Do you know how many people speak Spanish as their native language? These Spanish language facts and figures will amaze you! Keep reading to learn more.
Spanish language facts and figures
Spain is among the most popular countries for foreign residents, second only to Germany. The Spanish-speaking population has grown by 111% between 2000 and 2011, and there are many signs that growth will continue.
You might be surprised to learn just how large this growing community is. It’s officially a secret! Keep reading to learn more about the Spanish-speaking population in Spain and beyond!
Why is it so difficult to estimate the size of the Spanish-speaking population?
The Spanish government needs to keep track of the size of the population that speaks Spanish. This is partly because the census doesn’t ask for respondents’ language but also because Spanish is spoken in all parts of the country, so it’s hard to count.
About 35 million people speak Spanish in the European Union, but there is no official estimate of the number of people who can speak the language.
Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council estimate that there are as many as 63 million native speakers of Spanish worldwide.
How many people speak Spanish in Spain?
In 2011, there were 5.8 million Spanish speakers living in the European Union, an increase of 94% since 2000. In Spain, the Spanish Speaking population stands at around 20 million people, an increase of 111% since 2000.
Growth of the Spanish-speaking community in Spain
The Spanish-speaking population in the European Union has grown by 94% between 2000 and 2011 and is projected to increase by another 102% by 2021.
The Spanish-speaking population in Spain grew by 111% between 2000 and 2011 and is projected to increase by another 12% by 2021.
Dialects and regional differences in Spanish
Spanish is spoken worldwide by people of many different ethnic backgrounds and with a large regional variation. In Spain, specific dialects are found in the extreme north, extreme south and the autonomous regions of the North and South.
The dialect in the north of Spain is known as the Rioplatense dialect, which is spoken in the Greater Buenos Aires area.
The dialect of the south is known as the Caribbean dialect, which is spoken in the area from Montecristi to Santo Domingo (the Dominican Republic).
The central dialect is spoken in the area from Seville to Madrid and is known as “Castilian Spanish”. The autonomous regions of the North and South have their special dialects.
Difficulties in counting speakers with limited fluency
Counting the number of Spanish speakers is relatively easy. Many people can speak a little Spanish and claim to be speakers.
Spanish is the world’s second most commonly spoken language, and many people speak it as a second language, so many speakers can only speak a little and don’t claim to be fluent.
Spanish is a difficult language to count because there are many varieties of the language, and as a result, many people speak it with a regional or social accent that makes it hard to understand.
Many people have a “limbo” language heavily influenced by their native tongue and country of origin. Spanish is also difficult to count because many people speak it in multiple ways, so it’s difficult to count how many people speak it.
Major stakeholders involved in the Spanish language development process
Governments have a central role in the development of languages. They provide the infrastructure and funding to ensure that languages are respected, taught and used.
Multilingualism is an important part of Spain’s history and culture, so the Spanish government has a very active role in developing the Spanish language.
The Instituto Cervantes, the official language development institution, undertakes research, organizes conferences and supports the teaching of Spanish in schools.
Instituto Cervantes also organizes a program of cultural events such as the “Dia del Libro” (Book Day) and “Dia de la Raza” (Day of the Race), which celebrate the Spanish-speaking community.
It has also promoted the use of the Spanish language in business and trade around the world.
The Spanish government
The Spanish government has several bodies involved in promoting the Spanish language.
Some of these are Consejo para la Enseñanza de Español en el Exterior, Consejo para la Enseñanza de Castellano, Instituto Cervantes, Instituto de Internacionalización del Extranjero, Instituto del Libro and Instituto de Cooperación con el País Basco.
Additional bodies involved in developing the Spanish language include the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.