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Spanish language: how many Spanish dialects exist?

Spanish language: how many Spanish dialects exist?
Spanish language dialects

The Spanish language originated from Spain and it is now the third most-spoken language in the world. Passionate, classy and dedicated to living the good life, Spain is a country more different than you ever imagined. It is located on the Iberian Peninsula, of which it occupies 80% of the southwest of Europe. It has a surface of about 505,955 square kilometers. Spain has more than 40 million people and most of them are living in the cities or along the coasts.

The Spanish language is the main language in Spain, but in Cataluña people also speak Catalan, in Galicia Galician, Basque in the Basque Country and finally Valencian in the Valencian civilization. In Cataluña and Basque Country lots of people consider their dialect the main language.

The Spanish language dialects

Spanish Dialects South America

Humans have continued to influence each other’s societies in different ways. People who go to far off areas, take their values with them and affect everyone they meet during their journey. Spanish is a language that went far away from its homeland and became a part of that new world. But when people get influenced, they also retain some of their cultural aspects and as a result, they form these new societal rules which are a mixture of their traditional and foreign beliefs. Spanish dialects in South America is the perfect example of this because they are different from their mother tongue because of the impact of the South American native speakers.

to excist in spanish
spanish dialects

The Spanish language

In most instances, the country from which a language originated is used to name that language (as it happened with Spanish). This does not mean there won’t be other languages that many people within the country also speak.

One of such instances is the Spanish language, which is the Castilian version of Spanish and Spain’s official language. Apart from Castilian however, Basque (or Euskara), Aranese, Valencian (Catalan) and Galician are other languages that are spoken in Spain. The people that speak these languages are however also referred to as Spanish.

The United States has a similar scenario where the country is referred to as America. People who migrated to America from other country can also feel excluded when they are classified together as the United States of America.

Maybe we should not be over sensitive to the generalization of the names of places and languages. This is considering how quickly the world is becoming a global village. There is however the need to know about these historical issues.

The issue of dialect also arise where there are differences in the way people speak the same language, with some expressions and words that are available in a dialect, absent in another.

Dialects of Spain


This is the official Spanish language spoken in Central and Northern Spain.


People from Southern Spain speak this dialect. It is the most common language after Castilian. It has a more fluid and softer sound compared to other dialects in spain. This is due to consonant ‘s’ aspirations after words as well as emission of ‘r’ and ‘d’ consonants.


People in Murcia speak this dialect.

Other Spanish dialects

There are many other distinct groups of language in Spain. Some parts of Northern Spain and Andorra speak Catalan. Catalan is Andorra’s official language. Autonomous Spanish community that is isolated speak Basque in the Pyrenees. Galician which was influenced by Galicia language in Portugal is spoken in Northwestern Spain. Extremadura, is spoken in Western Spain’s Extremadura autonomous community.

Spoken in the Canary Islands


Canary Islands that speak Spanish use a dialect similar to the Spanish dialect of the Carribean. It features letter h pronunciation, elided consonants and aspirated ‘s’. This dialect is influenced by the Portuguese language due to Portugal’s efforts to colonize the islands.

In Gibraltar

Llanito combines British English and Andalusian Spanish. This form of Spanish is spoken in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The fact that Gibraltar is part of the overseas territory of Britain led to the unique combination of the language. This dialect uses a great amount of borrowed words from other Mediterranean languages.

spain dialects
dialects of spanish

Spanish in both Americas

Latin American Spanish

This dialect of Spanish is spoken by most of South and Central American countries as well as Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. Even though these countries further have different dialects of Spanish, they are referred thus, so as to differentiate them from Spanish as spoken in Spain.

Rioplatense Spanish

It is spoken in the River Basin area between Argentina and Uruguay, and throughout both countries.

Caribbean Spanish

It’s spoken in Panamá, Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean coast of Columbia.

In Africa

Equatoguinean Spanish

It is spoken in Equatorial Guinea and is the single dialect of Spanish holding national official status in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been influenced by immigrant Germans and native Guineans.

The Spanish expansion

Every country or region has its own recipes, flavors, and culture. And their dialects are also very diverse, particularly in a country like Spain, the dialects are rich and have their own parlance, accent, and interpretations. The Spanish dialects have built their own identity over time and have been known for their peculiar yet interesting usage in the history of linguistics.

Take Mexican Spanish for instance, this dialect is very popular, thanks to the characters of Hollywood. This thick accent made its way to the industry and we all fell in love with it. But that’s not the only dialect that Spanish has. Puerto Rican Spanish is the language of a large number of speakers in Puerto Rico and several other parts of the US. The Spanish language has expanded in a way like no other language; all the adjoining areas have merged their local dialects into the Spanish language and created special fusions. One such language is the Brazilian Portuguese that is spoken widely in the areas of Spain, particularly with the population of Brazilian descent.

dialect of spanish

If you want to travel or for professional reasons want to learn the Spanish language, you should find out what dialect of Spanish you will need based on the cultural and geographic information of the country.

If you need to expand your business into a specific area you need to first find out what Spanish dialect is being used in the area then start asking translation agencies if they can translate into that dialect. Although anyone speaking a Spanish dialect should understand standard Spanish, it is best to localize your efforts to a specific area.

There are several Spanish dialects but the best part is, Universal Translation Services can provide accurate translations for all these dialects. If you are looking to translate any document into these dialects, all you have to do is get in touch with us.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us

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