More than 500 million people speak Spanish. Those who use this language speak the second most-spoken language in the world, the second most-used language on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and the third most-used on the internet. It is not our intention to recount how the Spanish language (or Castilian, as it still called in many places) was formed, or its history. This will be done in other sections of our website and later on. In these sections we will indeed talk about the history of Castilian and how it gradually transformed into the “Spanish language”. Today we simply wish to celebrate the fact that if in 2012 there are 500 million Spanish speakers spread across three continents then it is possible that in 2050 there will be 600 million of us.
How many countries speak Spanish?
There are three continents on which Spanish is an official language in different countries.
Spanish in Europe
Spanish in Africa
- Equatorial Guinea
Spanish in America (from North to South)
- United States
- Puerto Rico
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
Spanish was also spoken…
- In the Philippines, Spanish was used as the official language for more than 300 years, until the country’s independence. Due to the different circumstances of colonization and Christianization, Spanish did not become the lingua franca among the population and was reserved for the educated classes, being replaced, instead, by English. However, Filipinos do still use Spanish names. There are numerous words of Spanish origin that have been adopted into tagalog, from “caldereta” (stew) to “farmacia”.
- In the Western Sahara, now modern Morocco, Spanish was the lingua franca among the population. Saharans still use it, despite pressure from Morocco to integrate into the realm.
Spanish is also spoken…
- Israel: Also deserving a special mention is the Ladino that was spoken by the Jews that were expelled by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492, the descendants of which continue to use a Castilian perfectly intelligible to modern Spanish speakers. There are radio stations in this language in Israel, where a large Spanish-speaking colony that comes mostly from Latin American countries lives.
- The National Radio of Spain promotes Ladino with weekly programs in this language for the community of Jewish origins living in Mediterranean countries.
- Belize: Spanish is the de facto second language in the country due to the flow of emigration from Central American countries.
- Canada: There are large Spanish-speaking minorities in the large cities of the country.
- Some 200,000 Spaniards and roughly twice as many Latin Americans live in the United Kingdom.
- A similar number of Spaniards also live in Germany and France along with between 200,000 and 300,000 Latin American Spanish speakers.
Where is Spanish studied?
The Cervantes Institute is the official institute dedicated to teaching Spanish. There are 22 Cervantes centres spread across 17 countries around the world.
The Cervantes Institute will today open the doors of its 22 centres to commemorate Spanish language day, running activities all over the world in an open-doors day for all the family: The United States and Brazil, countries where learning Spanish is very popular, as well as in Asia: China, Japan, South Korea. In Europe centres will open their doors in France, Poland (Warsaw), the United Kingdom (Manchester), Germany (Bremen) Italy, Russia and Hungary. In Africa, the centre in Morocco and in the Middle East, the Israeli centre will open their doors.
Children and young people will be the focus of the day, enjoying creative workshops, storytelling, song and drawing competitions, arts and crafts and language games such as “your favorite word”. There will be concerts, theatre, tango and sevillanas dance workshops, mini book markets, and paella competitions, among other activities.
On its website, the Institute emphasizes that 21 million people study Spanish as a foreign language and highlights the economic value of Spanish in different sections and downloadable documents.
From Pangeanic we are proud to work in the dissemination of Spanish as the language which we translate. Our Translation Services help Spanish and Spanish-speaking companies publish in other languages, establish themselves on the Internet, promote themselves in other languages, and all with technology developed in Spanish.