Spanish Languages

Languages spoken in Spain are known as Spanish languages. Like all older cultures in the history of the world, Spanish culture is also vast and rich in its development and usage of languages. The most widely spoken are the romance languages of which Spanish is the popular one.

Spanish is the official language of Spain. However, there are a number of other languages that are spoken in Spain. Spain, as a country is divided into 17 autonomous regions or communities and 2 autonomous cities. Each of these communities speaks their own regional languages with Spanish being the first language.

The principal vernacular or regional languages of Spain (other than Spanish) are:

Catalan (Valencian): Is co-official of Catalonia, Balearic Islands and Valencian regions. It is also spoken in Aragon and Carche communities.

Basque: is the co-official language of the Basque and the Navarra regions.

Galician: Is the co-official of the Galicia; also spoken unofficially in Asturia, Castile and Castile & Leon regions of Spain.

Aranese: is the co-official language of the Aran Valley of Catalonia region, but not recognized in the rest of the Catalonian region.

Asturian: is the co-official language of the Asturias region.

Aragonese: is the co-official language of the Aragon region.

It is said that Spanish languages had origins in - Occitan language, Romance Language, Indo-European languages, Afro-Asiatic languages. These are the broad varieties of the Spanish languages, classified based on their nature of origin. The most popular languages are the Romance languages - Spanish being one among them. They follow a continuum, thus making it difficult to point the beginning or the ending.

There are also certain very sparsely used, almost extinct dialects of Spanish – Extremadura (Madrid) and Fala (a Portuguese variant) are still in use.

Spanish languages, particularly Spanish are now the world’s # 2 in the people speaking the language. Spanish owes its origin to Latin and its popularity to a 13th century king – King Alfonso. Spanish languages are very phonetic – that is, they are pronounced exactly as their spelling. 

Lastly, one should not miss mentioning the immigrant communities that speak English and Arabic. They are so popular that in some parts of Spain one can find road signs in English and even Arabic.


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