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Spanish language facts

  • After Chinese and English Spanish is the most commonly used language world wide.

  • Spanish, like all Romance languages, derives from Latin, with Castilian being considered to be the purest form of Spanish.

  • Spanish in Spain and Spanish in Latin America vary slightly as the languages have evolved since the colonization of the Americas. The most obvious influence is the use of indigenous words in Latin America and differing pronunciation.

Some characteristics or Spanish language

  • Spanish is pronounced phonetically!
    However, beware of the trilled r which is somewhat complex to reproduce. The letter b and v are indistinguishable. The letter h is silent.

  • Formal / informal address
    Deference and politeness is expressed by the switch between 2nd person tú and 3rd person usted.

  • ser vs estar
    2 verbs denote the concept of to be. Ser is used for permanent states, estar is used to describe temporary things and to indicate locations.

  • Inflection, declination and grammatical gender are important features of Spanish grammar

  • Spanish uses 3 letters in addition to the English alphabet: 'ñ' and the letter combinations 'ch' and 'll', which are treated as single letters. 'W' originally wasn't part of the Spanish alphabet. It has been included to accommodate words of foreign origin.

  • Vowels in Spanish can carry an accent mark: á, é, í, ó and ú
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