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This particular resource links to the Wikipedia entry on the Spanish language. This entry contains loads of information for the curious reader as well as for the serious Spanish language learner, including historical and linguistic data.
Use this resource to become familiar with the Spanish language and its context in today's world, to discover facts and linguistic data about Spanish and its many varieties, access further information about and resources for learning Spanish, and much more.
Spanish (español) or Castilian (castellano) is a Romance language originally from the northern area of Spain. It is the official language of Spain, most Latin American countries, and one of the official languages of Equatorial Guinea, in Africa. In total, twenty-five nations and territories use Spanish as their primary language. It is one of six official languages of the United Nations.
Spanish originated as a dialect of Latin along the remote cross road strips among the Cantabria, Burgos, Soria and La Rioja provinces of Northern Spain. From there, its use gradually spread inside the Kingdom of Castile, where it evolved and eventually became the principal language of the government and trade. It was later taken to the Americas and other parts of the world in the last five centuries by Spanish explorers and colonists. The language is spoken by between 322 and 400 million people natively, making Spanish the most spoken Romance language and possibly the second most spoken language by number of native speakers. It is estimated that the combined total of native and non-native Spanish speakers is approximately 500 million, likely making it the fourth most spoken language by total number of speakers.
The language is spoken most extensively in the Americas, Spain and to a small extent in Africa and Asia Pacific. It is also the second most widely spoken language in the United States and by far the most popular studied foreign language in U.S. schools and Universities. Within the globalized market, there is currently an international expansion and recognition of the Spanish language in literature, the film industry, television and music.