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Spanish Language Facts and Information

Information About Spanish Language

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Spanish speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Indo-European
Branch: Romance
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain
Region: Central and southern Spain and the Canary Islands. Also spoken in 43 other countries including Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France. LORETO-UCAYALI: Loreto and Ucayali River areas.
Countries Where Spoken: 28,173,600 in Spain, 72.8% of the population (1986). Population total all countries 322,200,000 to 358,000,000 first language users (1999 WA--source for the second figure), 417,000,000 including second language users (1999 WA). Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela. SIGN: 102,000 (1994). 20,000 members of deaf associations (1986 Gallaudet University). LORETO-UCAYALI: No estimate available.
Countries Where Official: Spain, Peru
Native Speakers: 322,200,000
Speakers Total: 358,000,000
Phrasebase members who speak Spanish at a native level: 4,324
Phrasebase members who speak Spanish at a conversational level: 4,324
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Spanish: 11,566
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Spanish: 17,877
Three Letter Code: SPN
Summary: Leonese has similarities to Asturian, and may be extinct. 89% lexical similarity with Portuguese, 85% with Catalan, 82% with Italian, 76% with Sardinian, 75% with French, 74% with Rheto-Romance, 71% with Rumanian. Most mother tongue speakers of other languages in Spain use Spanish as second language. The Aragonese dialect of Spanish is different from the Aragonese language. Official language. Dictionary. Grammar. SVO; prepositions; genitives, relatives after noun heads; articles, numerals before noun heads; adjectives before or after noun heads depending on whether it is evaluative or descriptive; question word initial; (C(C))V(C); nontonal. Christian. Bible 1553-1979. SIGN: Small differences throughout Spain with no difficulties in intercommunication, except in Catalonia. Origin unknown, but it is reported that there are influences from American, French, and Mexican sign languages. Some signed interpretation used in court, at important public events. There is sign language instruction for parents of deaf children. Many sign language classes for hearing people. There is a committee on national sign language. There is a manual system for spelling. Dictionary. Literacy rate in second language: 20% to 30%. Films, TV, videos. LORETO-UCAYALI: Some other speakers have limited understanding of colloquial standard Spanish. There are monolingual speakers.

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