World Languages: Spanish

Number 2: Spanish

Coming in second place for the most spoken language in the world…Spanish! We’ve made it all the way to number two, so join us as we learn about this wonderful language that is known by many around the world.

Spanish is spoken by 414 million people around the world – almost six per cent of the world’s population! The main countries where this language is spoken include Spain, Portugal and Belize but also is spoken across many Latin American countries in South America. A total of around 44 countries speak Spanish as their first language. While this language is considered “Spanish” by most of the English-speaking world, those who speak this language may call it Castilian or Español.

This language is largely influenced by the Latin language, but also gets a lot of influence from Arabic and English. Many cognates are shared between these languages, and as an English speaker, you may already know up to 3000 Spanish words upon sight!

Español is a phonetic language, which means if you know how a word is spelled, you will most likely be able to pronounce it. The Latin writing system is used, like English, but many letters have a slightly varied pronunciation. Accents are also used over many vowels, which can make Spanish a little bit more difficult to pronounce.

Spanish is considered to be one of the easier languages to learn, especially as an English speaker. As part of the Indo-European language group, Spanish shares similarities with French, Portuguese and Italian, which means if you know any of these languages, you may have an easier time learning Spanish.

Come back next week as we reach the end of our countdown and learn about the most spoken language in the world!

References
http://www.ethnologue.com/statistics/size

http://spanish.about.com/od/historyofspanish/a/10_facts_about_spanish.htm

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/spanish.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/guide/alphabet.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/guide/facts.shtml

Written by

Comments are closed.