María Palomares Tarí
SPANISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES: THE ULTIMATE LIST
As every 23 April, at YOKO we are celebrating one of the most romantic and sexiest languages in the world… Spanish!
Every Spanish-speaking country’s individual culture, politics and traditions also differ from one another as they have developed differently. As the diversity is huge, today we are bringing together the ultimate list of Spanish speaking countries, the ones with great number of speakers or the ones where Spanish influence is indubitable.
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN EUROPE
In Spain, the Spanish language is also called castellano (Castilian), which refers the Castile province in central Spain where the language is said to have originated. Besides, certain Autonomous Communities have their own official language in addition to Spanish: Catalan (or Valencian), Galician and Basque would also be considered Spanish languages (lenguas españolas).
The historic and official language of Andorra is Catalan, a Romance language. However, because of immigration, historical links, and close geographic proximity, Spanish and French are commonly spoken. There is a sizable immigrant community that speaks Portuguese also. Most Andorran residents can speak one or more of these, in addition to Catalan.
Don’t meant to confuse! English is indeed the official language of the British overseas territory on the Iberian Peninsula. However, most locals are bilingual and also speak Spanish.
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN AFRICA
Having become independent from Spain on October 12, 1968, Equatorial Guinea is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa.
Standard Arabic, Moroccan Arabic, and Tamazight (Berber) are the national languages. However, many Moroccans also speak Spanish, especially in the northern regions around Tetouan and Tangier and parts of the south, due to historical ties and business interactions with Spain. Also, let’s not forget the tiny Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which sit on the northern shores of Morocco's Mediterranean coast . Together they form the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN ASIA
For more than 370 years, the Philippines was a colony of Spain. Spanish rule ended in 1898; until then, Spanish was the lingua franca of the country. Spanish remained an official language of government until 1973. Anywhere from a fifth up to one third of Tagalog vocabulary is Spanish in origin Just have look at these Tagalog Spanish-origin words: libro, kusina, juez, or mesa. Tagalog also has a set of numbers that are Spanish in origin (uno, dos, tres, kwatro, singko, sais, syete, otso, nuwebe, diyes.)
THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN THE AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN
Would a Colombian be able to get by in Spain? They may use different vocabulary, have different accents or expressions, but they would ultimately understand each other perfectly!
Argentina has no official language, but the principal (national) language is Spanish.
The main language of Bolivia is Spanish, spoken by 70% of the population. Many other Indigenous languages are also used, most prominently Quechua (18%) and Aymara (10%). Both indigenous languages and Spanish are official languages of the state.
The Chilean variant of Spanish, which has a very different flavor than other Spanish-speaking countries, is the primary language; indigenous languages are minority languages in the country.
In Colombia, they speak Spanish and 60+ Amerindian languages. The Colombian Spanish has an almost musical pronunciation and intonation.
Besides Spanish, several local indigenous languages are in use.
The vast majority of Cubans speak Spanish.
98% of the population of the Dominican Republic speaks Spanish.
Spanish is the most commonly spoken language in Ecuador.
Spanish is the official language of El Salvador.
In multilingual Guatemala, where Spanish is the official language, several Mayan dialects are also spoken.
The official language is Spanish; several indigenous languages are used by minorities.
The vast majority of the population speaks Spanish. The Mexican government recognizes hundreds of indigenous languages.
The official language of Nicaragua is Spanish spoken by 90% of the country's population.
More than 90% of Panama's population speak Spanish as their first language.
Paraguay is a bilingual country. Both Spanish and Guaraní are official languages.
The official languages of Peru are Spanish, Quechua, and other indigenous languages.
Spanish and English have official status, with Spanish being the main language.
Spanish is the national language; regional languages are Rioplatense Spanish, and Uruguayan Portuguese.
Among the 40 languages spoken in Venezuela, Spanish is the most spoken.
An estimated 41 million US residents, or 13.5% of the population, speak Spanish at home. There is a great diversity of accents of Spanish in the United States. The influence of English on American Spanish is very important. In many Latino (also called Hispanic) youth subcultures , it is common to mix Spanish and English to produce ‘Spanglish’ a term for code-switching between English and Spanish, or for Spanish with heavy English influence.
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