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Some Interesting Facts about the Spanish Language

  1. Spanish is the official language in 21 different countries.

  2. There are 577 million native speakers throughout the world.

  3. It is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese and the third most used language on the Internet. It is also one of the official languages within the EU.

  4. Spanish uses inverted exclamation and question marks – This is unlike other languages where a simple exclamation or question mark is used at the end. For example ¿Dónde está mi goma? and ¡Buena suerte!

  5. Another unique feature in the Spanish Language is the letter ñ which was introduced to the alphabet in the 18th century.

  6. Spanish (español) is also known as Castilian (castellano).

  7. The Royal Spanish Academy is in charge of the Spanish Language and is officially responsible for being the custodian of the Spanish Language. It has its home in Madrid and operates numerous language academies in the 21 countries that speak Spanish.

  8. Spanish descended from Latin.

  9. Arabic influenced Spanish. The Arab armies started to conquer the Iberian peninsula in 711, bringing Arabic art, architecture and language. Arabic gradually mixed with the old Spanish to become the language spoken today. When Spain expelled the Arabs in 1492, the language retained some 8,000 Arabic words. Apart from Latin, Arabic is the largest contributor to Spanish.

  10. The earliest Spanish texts were written over 1,000 years ago. Las Glosas Emilianenses (Glosses of Saint Emilianus) written in 964, were long thought to be the first written Spanish texts that survive today. However, in 2010, the Real Academia Española announced that the first examples of written Spanish exist in 9th-century medieval documents known as the “Cartularies of Valpuesta” from the Burgos province.

  11. The demand for learning Spanish is increasing. Spain has always been a popular travel and foreign study destination. These days the language is becoming very popular in Asia, signifying its importance in global economic markets.

  12. It is estimated that 18 million students are currently studying Spanish as a foreign language. And forecasts indicated that in a few generations from now, 10% of the world’s population will understand Spanish – whereas the current number is 6%. That is a huge jump from now!​​