Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Languages in Spain


Image source: Wikipedia
The most widely-spoken language in Spain is Castilian. It is also called Spanish. Castilian is

the official language of Spain, and it is used in government, the media and education. For

89%  of the population, Castilian is the mother tongue. It is also spoken in South America,
Central America and Guinea as a mother tongue, as well in the USA, Marrocco, the UK,

Philippines, Germany, Italy and other countries as a result of immigration.

In addition to Castilian, there are over five other languages or dialects in Spain: 9% speak
Catalan-Valenciano, 5% Gallego, 1% Vasco (Euskera), and 3% speak a foreign language.
These facts mean that some people are bilingual.
Castilian is a very old language. It started as the vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, but it has
changed over many centuries. After the Muslim invasion, varieties in this Romance language
evolved giving us Catalan, Navarro-ragonese, Astur-Leonese and Gallego-Portuguese.

Nowadays, the main differences between the English and Spanish alphabet are: the

existence of “Ñ”, the article is generic in English but in Castilian it can be female or

male, and the question marks or exclamations in English are at the end of the sentence only.

We also have different words from other languages as well as Castilian words, for example

“escáner” (an English word), “menú” (a French word) or “pizza” (an Italian word). As

well as “sangría” for a refreshing drink, “paella” or “tapas” for typical food, the most
important word that we have exported to the world is “siesta”.
Many people in Spain can speak English, but we are very pleased if visitors can use some
Castilian words as well.
Paz NI One

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