Interesting facts about the Spanish language

Interesting facts about the Spanish language

What comes to your mind first when we say 'global language'?

Of course, you think of English.

English is indeed very popular and useful. It is used for casual communication between foreigners, as well as business communication between companies.

But what if I told you that the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese, is in fact Spanish! 

If you are surprised by that fact, you should wait and hear other interesting facts about Spanish that we have prepared for you.

You will be amazed!

1. Spanish has official language status in 21 countries

Apart from being an official language in 21 countries around the world, a second language in about twice as many, it is also one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations.

Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Belize are some of the countries that have made Spanish official.

Its official language status means that in those countries, Spanish is used for daily communication, for relevant documents, children learn it at school and use it for learning other subjects. 

2. Spanish has a connection to Arabic

Another interesting fact is the Spanish interaction with Arabic.

Due to the Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, many Arabic words entered the Spanish language and are still in use today. I am not even referring to exotic words, but common everyday words, such as Ojala (I hope), which comes from the Arabic law sha’allah, meaning If it is God’s will.

Some say that Spanish was in a way shaped by the Arabic language. Approximately 4000 words come from Arabic.

3. Spain is not the largest Spanish-speaking country

The country with the largest Spanish-speaking population is in fact not Spain, but Mexico.

More than 120 million people in Mexico speak Spanish on a native level.

If you wish to visit Mexico, start by learning these top phrases for travelers. It will make your stay more comfortable and pleasant.

4. One of the easiest languages to learn

Spanish is considered one of the easiest languages to learn for a native English speaker due to its large vocabulary shared with English.

I would use caution, though, as there are many grammatical difficulties in Spanish and many rules which are absent in English (for example, telling time in Spanish is quite unique) and they might seem too difficult for you.

5. It has many forms

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but Spanish is objectively speaking a beautiful language, with numerous pleasant sounds.

Spanish or Castilian? This you probably haven't heard – different Spanish-speaking countries refer to Spanish as either Espanol or Castellano. Even in Spain, there is disagreement about the correct term.

6. Spanish comes from Latin

Spanish derived from a regional variety of Latin. When the Roman Empire conquered the Iberian peninsula, it started spreading the Latin language. Of course, the peoples on the peninsula spoke their own local version of Latin, which subsequently evolved in the Iberian languages we know today.

7. There are more native Spanish speakers than English ones

Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people all over the world.

Chinese is, of course, number one with over billion people.

Spanish comes in second. 

8. Spain is the Olive Oil Capital

If you've ever lived with Spanish people for more than a week or two you are probably familiar with their love for olive oil.

I remember my international camps where I met two guys from Barcelona who put olive oil on bread, in pasta, everywhere. Who could blame them? Olive oil is amazing.

But did you know that Spain produces almost 50% of all the world's olive oil. Andalucia is the region where the production is the biggest. 

9. Spanish is 3rd most popular internet language

This information shouldn't come to you as a shock, especially if you are familiar with the most watched YouTube video.

Despacito by Luis Fonsi.

The song's influence was so big that it increased Puerto Rico tourism by almost 50%. 

Spanish music is everywhere, especially on the internet, so I wouldn't be surprised if Spanish soon becomes the first internet language. We'll see.

Final thoughts

If you ever thought of learning Spanish but hesitated – hesitate no more. The language will enrich your mind in a spectacular way!

If you're looking for a good way to learn Spanish, take a look at this online Spanish course. It takes you through everything from greeting new people, to speaking Spanish for work. - Enjoy!

What are the most spoken languages in the world?

Chinese and Spanish are the most spoken languages in the world.

What countries have Spanish as an official language?

21 countries, including Spain, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, Belize, use Spanish as an official language.

Why is Spanish considered to be the easiest language?

Spanish is considered to be the easiest language to learn as it has a large vocabulary shared with English.

Are there many dialects of Spain?

There is a great number of dialects in Spain even within one country.

Are there more native speakers of Spanish than of Chinese?

There are 400 million native Spanish speakers and over billion native Chinese speakers.

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