The Spanish language is a member of the Romance language family, the group of languages descending from Vulgar Latin, the dialect spoken by the soldiers and provincial officials of the Roman Empire. Originally spoken in the northern regions of what is now Spain, Spanish also draws some influence from the regional languages of its area. Spanish also draws heavy influence from Arabic, due to the Moorish occupation of Spain lasting from 711 to 1492. This influence is specially in Nouns, most of them are the ones that begin with the Arabic article "Al".
Today, the majority of its speakers live outside of Spain, with large numbers in Central and South America. It is one of the most-spoken languages in the world. It is spoken as a first language by about 350,000,000 people, or by 417,000,000 if non-native speakers are included. The Spanish language is the second-most common language in the United States, as well as the second-most natively spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese.
Main difficulties in learning Spanish for an English speaker: 1. In Spanish there are two verbs for "to be", ser and estar 2. The subjunctive is used a lot in Spanish but hardly ever in English. 3. All nouns in Spanish are either masculine or feminine 4. Spanish has an informal (tú and vosotros/vosotras) and a formal (usted and ustedes) form of address 5. pronunciation of j, ñ and r.
Easiest things about learning Spanish for an English speaker: 1. In English there are 13 vowel sounds in Spanish there are only five (a, e, i, o, u) 2. Spanish ortography is largely phonetic 3. It is easy to make affirmative sentences, negative sentences and questions
Many loan words enter Spanish from English, but there usually are proper Spanish words which the people can use instead.
- Former Spanish colonies in the Caribbean - (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba)
- South America and continental Central America (with the exceptions of Portuguese-speaking Brazil, French-speaking French Guiana, Dutch-speaking Suriname, and English-speaking Guyana and Belize)
- Hispanic populations in the United States
- former Spanish colonies in Africa, e.g. Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara.
- a distinct dialect is spoken in the Philippines
- Non Officially, a great majority of Population speaks Spanish in Gibraltar, Andorra, and Northern Morocco.
Spanish is recognised as one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the African Union, the Union of South American Nations, the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, the Latin Union, the Caricom and the North American Free Trade Agreement.