A Brief History
Spanish, a Romance language, originated from Latin spoken on the Iberian Peninsula. With influences from the Visigoth and Arabic languages, modern Spanish began to take shape in the 1400s. The language spread globally during the Age of Exploration, mixing with indigenous languages in the Americas and other regions. The Royal Spanish Academy sought to standardize the language, leading to the modern, widely spoken language we know today with diverse regional accepted variations. Now, Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, with rich cultural and historical significance.
- Spanish has formal and informal grammar structures. The word “tú” is used for addressing friends and family, while “usted” is used formally such as when addressing strangers, elders, or in professional settings.
- Spanish is the official or national language in 21 countries, including Spain, Mexico, most countries in Central and South America, and some Caribbean nations such as Puerto Rico.
- Spanish is a phonetic language meaning its sounds are overwhelmingly spoken as they are spelled.
- Spanish words with Arabic roots often relate to science, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, art, and cuisine, reflecting the significant influence of Arabic culture on the Iberian Peninsula.
- Spanish differs from other Romance languages (like Italian and French) because it is a “rhotic” language, meaning that the r sound is pronounced at the start and end of words.
- Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by native speakers, with over 460 million people who speak it as their first language.
Famous Spanish Speakers
- Rafael Nadal, Spanish tennis player
- Lionel Messi, Argentine soccer player
- Jennifer Lopez, Puerto Rican singer and actor
- Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor
- Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter
Want to learn more about Spanish (or any other language)? Please contact your Aires representative.