The Origin of the Spanish Language

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Spanish is the native language of about 332

million people in the world. In addition to Spain,

Spanish is the official language of several other

countries. These countries include the following:

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the

Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial

Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama,

Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. In addition, it

is widely spoken in other nations, but not as the official

language. Some of which are Canada, Morocco, the

Philippines, and the United States.

Spanish is an example of the Romance languages in

the Indo-European language family. Within Spain, the

Spanish language has two major dialects: Andalusian and

Castilian. Many other dialects exist in other

geographical areas, such as the different dialects in

North America and South America.

The Spanish language originated in the Iberian

Peninsula, located in the Southwest region of Europe.

Before or during the 6th century BC, the Iberians, the

regions first inhabitants, mingled with the Celts, nomadic

people from central Europe.

Both the Iberians and the

Celts combined to form a group called the Celtiberians.

The Celtiberians spoke a form of Celtic.

In 19 BC, the region was under Roman rule. The

region became to be known as Hispania. Its inhabitants

learned Latin from different Romans. When the classical

Latin mixed with the pre-Roman languages of the Iberians,

Celts, and Carthatginians, Vulgar Latin appeared. It

followed basic Latin but also borrowed words of other


Germanic tribes of Eastern Europe, Visigoths,

invaded Hispania in AD 400s. However, Latin remained the

official language of government and culture until about AD

719. This is when Moors, Arabic-speaking Islamic groups

from Northern Africa, completed the conquest of the region

of Hispania. Arabic and Mozarabic was widely spoken in

Islamic Spain after this conquest. However, Vulgar Latin

survived in...