10 fun facts about Spanish

10 Fun Facts About Spanish

With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world's No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. It is slightly ahead of English (328 million), but far behind Mandarin Chinese (1.2 billion).

Spanish has at least 3 million native speakers each in 44 countries, making it the fourth mostly geographically widely spoken language behind English (112 countries), French (60) and Arabic (57).

Spanish is one of the world's most phonetic languages. If you know how a word is spelled, you can almost always know how it is pronounced (although the reverse isn't true).

After Latin, the language that has had the biggest influence on Spanish is Arabic. Today, the foreign language exerting the most influence is English, and Spanish has adopted hundreds of English words related to technology and culture.

Spanish and English share much of their vocabulary through cognates, as both languages derive many of their words from Latin and Arabic.

Today Spanish is an official language of the UN and its institutions, the European Union and other international organizations.

The demand for Spanish courses has doubled worldwide in ten years.

Approximately 100 million people speak Spanish as a second language.

Spanish is expected to be the first language of 50% of the population of the United States within 50 years.

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