Spanish is an official language in 21 countries. The second most spoken language in the world, right after Mandarin. Spanish has been climbing its way up recently and expanded geographically surpassing English by half million speakers. There are over 570 million Spanish speakers across the world.
Spanish is also the most spoken romance language. It takes a lot of its history from Latin and maintains influences from Ancient Greek and Arabic as well. Besides Spain, Spanish is the main language in all South American countries (except from Brazil and Guyana) namely:
- most of Central America
- The Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
It is also spoken in some parts of the world such as:
- in the west coast of Africa
- in some US states such as Texas, California, New Mexico, Florida
Spanish and its varieties
There are several varieties of Spanish throughout the Hispanosphere that native speakers, naturally, can understand. For a new learner it could seem confusing, since there is not only a broad variety of accents within this language. But there is also variety in the vocabulary and usage of words. Here is one of the most popular and important differences between Spain and Latin American Spanish:
Tú, Vos and Usted
These three words can be simply translated as ‘You’ in English, but in Spanish they have different connotations depending on the situation. In Spain, usted is used in very formal situations and tú is broadly accepted in the majority of daily conversations, while in Latin America usted is more commonly heard. The use of tú in Latin America indicates a level of familiarity between the speakers. Regardless, in countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, they do not use tú, instead they say vos, and it is only suitable for informal situations.
Give Spanish a try!
Culture and connection with people are the most common objectives that Spanish learners have. As with every language, speaking Spanish can open plenty of doors for you, it allows you to get a broader insight into the country and its people. And in many places, recruitment agencies have reported that Spanish is within the most sought languages in job offers.
Despite the fact that Spanish has its difficulties, it actually has a lot of words that come from Latin. And the same happens with Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian. So the people that speak one of those languages find Spanish easier to learn.
There is one last piece of advice for those who are seeking to learn Spanish: Do not feel overwhelmed by grammar when you are starting with this language. Verb conjugations can feel very heavy if you try to study them by hard at the beginning. But what will be helpful for you is diving into the language as much as you can, listen, read and start talking right away. Don’t be shy when it comes to Spanish, and start rolling your ‘R’!
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