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Spanish languageSpanish (español) or Castilian (castellano) is an Iberian Romance language which was spoken by 364 million people roughly in 2000. Nowadays, it accounts up to 410 million that is why Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language.
Spanish was originated as an obscure dialect in Cantabria region of Spain and gradually spread to the kingdom of Castille, in where it became the principal language of government and trade. It was later brought to the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world by Spanish explorers, colonists and empire-builders in the last five centuries. Spanish is one of six official working languages of the United Nations and one of the most used global languages, along with English. It is spoken on all continents, most extensively in North and South America, Europe, and certain parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania. The globalization let an international expansion and recognition of the Spanish language in literature, the film industry, television (notably telenovelas) and music.
Currently, Spanish language is spoken all over the World; it is the second most important language and the third most spoken according to some sources, with 400 million of native speakers, and by a total of 500 million including non-native speakers. The Castilian, as today we know, it is the result of a process of movement during more of a millennium, throughout the diverse languages of the inhabitants of The Iberian Peninsula, it was modified by influence of the roman invaders, godos and Arabs. Towards the end of century XV, with the union of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón, which extended their dominion on most of the Peninsula, the Castile language (the Castilian) was imposed over other languages and dialects, and it crossed the Atlantic with the discoverers, conquerors and missionaries.
If you wish to study Spanish in Barcelona, we recommend you to visit Linguaschools Barcelona. The school offers many Spanish courses for all kind of students. That's the best way to study Spanish. Another fine Barcelona based language school is Versión Original Barcelona. Located only 5 minutes from Plaza Catalunya it is not far away from the vibrant life this city has to offer. Don't forget to check out their well-priced evening courses, aimed for foreign students already living in Barcelona.
HistoryThe Spanish language was developed from Vulgar Latin, with influence of Celtiberian, Basque and Arabic, in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. Some characteristics of Spanish phonology include lenition (Latin vita, Spanish vida), palatalization (Latin annum, Spanish año) and diphthongation (stem-changing) of short e and o from Vulgar Latin (Latin terra, Spanish tierra; Latin novus, Spanish nuevo). Similar phenomena can be found in most other Romance languages as well.
The first Latin to Spanish dictionary was written in Salamanca, Spain, in 1492 by Elio Antonio de Nebrija. When Isabella of Castile was presented with the book, she asked “What do I want a work like this, if I know the language?” To which he replied, “Ma'am, the language is the instrument of the Empire”.
From the 16th century, the language was brought to the Americas, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marianas, Palau and the Philippines by Spanish colonization and in this time, Spanish became the main language of Politics and Art across the major part of Europe, but in the 18th century, French took its place.
In the 20th century, Spanish was introduced in Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara and parts of the United States, such as Spanish Harlem in New York City, which had not been part of the Spanish Empire.
Castilian or Spanish?Spanish language is also called Castilian, because it was the name of the linguistic community in which people spoke this romance modality in medieval times: Castile. There are some controversies around the denomination of the language; the Spanish term is relatively recent and it is not admitted by many bilingual speakers of the Spanish State, because they understand that Spanish includes Valencian, Galician, Catalan and Basque terms, and these languages have official consideration within the territory of their respective independent communities. That is why they propose to return to the older denomination that Castilian was understood as the language of Castilla.
After the foundation of the Royal Spanish Academy, their members by agreement they decided to use the denomination of the Spanish language and if the Spanish term change, it will create difficulties for recognizing the official character of a language which has been welcome in many nations.
Spanish Language RegulatorThe institutions which are in charge of regulating the Spanish language are the Association of Spanish Language Academies and the Royal Spanish Academy. Among its tasks is to regulate the entry and exit of words in the official Spanish dictionary, proper use of the spanish verb conjugation , or acceptance of new colloquialisms among other language tasks.