Spanish Language Facts

Interesting 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:

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.

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Spanish Courses

An excellent way to improve your Spanish language skills is by taking a group Spanish language course with Cactus. We offer Spanish languages courses online and face-to-face in over 10 locations across the UK.

Private Tuition

Cactus offers a range of options for Spanish private tuition. You can choose one-to-one classes if you prefer online and tailored Spanish lessons that suit your schedule and location. For more information please visit our private tuition and corporate language training division.

Spanish Immersion Courses

An excellent way to improve your language skills is by taking a Spanish immersive language course in the country where the language is spoken. Cactus offers courses in SpainCentral America – Costa RicaCubaDominican RepublicGuatemalaMexico and Panama, and South America – ArgentinaChileColombia, and Peru.

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