Spanish across the world
by Amy Lambert on Thursday, February 24, 2011
Did you know that over 300 million people in the world speak Spanish as their first language?
It may seem hard to believe but, because Spanish is the official language of 20 different countries across the globe, it has a considerable influence on the world’s communication. Although statistics are difficult to calculate, is usually considered as being among the top three most spoken languages in the world.
The Spanish language derived from Latin, after the Roman influence on the Iberian Peninsula. Little by little the Spanish spoken in mainland Spain, known as Castilian Spanish, developed as a dialect and eventually became the country’s official language. Its global influence, however, is all down to the colonisation of the Americas by the Spanish in the 16th century. When the Spanish first began to settle in South and Central America, they brought with them their language, as well as many important aspects of their culture. Gradually, the native languages of the indigenous people began to die out and therefore although they are no longer colonies of Spain, 19 countries in South America still use Spanish as their first language and are very much influenced by Latin culture.
Interestingly, there is also a high level of Spanish in other countries where it is not an official language, such as the Philippines, Morocco, and the Caribbean. The biggest case of this however would have to be in the United States, where there are more and more Spanish speakers every year. Due to the high rate of immigration from Mexico and other Latin American countries, the Spanish language has gradually began to have a bigger impact on the USA, particularly in the Southern states. Statistics suggest that around a quarter of the population of Texas and California are Spanish speakers, and there are estimated to be at least 45 million ‘hispanohablantes’ in the US today. The language has become more accepted, despite not being an official language, to the extent that there are now bilingual schools for the children of Spanish speaking immigrants and a high demand for Spanish language media. El Nuevo Herald is a popular Spanish language newspaper published daily in Miami, and was the first of its kind to work on the Internet too.
Its international growth and use in global organisations such as the United Nations, FIFA and Interpol has inspired many countries to implement the teaching of Spanish in schools and it is now the world’s second most studied language, after English.
So, if you’re feeling inspired to be part of this global community, start learning Spanish today!
Keywords: Spain,spanish,Latin America