Do you speak Spanish? What do we mean when we ask if someone speaks Spanish?

Published on 03/09/2007 in Spanish Culture

Speaking SpanishHablas Espanol? Well, in Spain the predominant language spoken is Castillian or Espanol, however there are several other languages spoken which are now are officially recognised by the Spanish government.

Three of these languages are Catalan, Euskara Batua and Galician. By allowing these languages to gain full status and be officially recognised and accepted, the Spanish people have safeguarded their place in Spanish history.

Catalan Catalan is spoken in some parts of Spain, isolated areas of France & Sardinia and is also the national language of Andorra. Approximately 4 million speakers worldwide use Catalan as their first language and a similar number who use it as a second language. Some linguists stress that Catalan has more in common with Italian in terms of grammar and syntax, whilst the spoken form is reminisce of a cross between French & Spanish.

There are also several other dialects of Catalan, eg: Valencian. Many in the "Pai Valencia" still claim that Valencian is a language in its own right. However, Catalan is considered a Romance Language. Euskara Batua (unified Basque) Euskara is mainly a rural language and is widely spoken throughout the Basque region of Northern Spain.

The majority of Basque speakers live in Spain whilst others live over the border in Pyrenean France. The Basques are a fiercely proud people and have an extremely developed sense of regional identity. The language itself has 600,000 speakers on both sides of the Franco-Spanish border. This language has always proved to be something of a mystery to linguists as it does not appear to be related to any other language.

Euskara bears no relationship to the indo-European family of languages which includes all of the other languages of Europe. There are several regional variations of Eushara, however a standardised version, Euskara Batua, has been established for use in the media and in schools during the last few decades.

Galician Galicia is one of Spain's more isolated regions not yet affected by mass tourism, the region is subject to some of Spain's worst weather and is also home to its third largest language. Galician is spoken by 3 million Spaniards in Galicia itself and also in the neighbouring regions of Asturias and Castille-Léon.

The language bears strong similarities to Portuguese, a factor that is explained by the close proximity of the region to Portugal. The Portuguese language did in fact develop originally in Galicia and Northern Portugal, before a political split in the 14th century separated the two areas allowing the languages to develop and grow independently of each other.

The native Galician will be able to understand most Portuguese - similar vocabulary and word order can be seen across both languages and there is fierce debate once more as to whether they are languages in their own right, or dialects of the same language. Again much of it has to do with the perceived independence of the region that is, in many ways, symbolised by its language.

Like Catalan and Euskara, Galician now has an official status and is taught in schools adding weight to the strong social movement to protect and preserve the language.

When visiting Spain, it is worth learning a few simple Spanish phrases and key words. It is important to respect and recognise the differences in various languages.

Learning Spanish has become a popular course for many people, but as with any language, your confidence and ability will flourish the more you use it. So the next time you visit Spain, why not try out some of your newly learned Spanish. Fortuna y adios.

Written by: Stephen Magill

About the author:NIE Number Answers




Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Comments:

Dese Nuts said:
31 October 2012 @ 17:56

ii dont knoww ( :


Tu Cara said:
05 September 2012 @ 20:42

;D


xjxjxj02102jibbersex said:
09 March 2011 @ 19:50

This is allot of interesting facts about languages :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:




Related articles in this category

A Culture of Benidorm

A Guide to Almeria City

A Guide To The Festivals Of Murcia

A History Of The Spanish Civil War

All About Albarino Wine

All About Tapas

All About Tempting Tempranillo

All You Need To Know About Spanish Wine

An American's Perspective of Spanish Food

Avoiding Misunderstandings In Spanish When You Like Somebody

Books Set in Spain - Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Spain

Christmas in Spain

Christmas Shopping in Spain

Devotion - Spain Celebrates Easter

Do you speak Spanish? What do we mean when we ask if someone speaks Spanish?

Easter in Spain

El Grumpy Gringo - Arts & Crafts

El Grumpy Gringo - At the Butchers

El Grumpy Gringo - Get A Heater!

El Grumpy Gringo - Good Old Telefonica!

El Grumpy Gringo - It ain’t ‘arf hot chum!

El Grumpy Gringo - Labels Over Labels

El Grumpy Gringo - Manners Maketh The Man (or Woman)

El Grumpy Gringo - Signposts

Experience Barcelona's Festival Spirit

Exploring The World Of Spanish Wines

Expose Your Child To Spanish

Five Ways Not to Insult the Locals in Barcelona

Flamenco Music - Is it really from Spain?

Follow The Festive Fun Across Spain

From Colonisation To Loss Of Empire; Nationalism And Decline In 19th Century Spanish And Colonial Art

From the Morris Dance to the Flamenco

Gaudi - Barcelona's Most Famous Attraction

Getting Close To The Spanish

Guggenheim Museum Bilboa

Halloween In Spain

Housing Bubble - Underground Living in Lanzarote

How not to give up learning Spanish

How To Kiss A Spaniard

How to Make Spanish Chorizo Sausage

Jamon Serrano - Typical Spanish Ham

La Tomatina Tomato Fight, Buñol Valencia

Language Swap

Learning Spanish - You can do it!

Learning Spanish with Speekee - A Review

Menu of The Day - A Cheap Meal In Spain

Old Friends in New Spain

Pollo al Ajillo - How to Cook the Classic Spanish Garlic Chicken

Processions, Processions, Processions: Semana Santa

Salvador Dali: Son of Girona

Save the Duero

Sherry or Jerez?

Spain After Franco

Spain/UK – A Study of Cultures

Spanish Cava Wine - A Better Alternative to Champagne?

Spanish Culture Has Been Shaped by Numerous Civilizations

Spanish Lies – Book Review

Spanish Sparkling Wine - Four Things to Know About Cava

Sporting Traditions on Gran Canaria

Stub it out in Spain

The Benefits of NOT Learning Spanish

The Magic of the Flamenco Guitar

The Mediterranean Modernistes of Barcelona

The Most Famous Spanish Explorers

The National Art Museum Of Catalonia

The Sirens of La Gomera

The Three Kings - Los Reyes Magos

This Must be New Spain

Top Tips For Learning Spanish - By A 'Mature' Expat

Tortilla Española - Spanish Omelette

Travel, Culture and Study in Spain

Watching TV in Spain

What Makes Spaniards Spaniards?

What We Can Learn From The Spanish

When Cultural Characters Conflict

Why is Spain One of the Most Corrupt Democratic Countries in the world?

Why Spaniards Can Survive La Crisis

Zapping in Spain

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x