How Easy Is It To Learn
the Spanish Language?
As a second language for
an English speaker, Spanish can be easy to learn. It has several
similarities to English including:
Practically the same
The spelling and
meaning of many words are close to English
Verbs change tenses
similar to English (although more complicated)
The Spanish alphabet
is similar to English with a few exceptions
It is easy to learn
Spanish pronunciation because all vowels and consonants are pronounced
consistently. This is unlike English where many words are not pronounced
the way they are spelled. Probably the most difficult thing to learn in
the Spanish language is the numerous variations of verb conjugations for
different tenses. However, once you get accustomed to conjugations, the
rest will be very straightforward.
Origin and Popularity of the Spanish Language
The Spanish language is
a mixture of dialects that evolved from the 9th Century in
north central Iberia. This region is part of the Iberian Peninsula which
consists of Portugal, Spain, and Andorra. The Spanish language was
further developed in the 15th Century and is classified as
one of the Romance Languages. Spanish follows Mandarin Chinese ranking
second among the most natively spoken languages on the globe. It is
relatively easy to learn and many students study it for their second
Where In the World
Spanish Is Spoken?
In addition to Spain,
practically all the people of Central and South America, with the
exception of Brazil and Belize, speak Spanish as their primary language
and it is the second most spoken language in the United States. The list
of countries where Spanish is spoken either primarily or with a strong
representation include: Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador,
Guatemala, Spain, The United States and Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Cuba,
Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa
Rica, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Panama.
The Spaniards brought
the language to the New World beginning in the 16th Century
as they colonized the Americas. It has spread significantly into the
United States because of a long history of immigration from Mexico and
Cuba. The U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has Spanish as its primary
language and many Puerto Ricans have immigrated to the northeast United
States, especially New York City. Although it is not the official
language of the Philippines today, it was until 1987. The Philippines
were a Spanish colony in the late 16th Century until the
country gained its independence. Even today, you can see significant
influence from the Spanish on this island country.
Spoken Spanish in
different countries is not always the same. It is just like English in
that British, Indians, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders,
Filipinos, and Americans all speak English but with a few differences.
With Spanish, you will find that people in the Caribbean and Central
America speak much faster than someone from Mexico would. You will also
find that folks from Argentina sometimes use different vocabulary words
than would be used in other Spanish speaking countries. You will find
that folks from Spain pronounce the letter s a little differently from
those in the Americas and sometimes Spanish speakers in the Caribbean
drop the s sound from words altogether.
The Frequency of Its Use
in The United States
Today, Spanish is spoken
at an increasingly fast rate among the population of the United States.
This is because of increased immigration from Mexico. However, there is
a long history of the development of this language in the U.S. Two
significant events that influenced the use of Spanish in the U.S. were
the Texas Revolution in 1836 and the Mexican American War from 1846
until 1848. The end result was that Mexico lost a significant portion of
its northern territory to the United States. This territory included the
modern day states of Wyoming, California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada,
Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. The Spanish-speaking people in those areas
were given U.S. citizenship. Thus, the seeds were sown that led to wide
usage of the Spanish language found in the region today.
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