Spanish Language Facts
If you’re thinking about learning Spanish it’s always good to know a little about the origins and history of the language you are learning. Here, Cactus Language offers up our most interesting Spanish language facts:
5 Interesting Spanish Language Facts
1. Spanish is a Romance language derived from Vulgar Latin
The Muslim rule in Spain during the Middle Ages left its mark on the Spanish language, as many Arabic words were incorporated into Spanish. With the Reconquest, Spanish spread and became the dominant language on the Iberian peninsula. Spanish language then further expanded as Spain developed its colonial empire, mainly in America, bringing on the same occasion many Amerindian words to the Spanish language.
2. Spanish is spoken by 559 million people around the world
470 million of Spanish speakers are native speakers. It is estimated that there are more than 21 million students of Spanish as a foreign language. Spanish is the second most studied language in the world. It is the official language in 22 countries and is also spoken in numerous other countries. This includes the United States where there are 45 million Spanish speakers, making it the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and is expected to become the largest by 2050.
3. Spanish uses inverted exclamation and question marks
This is unlike most other languages where a simple exclamation or question mark is used at the end of an exclamation or question. Spanish uses inverted exclamation and question marks to highlight the exclamation or question part of a sentence. For example: Jose, ¿adónde vas? – Jose, where are you going?
4. Like most languages, Spanish has its own very unique words which can’t be translated in other languages
Useful examples include:
- Vergüenza Ajena: feeling embarrassed for someone even if he/she doesn’t feel embarrassed him/herself;
- Empalagar: have you ever disliked something because it was too sweet? This word perfectly describe this situation;
- Sobremesa: in Spain and Latin American countries, it is common to stay at the table after a meal and share conversation and anecdotes with family and friends over a cup of coffee or some wine.
5. Spanish (Español) is also known as Castilian (Castellano)
Spanish owes this to its origins as the language of Castile, a region in central Spain.
How to book with Cactus
Simply select which language you would like to learn and from the box below and click lets go.
Take level test
This is a quick test to help you find the right course for your current level of knowledge.
Book your course
Use our simple online booking system to select your course.
Frequently asked questions
What will I learn?
Our Course Outlines give an overview of the content and learning framework of Cactus courses. Includes themes, grammar and vocabulary you can typically expect to cover. These are intended as a guide only. Language teachers may at times adapt the course content to suit the specific level, aims and interests of the class.
How do I know what level I am?
Are you unsure where to start or progress to? Then take our level test and read our level descriptions for guidance.
Do I receive a qualification or certificate?
At the end of your course you receive a certificate of participation. You will be able to be download it from your MyCactus account. This confirms the language and level of course you have taken. Our course levels are based on two internationally recognised systems. You will have a universally accepted reference for your studies. (Important: Please note that you must complete the end of course questionnaire sent to you to be able to get your certificate! You will receive the course questionnaire by e-mail at the end of your course.)
Do I need a course book?
You will need a course book to attend your course. Course books are not included in the course fees. We recommend that you buy your own course book separately before your course starts. We will let you know which course book you will require and advise where you can purchase this. Please note that a course book often covers more than one level. So if you progress to the next course, you may not necessarily need to buy a new book. Again, we will advise you of this at the time. The course book is chosen by our teachers and academic team. This is based on which book is most suitable for the level of the class whilst offering the most communicative approach.
Still have questions?
Sign up for our offers
Exclusive discounts on your course with Cactus directly on your inbox!