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Where did the Spanish Originate?

Where did the Spanish Originate?
information about spanish language
(Last Updated On: October 21, 2023)

Are you a native speaker of Spanish? If so, have you ever wondered where the Spanish language came from or where did Spanish originate? And how it has evolved into the language we speak today? If you have such questions, then look no further! Because in this article, you will find answers to all your queries.

Well, Spanish is a beautiful and lyrical language. For its speakers, it is music to their ears when they hear it and sweet to their tongue when they speak it. It turns out that this lingo has experienced a vast and incredible journey which makes it quite an ancient language.

To figure out the difference between the old and modern Spanish language, let’s begin by exploring the diverse history of this ancient lingo!

where did spanish come from
spanish originate

Where did Spanish Originate?

With origins in the fall of Rome and rapid expansion through the conquest of the Americas, the Spanish language traces its history through the rise and fall of great empires. After the fall of the Roman Empire, some parts of it returned to their native languages while some kept speaking Roman lingo.  Some linguists trace it back to the Indo-European languages, but it might go further back than that. And some historians and linguists believe that the Proto-Indo-European languages were the tongue of people until around 3,400 BCE which gave development to further lingos that we know today. Along with other lingoes like French, Portuguese and Italian, Spanish is also one of the Romance languages. Most parts of Northern Spain like Mountain areas of Catalonia or Basque territories remained Visigothic.

From Latin, the lingo traveled to Arabic and then Castilian. It finally reached the Iberian Peninsula. It is the place where Spain and Portugal are located, and it is nearly 2000 miles away from the Black Sea. But this distance did not stop the Romani Empire from spreading its reach out and influencing the development of the area, both in terms of language and culture. Spanish is the symbol of cultural identity. And its usage is both a tool of unity and also causes significant divisiveness.

Some parts of Spain were conquered by the Moors from Northern Africa and the Visigoths from Central Europe. And then gradually, it was reclaimed by the Christians who spoke Vulgar Latin. During the Roman Empire, the Latin language was the official language on the Peninsula. But it has links with the local lingoes of the inhabitant including Celts and Iberians and began to discover its unique flavor.

Current Status

Spanish is part of the Roman language family just like Portuguese, French and Italian. The Spanish we know and speak today have origin from the Castilian dialects which arose in Cantabria (North-Central Spain) in the early 9th century. The Iberian Peninsula is modern-day Spain, Castilian has become the official language of all of Spain. The first thought of anyone hearing Spanish is a language people speak in Spain. But there is much more to this lingo, and it has speakers in several other countries.

This lingo was brought to new countries from Spain across the Atlantic to the Americas by the Spanish explorers in the 17th century. It quickly spread through the Americas. And therefore the people with full-Spanish blood from Latin America are still classified as ‘white’. Currently, Brazil has less than 50% of South America’s population. But there is a prediction that by 2050, the majority of the people in South America may be Brazilian and speak Portuguese natively, not Spanish. All native speakers of Spanish in Latam countries speak the same Spanish lingo, Castellan.

Nowadays, it is the second most spoken lingo in the world. Today, there are about 577 million Spanish speakers across the world which is equivalent to 7.6% of the global population. In the United States, over 45 million people are second language or native speakers of Spanish. And this is why it makes significant cultural contributions all around the world. In the current century, Spanish is the official language of more than 20 countries. These include Spain, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Rica, Cuba, and many others. All of these countries are popular destinations for travelers. And if you are a traveler also, then make sure to brush up on your Spanish skills also.

spanish origin
spanish language origin

Grammar and Vocabulary

The Spanish language has gained influence many of its rules and grammar syntax from Latin. As well as having Latin influences, Spanish has derived some influences from the Greek, Arabic, and other native cultures of America. This is the reason that around 75% of words of Spanish have Latin roots. Most scholars agree that modern Spanish was established in a standard written form in the 13th century in the Kingdom of Castile in Spain. Today, the Spanish dialect is the most widely spoken in Spain with several other regional lingoes such as Basque and Catalan still spoken in their respective regions. Around the end of the 11th century, the Castilian dialect was formed in Northern Spain.

Since Castilian Spanish is widely spoken in Spain, some pronunciation points make it sound different from the Latin American Spanish which is used in the Americas. There are also a few vocabulary differences. Dialects, idioms, and slangy phrases make this lingo a fun language to hear and speak. Since the lingo traveled through Arabia, it has approximately 4000 modern Spanish words derived from Arabic along with the cultural influences still evident in the art, design, and architecture of Spain. Therefore, sometimes you may find similarities between Spanish and Arabic. But there is another thing that the adopted Arabic words have lost their original pronunciation. So, we can predict that the overall sounds and phonology of Spanish are not much similar to the Arabic language.

Old Spanish versus Modern Spanish

A language changes a lot in terms of texts, grammar, and pronunciation over the years. Old Spanish has relatively become a modern language but there are not many differences between them. Though it is a language of continuous linguistic evolution, its origin shows that it is not in isolation. It went through various stages of growth and change. Some linguists think that Old Spanish does not exist. There was Castilian, the variety of Romance vernacular developing from the Leonese around the 9th century. It differs a lot from modern-day Spanish but not to the degree the old English differs from Modern English.

Each European country has developed its languages as a result of its population and its political independence. If a native Spanish speaker compares both old and modern Spanish, he/she will be able to differ them more appropriately. But what we see now, the language that has emerged in all its glorious color and variation. It has become significantly the most common lingo spoken in the global community.

How you can learn the Basic Spanish language?

Learning basic Spanish will allow you to do more than simply translate Spanish into English. The most useful tip is to repeat the basic words you learn in your daily routine. Start by learning the major sounds and sentences we speak in our daily life. It will improve your confidence level and you will able to make new friends, absorb new cultures and do business with a huge population of people. A major benefit of this lingo is since it is a romance language, learning it can make it easy for you to grasp all other romance lingoes like French and Italian.

spanish language history

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