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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 sentence structures

  • 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.


The 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 language.


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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