Facts about the Spanish language that you really need to know

Facts about the Spanish language that you really need to know


Spain, the land of sun-drenched costas with bustling seaside resorts, spirited cities with cozy plazas, special natural areas with spectacular hiking trails... Is it already time for vacation? We love this versatile vacation country and, of course, the Spanish language. Spanish is spoken not only in Spain, but also in many Latin American countries. With more than 450 million native speakers, it is therefore one of the largest world languages. No doubt you yourself know some Spanish words, even if you have never been to a Spanish-speaking country. Tapas, churros and sangria can be bought here in the supermarket! There is much more to tell about this beautiful language. We list some fun facts.

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1: The Spanish language has more than 93,000 words

It is difficult to say how many words the Spanish language has, or any language for that matter. For example, in Dutch we can make compound words very easily. And would you count each conjugation of a verb as a separate word? In addition, new words are added all the time, due to technological or cultural developments or because we adopt words from another language. We can, however, look at important dictionaries. The Diccionario de la lengua española counts more than 93,000 words. By comparison, the Dutch Dikke Van Dale contains more than a quarter of a million keywords.

2: Spanish is not the only language spoken in Spain

Spanish is the official national language, but Spain also has four other official regional languages: Catalan, Basque, Galician and Aranese. After Spanish, Catalan is Spain's largest language, with around 9 million speakers in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, among others. Aranese is spoken only in Val d'Aran and has the fewest speakers, about 5,000.

3: In the Spanish language you use reverse punctuation

Have you ever come across a ¿ or ¡? This is not a typing or computer error. You put these reversed punctuation marks of the Spanish language at the beginning of a question sentence or exclamation, so it is immediately clear that you need to adjust your intonation. In Dutch, we reverse the subject and the finite verb, so you can turn "You live in Spain" into the question "Do you live in Spain?". But Spanish does not have this reversal, and the subject is often even omitted, so "Vives en España" can be both a question and an announcement. The inverted punctuation comes in handy then!

4: The word flamenco has several, diverse meanings

When you think of flamenco, you probably think of the rhythmic music and dance from the southern regions of Spain, but the Spanish word has multiple meanings. When Spaniards talk about Flemish, they say "el neerlandés flamenco," "el dialecto flamenco" or simply "flamenco. Spanish fauna also has a flamenco: the flamingo. You can spot the pink birds in the wild in several natural areas in Andalusia.

5: Spanish speakers also look at the birdie, but don't say 'cheese'

If you want to ask someone in Spanish to look into the camera, you say "mira al parajito," which means the same thing as "look at the little bird". Then again, the English 'say cheese' is not directly translate into Spanish. In some parts of Spain they say 'patata' (potato). In many Latin American countries, 'whiskey' is more common to put a smile on your face.

We hope you learned something new about the Spanish language after reading this blog article. Were you actually looking for a Spanish translation? Scriptware Translations would be happy to help you with that. Contact us or request an instant quote. ¡Hasta luego!

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