Top 5 facts about languages: Spanish language
- Spanish language is in second place in the world for the number of native speakers (329 million). It is slightly ahead of English (328 million), but far behind Chinese (1.2 billion).
- Spanish is the official language in 22 countries. There are about 500 million native Spanish speakers in the world. This language is an official one for Spain, all countries of Latin America, and some states of the USA also recognize Spanish as an official language. Florida, Texas, California, and New York are home to several million native Spanish speakers.
- Spanish is a very convenient language. If you know how to spell a word, you can almost always pronounce it (but not vice versa). The exceptions are new borrowed words, which usually keep their spelling.
- The first grammar book of the Spanish language, Grammatica castellana, was published in 1492 by the Spanish philologist, historian, and poet Elio Antonio de Nebrija. In the same year, Columbus discovered the New World.
- If you already know English, you should be able to easily understand the meaning of approximately 3,000 Spanish words, as Spanish borrows a lot from English. There are also many loanwords from Arabic in Spanish. These words were borrowed between 718-1492, during the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
Do you speak Spanish? Which fact is the most interesting for you and why?