The Spanish language is the 4th most spoken language in the world and is one of the official languages of the UN. There are more than 400 million speakers of Spanish as a first language in the world. They range from Spain to the Americas, both North and South America and further afield to the Pacific and Asia. There are also Hispanophones in Africa.
Spain once had a great empire and for this reason the language was carried to different parts of the world notably the Americas. Mexico for example has more Spanish speaking people than Spain itself.
The Spanish tend to call their own language Castellano instead of Espanol. There are several theories for this and it is generally though that as other regions have their own dialect that Castellano was spoken in Castille.
The autonomous regions of Spain have different dialects most notably the Basque Country
. There they speak a language called Euskarra and little is known of its origins. Catalonians speak Catalan and in Galicia
they speak Gallego which can be a little similar to Portuguese. In the region of Valencia a dialect called Valencian is spoken and in Asturias a language called Bable exists all though it is not widely spoken. In Asturias, Bable has seen a resurgence in modern times with a lot of people electing to use it. The use of the dialects is in conjunction with the main Spanish language. Most people from Catalonia would use Catalan at home but may use Spanish when in work for example.
Spanish is the main language spoken from Mexico through Central America to the South American Continent. In South America the major language is Spanish although in Brazil it is Portuguese, Suriname uses Dutch and British Guyana speaks English while French Guiana speaks French. There are several native American languages but Spanish is the most spoken.
With the massive influx of immigrants from the south and central American countries into the U.S.A. Spanish has became the second most spoken language and several states use them officially when using documentation.
The Philippines was once a part of the empire and Spanish was introduced there. It was eventually replaced by English when the Spanish left but it always has retained a little hold in peoples names. Today many Filipinos are still called by Spanish names. In Africa, Equatorial Guinea has Spanish as an official language. There are also Spanish speakers in Moroccoand the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. There are speakers of Spanish in the sub Sahara region such as the Sahrawis who were refugees.
During the Spanish Empire the influence of Spanish was a lot greater than that of English but after the empire declined many places chose to use English as a language after they had arrived at the countries. Spanish still remains a very influential language and many other countries languages still use Spanish words in their language.
The Spanish language continues to grow today and it retains the utmost importance and with more than 400 million speakers worldwide it is continuing to grow.