Discover How Much You Really Know About the Spanish Language



9 Questions

What is the origin of the Spanish language?

What is the current status of Spanish as a language?

What percentage of the Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin?

Which of the following is NOT an official language of the African Union?

What is the primary language used in government and business in Equatorial Guinea?

What is the most spoken dialect of Spanish in the world?

What is voseo in Spanish?

What is the Royal Spanish Academy responsible for?

What is the Spanish phonemic inventory composed of?


Overview of the Spanish Language

  • Spanish is a Romance language that evolved from colloquial Latin spoken on the Iberian Peninsula.

  • It has about 486 million native speakers worldwide, mainly in the Americas and Spain, making it the world's second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese.

  • Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and is the world's most widely spoken Romance language.

  • Spanish is also part of the Ibero-Romance group of languages, which evolved from several dialects of Vulgar Latin in Iberia after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century.

  • Modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from Latin, including Latin borrowings from Ancient Greek, and around 75% of the language's vocabulary is derived from Latin.

  • Spanish is one of the most taught foreign languages throughout the world and is also the third most used language on internet websites after English and Chinese.

  • Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations and is also used as an official language by the European Union, Organization of American States, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, African Union, and many other international organizations.

  • In Spain and some other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, Spanish is called not only español but also castellano (Castilian), the language from the Kingdom of Castile, contrasting it with other languages spoken in Spain such as Galician, Basque, Asturian, Catalan, Aragonese, and Occitan.

  • The development of the Spanish sound system from that of Vulgar Latin exhibits most of the changes that are typical of Western Romance languages.

  • Spanish is the primary language in 20 countries worldwide, and an estimated 75 million people speak Spanish as a second or foreign language, making it the fourth most spoken language in the world overall.

  • In the United States, over 60 million people of the population were of Hispanic or Hispanic American by origin, and 41.8 million people in the United States aged five or older speak Spanish at home, making it the country's second most common language.

  • Spanish has a long history of presence in the United States due to early Spanish and, later, Mexican administration over territories now forming the southwestern states, as well as Florida, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico.Spanish language around the world

  • Spanish is spoken in 21 countries, including Belize and the United States.

  • In Belize, English is the official language but 45% of the population speaks Spanish natively and 56.6% can speak it.

  • Trinidad and Tobago have implemented Spanish language teaching into its education system due to their proximity to Spanish-speaking countries.

  • In Brazil, Spanish is mandatory for schools to offer as an alternative foreign language course in both public and private secondary schools.

  • In Equatorial Guinea, Spanish is an official language alongside French and Portuguese and is the primary language used in government and business.

  • Spanish is spoken by very small communities in Angola due to Cuban influence from the Cold War and in South Sudan among South Sudanese natives that relocated to Cuba during the Sudanese wars.

  • Spanish is spoken in the integral territories of Spain in Africa, namely the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the Canary Islands, and some border towns and villages along Morocco.

  • Spanish was an official language of the Philippines from the beginning of Spanish administration in 1565 to a constitutional change in 1973.

  • Spanish is the official language and most spoken language on Easter Island, which is geographically part of Polynesia in Oceania and politically part of Chile.

  • Spanish loan words are present in the local languages of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia due to the Philippines comprising the former Spanish East Indies.

  • Spanish syntax is considered right-branching, and it is a "pro-drop" or "null-subject" language.

  • The Spanish phonemic inventory consists of five vowel phonemes and 17 to 19 consonant phonemes (depending on the dialect).

  • Spanish is classified by its rhythm as a syllable-timed language, and stress most often occurs on any of the last three syllables of a word.Overview of the Spanish Language

  • Spanish is the official or national language in 18 countries and one territory in the Americas, Spain, and Equatorial Guinea.

  • Mexico has the largest population of Spanish speakers, with over 410 million people speaking Spanish in Hispanophone America.

  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, with over 50 million speakers.

  • There are important variations in the spoken Spanish of the various regions of Spain and throughout the Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas.

  • The Mexican Spanish dialect is the most spoken with more than 20% of the world's Spanish speakers.

  • The northern dialects of Spain are popularly thought to be closer to the standard, although positive attitudes toward southern dialects have increased significantly in the last 50 years.

  • The four main phonological divisions are based on the phoneme /θ/ ("theta"), the debuccalization of syllable-final /s/, the sound of the spelled ⟨s⟩, and the phoneme /ʎ/ ("turned y").

  • The main morphological variations between dialects of Spanish involve differing uses of pronouns, especially those of the second person and, to a lesser extent, the object pronouns of the third person.

  • Voseo is a feature of Spanish that is used in some dialects, where the subject form is vos and the direct and indirect object forms are the same as those associated with tú.

  • Ustedes functions as formal and informal second-person plural in all of Hispanic America, the Canary Islands, and parts of Andalusia.

  • Judaeo-Spanish, also known as Ladino, is a variety of Spanish which preserves many features of medieval Spanish and Portuguese and is spoken by descendants of the Sephardi Jews who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century.

  • Spanish is written in the Latin script, with the addition of the character ⟨ñ⟩ (eñe, representing the phoneme /ɲ/, a letter distinct from ⟨n⟩).Overview of the Spanish Language

  • The Spanish alphabet has 27 letters, including the formerly considered single letters ch and ll, which are now treated as letter pairs for collation purposes.

  • Digraphs like ch, ll, rr, gu, and qu are no longer considered letters by the Royal Spanish Academy since 2010.

  • The letters k and w are only used in foreign words and names.

  • Pronunciation can be entirely determined from spelling, except for a few regional terms.

  • The acute accent is used to distinguish between certain homophones and to indicate stress on a syllable.

  • A diaeresis ü is used to indicate that u is not silent as it normally would be.

  • The Royal Spanish Academy, founded in 1713, exercises a standardizing influence through its publication of dictionaries and widely respected grammar and style guides.

  • The Association of Spanish Language Academies (ASALE) regulates the Spanish language and comprises the academies of 23 countries.

  • The Instituto Cervantes promotes the education, study, and use of Spanish as a second language and contributes to the advancement of the Spanish and Hispanic American cultures in non-Spanish-speaking countries.

  • Spanish is one of the official languages of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization.

  • Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is presented in both Spanish and English.


"Test Your Knowledge: Overview of the Spanish Language" - How much do you know about the world's second-most spoken native language? This quiz will challenge your understanding of Spanish's evolution, vocabulary, phonology, syntax, and regional variations. From its official status in 20 countries to its influence on other languages, put your skills to the test and see how well you know Spanish!

Ready to take the quiz?

Play Quiz