3 Interesting Fact About the Spanish Language

I want to share with you three simple Spanish facts to understand the Spanish language better. In Spain and some other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, Spanish is called español but also castellano (Castilian). As one of the world’s most widely spoken languages, Spanish is one of the world’s most romantic languages because of its passionate and sensual sound. The Spanish language originated from Latin, the language of the Romans, and that’s why Spanish is classified as a Romance language.

  1. Is the Spanish language phonetic?

Spanish is a phonetic language and has a phonetic writing system. Letters represent a particular sound and are pronounce consistently. Which means you can look at a written word and know how to pronounce it. Also, hear a specific word and know how to spell it. The links between sounds and letters mean that there usually are not any spelling surprises.  Because of this, Spanish is a simple language for beginners to learn, especially when it comes to spelling and speaking.

But when it comes to grammar, it is a different story. You must realize Spanish is a gendered language, and nouns generally are accompanied by articles. The adjective must agree with the noun, and so must the article. Let us not forget Spanish enjoys more tenses and a more significant variation in verb parts than English.

Plus, there are three ways to address people:  being the informal “you,” usted being the formal “you,” and vosotros being the informal, plural version of (much like “you all” or “y’all”) in Spain. The way of addressing a person influences verb forms, possessives, and pronouns.  It might be simple to learn how to say words, but the grammar rules can complicate learning the Spanish language.

Extra info: In Spanish, you know how a word sounds – unlike English, for instance, where most letters can sound in various ways depending on their position of the word, blends of letters, silent letters, and other factors.

2. Why are exclamation and question marks inverted in the Spanish language?

The inverted question mark was adopted around 1754 when the Real Academia’s recommended applying the symbol to indicate the beginning of a question in written Spanish—e.g., “¿Cuántos años tienes?”. The institution also ordered the same inverted-symbol system for exclamation statements, using the symbols “¡” and “!”.

Extra info: Other languages use a single question mark at the end of an interrogative sentence. It was also true for Spanish long ago too.

3. Does the Spanish language have different dialects?

Yes, there are many different dialects when Spanish is spoken.  The Spanish spoken in Spain differs from the Spanish of Argentina. The Spanish language is quite divergent when it comes to the spoken form, varying to different degrees from one country to another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary.  The variations are not just between European Spanish and the Spanish of the Americas, but also within the many different dialects within Spain and Hispanic America.

That said, the Spanish language is less different when it comes to grammar. Most dialects follow the same written standard and rules.

Extra info: English is not different when it comes to dialects. Spoken English in the United States of America varies hugely from the English spoken in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

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