Do you speak Spanish?
Today, April 23, we celebrate Spanish language day and I thought it is a great opportunity to write about my language. And why do we celebrate it on this date? On April 23, 1616, the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra died, author of the work “The ingenious Don Quixote de la Mancha” considered the major creation in the Spanish language.
There are 7000 types of languages within the world, each one with a history and a linguistic root. Most languages are said to have their origins in Indo-European languages such as English, Greek, German, Hindi, Spanish among others. The oldest language in the world is Sanskrit which has its origin in India. The world of languages is a fascinating thing, undoubtedly one of my favorite topics.
But let’s focus on Spanish, what is its origin? According to history, Spain was invaded by different kingdoms which had a diversity of languages among which the predominant ones were vulgar Latin, Gothic and Arabic. Around 1492 Spain was divided into 5 kingdoms Aragon, Vizcaya, León, Catalonia, Castilla and Galicia. These kingdoms were marked by their linguistic identity, for example, the language of the kingdom of León was Leonese or the one of the kingdom of Aragon was Aragonese. Due to the great dispute between these kingdoms, Queen Elizabeth I of Castilla and King Ferdando II of Aragon decided to marry, thus creating the union of two powerful kingdoms and consequently of a new language which spread throughout the Spanish territory.
In the beginning this language was called “Castilian” but over the years it was changed to “Spanish” since it comes from the country of Spain. Thus, Spanish is considered a Romance language because its origin comes from the fusion or union of other languages. The surviving languages that until today are spoken in Spain (apart from Spanish) are: Catalan, Galician and Euskera (Basque).
Currently Spanish is an international language. It is the second most important and the third most spoken in the world with 450 million Spanish speakers in the world. With the discovery of America on October 12, 1492 and later with the conquest of this continent we inherited its language and also its customs, religion, art, literature, in a few words, Spanish culture was imprinted on Latin Americans to this day. . Countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, among others make up the 20 countries that have Spanish as their official language.
Spanish is a language rich in grammatical structures. This language contains between 10 and 15 thousand words, most likely it is only necessary to know 5% or 7% to be able to communicate. This language has a complex grammatical conjugation, for example let’s conjugate the verb hablar (to speak):
- yo hablo
- tú hablas
- él/ella habla
- nosotros hablamos
- ustedes hablan
- ellos/ellas hablan
As you can see the verb varies according to the pronoun. Also, we have the masculine / feminine and gender/number conjugation; for example, la casa (the house), las casas (the houses), el perro (the dog), los perros (the dogs). This particularity is something that people learning Spanish find it complicated since languages such as English for example do not have this grammatical variety.
Despite this complexity in its grammar, Spanish is a language with incredible worldwide acceptance. It is used in different artistic expressions, one of the most outstanding and followed representations in the world is music. The rhythm and variety of musical styles in Spanish have made it world famous like salsa, cumbia among others.
In 2005 the song “Al otro lado del río” composed by the Uruguayan writer and singer Jorge Drexler was the first song to win the Oscar for best original song. Jorge Drexler among other Spanish-speaking singers are followed for their beautiful performances. Here you have the the link of the video so you can enjoy it and perhaps you can sing it.
Language is one of the most outstanding characteristics of a human group and its culture. When I was writing this post I reflected on my identity and what makes me who I am, one of them is speaking Spanish. I hope you liked this post and if you have any questions or comments do not hesitate to write me.
Happy Spanish language day!