Spanish language, among others like French, Italian and Portuguese, is one of the Romance languages, and it has deep roots that spread far and wide from its origin. Today’s modern Spanish language began to develop in the ninth century in the Kingdom of Castile, which included northern and central parts of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Roman Empire settled on the peninsula and brought with them Vulgar Latin. Due to the Muslim rule in the area, Spanish was influenced by Arabic language and Greek. As the languages were blended, in the 11th century Castilian Spanish came to be. This is the earliest point in history in which we can see the beginnings of the modern Spanish language.
Castilian Spanish came to Latin America around the 15th century in its pure form with the Transatlantic voyages of Cristopher Columbus and Ponce de León. Alas, it wasn’t meant to remain that way. With the influence of the Church and English speakers in the U.S., there emerged variations of spoken Castilian Spanish, which became Latin American Spanish.
Even though we call it Latin American Spanish, the language has witnessed further development in every Latin American country based on its cultural, political, technological, and economic patterns and processes.
These elements greatly influence the language and make words mean something different when crossing a border.
Difference between Spain Spanish and Latin America Spanish
Like Americans understand the British and the Australians, Spanish-speaking people understand one another. Simply put, there are different types of Spanish, and among these, of course, there are many differences in terms of pronunciation, vocabulary, and the use of tenses in every Spanish-speaking country.
For example, the pronoun “Ustedes” is used in Spain and Latin America to refer to the second person (plural). However, Spaniards use two different pronouns, the more formal “Ustedes” and the less formal “vosotros.” Latin Americans tend not to distinguish between the two groups in terms of formality; they refer to both groups as “Ustedes.”
List of Spanish speaking countries
Even though Spain is the birthplace of the language, it does not have the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. There are other countries with larger populations of Spanish speakers. Spanish is the official or co-official language in 21 countries, mostly in Latin America, with one in Europe and one more in Africa. The five largest countries whose primary language is Spanish are Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, and Peru.
Spanish Speaking Countries Map
This map includes countries where it is an official language, but there are also some countries where a large part of the population speaks Spanish, such as the Philippines, Belize, and Andorra.
Ranking the countries that have Spanish as an official language
This list was obtained from the research done by “Instituto Cervantes”, which compiled information on the total population of each of these countries in 2019.
|Countries||Capital||Number of speakers|
|1. Mexico||Ciudad de México||125,929,433|
|4. Argentina||Buenos Aires||44,938,712|
|8. Guatemala||Ciudad de Guatemala||17,137,209|
|10. Bolivia||La Paz||11,469,896|
|11. Cuba||La Habana||11,410,140|
|12. República Dominicana||Santo Domingo||10,358,320|
|15. El Salvador||San Salvador||6.400.698|
|17. Costa Rica||San José||5,058,007|
|20. Puerto Rico||San Juan||3,195,153|
|21. Guinea Ecuatorial||Malabo||1,222,442|
That is, approximately 463 million people speak it as an official language. But how many people speak Spanish in the world?
How many Spanish speakers in the world?
According to “Instituto Cervantes” and the 463 million who speak it as an official language, we should also consider those who study it or use it daily, which means that approximately 580 million people are regular users of this language.
Spanish Speaking Population in the U.S.
Spanish has over 60 million speakers in the United States, constituting about 18% of the U.S. population. This makes it one of the largest Spanish-speaking countries in the world, second only to Mexico.
According to the U.S. Census Office, the U.S. will have an estimated 140 million Spanish speakers by 2050, which would make it the most significant Spanish-speaking nation in the Spanish-speaking world.
Professional Spanish Translation
There are different types and dialects of Spanish and such diversity creates challenges for people trying to reach out to different demographics. Understanding the difference is essential when you want to have your message translated. Each translation must be adaptable for the target audience because a person buying coche in Spain goes home with a car. In contrast, in Mexico, they get a baby stroller, not an automobile.
MotaWord is here to help you with your professional Spanish translation, so that you can succeed in the Spanish-speaking world.
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