Official Languages Of Spain
Spanish is the official language of Spain. Also referred to as Castilian, it is a Romance language with origins in the Castile region of Spain. Two major speeches influenced the creation of Spanish: the Medieval Romance language of the Kingdom of Castile and the Mozarabic dialect of the Muslim Kingdom of Toledo. As the Spanish Empire spread across the world in the 16th century, so too did their language. Today, hundreds of millions of people speak Spanish as their first language. Within Spain, approximately 88% of the population speaks it as their native language, and 99% are able to speak it.
Regional Languages Of Spain
Co-official regional languages include Basque, Catalan, Galician, and Occitan. Basque is the only non-Romance language with official status in the country and is in fact, not related to any other language. It is spoken by the inhabitants of Basque Country and northern Navarre. Catalan is spoken in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and Valencia (autonomous communities). About 17% of the population speaks Catalan, making its speakers one of the largest bilingual, non-state communities in Europe. Galician is spoken by 9% of the population of Spain, mainly in Galicia which is an autonomous region in the northwest and is related to Portuguese. Occitan is also spoken in Catalonia where the inhabitants use a subdialect called Aranese. These languages are widely used in newspapers, books, on TV, and in local government.
The recognized regional languages are Aragonese, Asturian, and Leonese. These are not official and are considered minority endangered languages. Aragonese is spoken Aragon by between 10,000 and 30,000 people. Asturian is spoken in Asturias by about 100,000 native speakers and 450,000 speakers as a second language. Leonese is spoken in Castile and León by between 20,000 and 50,000 people.
Unofficial regional languages include Cantabrian (an Astur-Leonese dialect), Extremaduran (spoken in the autonomous region of Extremadura), Judaeo-Spanish (spoken by Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492), Riffian Berber (spoken by Muslim immigrants from Morocco, Eonavian (spoken by 45,000 native speakers), Fala (spoken by 10,500 people), Portuguese, Iberian Romani (consists of Caló and Erromintxela), and the Gomeran whistled language (used to communicate across valleys in the Canary Islands).
Immigrant Languages Of Spain
Approximately 6.1 million people in Spain were born in different countries. This number represents a little more than 13% of the population. The majority of these immigrants have come from the European Union, Latin America, Morocco, China, and Russia (to name a few). This has been reflected in the immigrant languages of the country which include: Latin American Spanish, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic, English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian.
Main Foreign Languages Of Spain
Of the foreign languages spoken in Spain, three in particular have a significant role in Spanish society. The main foreign languages of Spain are English, French, and German. Approximately 27% of the population speaks English. Some English speakers are British-born, others use English for business transactions. French is spoken by 12% of the population, and like English, this is a common business language. Additionally, it is also spoken by French-born individuals who currently number about 100,448. German is spoken by only 2% of the population.