Jun 02 2004

A Little Spanish History & Geography

Published by at 12:00 am under The Spanish Language

Spanish is a member of the Latin or Romance family of languages that also includes French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalán (Barcelona). After the Roman Empire collapsed and the Roman Legions began to disperse, Latin dialects developed in the vast region from Gaul (modern-day France) to Romania. Spanish was one of these local dialects. It originates directly from the dialect of Castile spoken in the Middle Ages in Central Spain around Madrid.

Today, Spanish is the primary language of over 30 nations in Western Europe, North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. The largest concentration of people who speak Spanish are in Mexico with a population of over 80 million. Mexico City is the largest city in the world with a population of over 25 million. Spanish is also spoken in Northern Africa, the Canary Islands and even in the Philippines.

In the United States, Spanish has traditionally been spoken in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, the Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. But today, Spanish is spoken throughout the United States. With the influx of migrant agricultural workers, you can hear Spanish spoken as far north as Nebraska and the Dakotas, all over the Carolinas and even in New England.

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