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SPANISH


Spanish language spoken by people in Spain, the Americas, Australia, and Africa. In the early 21st century, Mexico had the greatest number of speakers (more than 85 million), followed by Colombia(more than 40 million), Argentina (more than 35 million), the United States (more than 31 million), and Spain (more than 30 million). Spanish was the official language of all these countries except the United States. The earliest written materials in Spanish, in the form of glosses on Latin texts, date from the 10th century, and works of literature in Spanish first appeared about 1150. Romance languagethat originated in Castile, a region in Spain.

 

Table of Contents

 

History

Spanish is also known (particularly in Latin America, but increasingly in Spain itself) as Castilian, after the dialect from which modern standard Spanish developed. That dialect arose in the 9th century around the town of Burgos in north-central Spain (Old Castile) and, as Spain was reconquered from the Moors, spread southward to central Spain (New Castile) around Madrid and Toledo by the 11th century. In the late 15th century the kingdoms of Castile and Leon merged with that of Aragon, and Castilian became the official language of all of Spain. The regional dialects of Aragon, Navarra, Leon, Asturias, and Santander were crowded out gradually and today survive only in secluded rural areas. Galician (a language with many similarities to Portuguese), spoken in northwestern Spain, and Catalan, spoken in eastern and northeastern Spain, were also much reduced but began a resurgence in the late 20th century.

 

The dialect of Spanish used in Arab-occupied Spain prior to the 12th century was called Mozarabic (see Mozarabic language). A remarkably archaic form of Spanish with many borrowings from Arabic, it is known primarily from Mozarabic refrains (called kharjahs) added to Arabic and Hebrew poems.

 

Official status

1.       De jure official and national language(de jure-concerning law)

          SPAIN, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba,  Bolivia, Honduras, Paraguay,El Salvador, Costa Rica,  Panama, Equatorial Guinea

2.       De facto official and national language (de facto-concerning fact)

          Mexico Argentina[Chile[Dominican Republic Nicaragua Uruguay

3.       Dependent entities where Spanish is a de jure official language, Puerto Rico

 

International organizations where Spanish is official

·         United Nations (UN)

·         European Union (EU)

·         Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)

·         African Union (AU)

·         And many other organizations

 

 

Regulatory body

 

Association of Spanish Language Academies

 

Speakers

It has about 470 million speakers in the world. Total with Spanish speakers as a foreign language: 7.38%. Stands second in native speakers in the world with 470-500million comprising 5.58% of the world.

 

Spanish language on websites

Spanish language on websites ranks on 5th on its content available on net and it is 4.6 % in terms of percentage.

 

References

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/558113/Spanish-language

 

 

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