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5 Things You May Not Know About the Spanish Language

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

lighted sign "Hola", spanish word for hello

1. There are 20 different countries who list Spanish as their official language, but there are many more who have millions of Spanish speakers (including the United States). Out of the 20 countries with an official language declaration, only one of those countries is in Europe (Spain) and one of them is in Africa (Equatorial Guinea).

pins on countries in South and Central America

2. Spanish/Español is also called Castilian/Castellano. However, many people now refer to the Spanish spoken in Spain as Castilian and the Spanish spoken in Latin and South America as Spanish. There are some differences between the two, such as pronunciation, use of tu/usted/vosotros and vocabulary. There is also a wide range of vocabulary differences between each individual country and region where Spanish is spoken.

overhead image of city in Spain

3. While it originated many centuries before, Spanish, or Castilian at the time, became the official language of Spain in the late 15th century. - Source: Britannica

letter blocks, english words from spanish

4. Many English words originate from Spanish. The list is very long, but here are some of my personal favorites.

  • Albino, alcove, barracuda, cafeteria, canyon, hammock, lasso, mosquito, patio, pimento, stampede, tuna, vanilla, vigilante


dictionary open to a page

5. There exists an association that joins together the organizations of each country which are dedicated to the study, promotion, and expansion of the Spanish language. This association is called the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española. You can check out their website here and learn even more about Spanish!

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