Salvador. Archived from the original on 4 September 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Venezolana de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Venezuela. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Chilena de la Lengua". Chile. Archived from the original on 5 September 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Peruana de la Lengua". Peru. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Guatemalteca de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Guatemala. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Costarricense de la Lengua". Costa Rica. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española" (in Spanish). Philippines. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Panameña de la Lengua". Panama. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Cubana de la Lengua". Cuba. Archived from the original on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
- "Academia Paraguaya de la Lengua Española". Paraguay. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Dominicana de la Lengua". República Dominicana. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Boliviana de la Lengua". Bolivia. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Nicaragua. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Argentina de Letras". Argentina. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Nacional de Letras del Uruguay". Uruguay. Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Hondureña de la Lengua" (in Spanish). Honduras. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española". Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española". United States. Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "Academia Ecuatoguineana de la Lengua Española". Equatorial Guinea. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
- Stephen Burgen, US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more Archived 23 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine, US News, 29 June 2015.
- Abercrombie, David (1967). Elements of General Phonetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0852244517.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Eberhard, David M.; Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D. (2020). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (23rd ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Butt, John; Benjamin, Carmen (2011). A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-1-4441-3769-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Cressey, William Whitney (1978). Spanish Phonology and Morphology: A Generative View. Georgetown University Press. ISBN 0-87840-045-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Dalby, Andrew (1998). Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11568-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Eddington, David (2000). "Spanish Stress Assignment within the Analogical Modeling of Language" (PDF). Language. 76 (1): 92–109. doi:10.2307/417394. JSTOR 417394. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2010.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Ginsburgh, Victor; Weber, Shlomo (2011). How Many Languages Do We Need?: The Economics of Linguistic Diversity. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13689-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Harris, James (1967). "Sound Change in Spanish and the Theory of Markedness". Language. Language. 45 (3): 538–52. doi:10.2307/411438. JSTOR 411438.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Hualde, José Ignacio (2014). Los sonidos del español. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-16823-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Jensen, John B. (1989). "On the Mutual Intelligibility of Spanish and Portuguese". Hispania. 72 (4): 848–852. doi:10.2307/343562. JSTOR 343562.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003). "Castilian Spanish". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 33 (2): 255–59. doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Ladefoged, Peter; Johnson, Keith (2010), A Course in Phonetics (6th ed.), Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4282-3126-9
- Moreno Fernández, Francisco; Otero, Jaime (2008), Atlas de la lengua española en el mundo, Barcelona: Ariel
- Penny, Ralph (1991). A History of the Spanish Language. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39784-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Penny, Ralph (2000). Variation and Change in Spanish. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-78045-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Population by age, both sexes, annual; estimate for 2012, UN, archived from the original (XLS) on 15 January 2013, retrieved 11 March 2012
- Rubino, Carl (2008), "Zamboangueño Chavacano and the Potentive Mode.", in Michaelis, Susanne (ed.), Roots of Creole Structures: Weighing the Contribution of Substrates and Superstrates, Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp. 279–299, ISBN 90-272-5255-6
- Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967), Dialectología española, Madrid: Gredos
- "Hats Off: The Rise of Spanish". The Economist. 1 June 2013.
- Erichsen, Gerald (20 May 2017). "Does Spanish Have Fewer Words Than English?". ThoughtCo. Dotdash.
- "What is the future of Spanish in the United States?". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
- Real Academia Española (RAE), Royal Spanish Academy. Spain's official institution, with a mission to ensure the stability of the Spanish language
- Instituto Cervantes, Cervantes Institute. A Spanish government agency, responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of the Spanish language and culture.
Courses and learning resources
- SpanishBoom.com – Free Spanish course with audio
- BBC – Free Spanish learning resources
- Curlie.org – Directory of Spanish language resources
- WordReference.com Spanish-English forum
- Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) – Monolingual Spanish dictionary
- SpanishBoom.com – Spanish-English visual dictionary with audio
- WordReference.com – Spanish-English dictionary
Articles and reports
- Instituto Cervantes Annual reports on the status of the Spanish language around the world
- British Council Spanish: speak the language of 400 million people