I might be a little biased but Spanish is easily one of the most amazing languages in the world. With a rich history, beautiful rhythms and deep-rooted meaning in unique vocabulary, Spanish is one of those languages that just flows and evolves in beautiful ways. It is alive and vibrant with the flavors of all the places it is spoken – each locale giving their own take on style, slang and pronunciation. It goes without saying that, as the owner of ACR Spanish Translations, the Spanish language has a special place in my heart but it should also have a special place in yours too! Explore some of the amazing facts about the language I have shared with you below and bask in the glory of everything Spanish!
Spanish is a global language. Every continent in the world with the exceptions of Antarctica and Australia is home to a large Spanish-speaking population. In at least 44 countries around the globe, there are 3 million or more native Spanish speakers and it is the official language in 20 sovereign states and dependent territories including Spain, Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and much of Central and South Americas. With at least 445 million native speakers around the world, Spanish comes in the number 2 position for first languages (just ahead of English and behind Chinese).
It is wonderfully phonetic. One thing that learners of Spanish love about the language is how directly phonetic is. As they say, “If you can spell it, you can say it!” Unlike other languages with drop-off sounds or silent letters, Spanish is, for the most part, what you see on the page. Of course, this isn’t necessarily true of foreign words that have been adopted into the general Spanish lexicon, but for the rest, it makes spelling and speaking pretty straight forward!
It shares a language family and vocabulary with English. This helps if you are doing translation work between the two languages or you are learning one with the other as your Mother Tongue. As part of the Indo-European family of languages, Spanish shares similarities with languages such as English, German, French, Scandinavian languages and others. Of course, we also know that it is further classified as a Romance language along with French, Italian and Portuguese which makes communication between those languages even easier! In terms of shared vocabulary, English and Spanish share terms primarily through cognates and terms related to technology and culture. While there are some clear differences such as Spanish’s use of gender (among others), the relationship between the two languages cannot be denied!
Spanish is deeply influenced by Arabic. Similarly, another language sibling of Spanish is, of course, Arabic as the Middle Eastern tongue was used on much of the Iberian peninsula for 750 years of the Arab presence there. It is inevitable that a lot of mixing and sharing would occur! In fact, a surprising amount of Spanish and Portuguese were derived and evolved from Arabic terms. The fact that so many Spanish words start with al- should be a clue because that is the definite article in Arabic. Common words like ojala (meaning hopefully) come from the Arabic word Insha Allah (meaning God-willing), or azucar (meaning sugar) which comes from the Arabic word as-sukkar (meaning sugar as well).