Languages of Spain

Languages of Spain

Languages of
country = Spain []
official = Spanish
unofficial =
regional = "Co-official"

Catalan/Valencian, Basque, Galician, Aranese


Aragonese, Astur-Leonese (Asturian, Leonese, Cantabrian, Extremaduran), Eonavian, Fala language, Tarifit, as well as some distinct varieties of Spanish and the Gomeran whistled language
minority =
foreign = English (27%)
French (12%)
German (2%)
Maghrebi Arabic
keyboard = Spanish QWERTY

sign = Spanish Sign Language
Catalan Sign Language
Valencian Sign Language

The Languages of Spain are the languages spoken or once spoken in Spain.


thumb|left|300px|">The languages of Spain (simplified)The most prominent of the languages of Spain is Spanish, which nearly everyone in Spain can speak as either first or second language. Other languages figure prominently in many regions:
* Basque in parts of the Basque Country and Navarre.
* Catalan in Catalonia, eastern Aragon, and the Balearic Islands and (in the same dialect continuum), as a variant of this, Valencian in the Valencian Community.
* Galician in Galicia (to some extent, it also forms a dialectal continuum with Portuguese).
* Aranese in the Pyrenean comarca of the Aran Valley, in north-western Catalonia. It is a variety of Gascon, which in turn is a variety of the Occitan language, but has its own standard version.

Spanish is official throughout the country; the rest of these have co-official status in their respective regions, and are widespread enough to have daily newspapers and significant book publishing and media presence in these regional languages. In the case of Catalan, it is the main language used by their regional government and local administrations. Aranese is co-official alongside both Spanish and Catalan. A number of citizens in these regions consider their regional language as their primary language and Spanish as secondary.

Spanish itself also has distinct dialects around the country; for example, the Andalusian or Canarian dialects, each of these with their own subvarieties, some of them being partially closer to the Spanish of the Americas, which they heavily influenced at different degrees, depending on the regions or periods, and according to different and non-homogeneous migrating or colonization processes.

In addition to these, there are a series of seriously endangered languages, which had traditionally been disregarded or considered dialects by Romance studies until the last decades. These are:

* Astur-Leonese: Asturian in Asturias and Leonese in parts of the former Kingdom of León.
* Aragonese in Aragon (mainly Upper Aragon).

Three little sets of dialects are of difficult filiation: Fala, a variety of its own mostly adscribed to the Galician-Portuguese group; Eonavian, a dialect continuum between Asturian and Galician, closer to the latter according to several linguists; and Benasquese, a dialect continuum between Aragonese, Catalan and even Aranese, considered either as an extreme Eastern Aragonese dialect or as a transitional dialect of its own.

With the exception of Basque, which appears to be a language isolate, all of the languages present in Spain are Romance languages.

Arabic (including Ceuta Darija) or Berber (mainly Riffean) are spoken by the Muslim population of Ceuta and Melilla and by recent immigrants (mainly from Morocco and Algeria) elsewhere.

Portuguese language in Spain

In Galicia, the mutual relationship between Galician and Portuguese has caused some minor controversy since some linguists consider the former a part of the Portuguese language, although the more widespread view in the academic world is that Galician is a separate language closely related to Portuguese (see Reintegrationism).

Besides, due to the dialect continuum between both languages, it may be hard to tell whether the Galician spoken in various villages in the Galician border with Portugalwhich is actually Portuguese or whether the Portuguese spoken in the bordering Portuguese villages is Galician itself, for both are mutually influecing each other.

The Portuguese/Galician based dialect known as A Fala is spoken in San Martín de Trevejo ("Sa Martin de Trevellu"), Eljas ("As Elhas") and Valverde del Fresno ("Valverdi du Fresnu"), in the Valley of Jálama ("Val de Xálima"), (Cáceres Province).

Portuguese as such is spoken in:
*Olivenza (Badajoz Province) - Although it has virtually disappeared since the Spanish take over of this city in the 19th century.
*Cedillo or "Cedilho" horn (including Herrera de Alcántara or "Ferreira de Alcântara")Fact|date=September 2008.

Due to their small numbers and lack of written standard, none of these are officially protected by the Spanish Government, Regional Governments nor the Government of Portugal.


Other languages have been extensively spoken in the territory of modern Spain:
*Andalusi Arabic
*Celtic languages
**Celtiberian language
**Gallaecian language
*Lusitanian language
*Gothic language
*Iberian language
*Latin language
*Mozarabic languages
*Romany language
*Tartessian language


There are also variants of these languages proper to Spain, either dialect, cants or pidgins:
*Fala dos arxinas
*Inglés de escalerilla

Further information

*Aragonese language
*Astur-Leonese language
**Asturian language
**Extremaduran language
**Leonese language
**Cantabrian language
*Basque language (Euskara)
*Catalan language
*Fala language
*Galician (Galego)
*Gascon language
**Aranese language
*Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish, Sefardi, etc.)
*Occitan language
*Spanish language ("castellano")
**Names given to the Spanish language
* Signed languages
**Spanish Sign Language ("Lengua de Signos Española", LSE).
**Catalan Sign Language ("Llengua de Signes Catalana", LSC).
**Valencian Sign Language ("Llengua de Signes de la Comunitat Valenciana", LSCV).
*Language politics in Francoist Spain

ee also

*Iberian languages
*Languages of Portugal
*Iberian Romance languages
*Language politics in Spain under Franco


External links

* [ Detailed Ethno-Linguistic map of Pre-Roman Iberia (around 200 BC)]
* [ Detailed linguistic map of Spain]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Languages of the European Union — Official language(s) Bulgarian Czech Danish Dutch English Estonian Finnish French German …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of Portugal — Languages of country = Portugal official =Portuguese unofficial = main = minority = foreign = English (32%) French (24%) Spanish (9%) sign = Portuguese Sign Language keyboard = Portuguese QWERTY keyboard source = [… …   Wikipedia

  • Spain — /spayn/, n. a kingdom in SW Europe. Including the Balearic and Canary islands, 39,244,195; 194,988 sq. mi. (505,019 sq. km). Cap.: Madrid. Spanish, España. * * * Spain Introduction Spain Background: Spain s powerful world empire of the 16th and… …   Universalium

  • Spain — This article is about the country. For other uses, see Spain (disambiguation). Kingdom of Spain Reino de España …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of Iberia — Iberian languages is a generic term for the languages currently or formerly spoken in the Iberian peninsula. Historic languages Pre Roman languages The following languages were spoken in the Iberian peninsula before the Roman occupation. *… …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of the United States — Official language(s) none Main language(s) English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%, other Indo European 3.8%, Asian …   Wikipedia

  • Spain — • This name properly signifies the whole peninsula which forms the south western extremity of Europe. Since the political separation of Portugal, however, the name has gradually come to be restricted to the largest of the four political divisions …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Languages of Finland — Official language(s) Finnish (1st: 92%, 2nd: 6%) Swedish (1st: 6%, 2nd: 60%) Minority language(s) official: Sami, Romani, Finnish Sign Langu …   Wikipedia

  • Languages of Sweden — Languages of country = Sweden caption = official = none unofficial = main = Swedish >90% regional = indigenous = (Unofficial languages / Dialects) Älvdalsmål, Jamtlandic, Scanian minority = (Officially recognised) Finnish, Meänkieli, Romani, Sami …   Wikipedia

  • SPAIN — (in Hebrew at first אספמיא then ספרד), country in S.W. Europe. The use of the word Spain to denote Sepharad has caused some confusion in research. Spain came into being long after the Jews had been expelled from the Crowns of Castile and Aragon,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.