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The Spanish language History of the Spanish Language and Free Spanish Lessons


Origin and History of the Language

The Spanish language is large and pervasive because there are around 406 million speakers in the world who consider Spanish their mother tongue. This makes Spanish the second language with the highest number of native speakers.

Spanish is also known as Castilian as a consequence of its origins: the language was originally born in the Castile region of Spain, where Spanish is one of the country’s official languages. Spanish is the official language of several other countries in Central and South America, a direct result of the colonisation period.
In more recent years, Spanish has been increasingly spoken in the United States as a consequence of migration and the country’s growing Hispanic-American population. Today, Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the country, with 37.6 billion people speaking it at home. Of these, 2.8 million are of a non-Hispanic origin, which makes Spanish the most spoken language (apart from English) by non-Hispanics.

There are around 60 million people who speak Spanish as a second language in the world, making it one of the most important languages in international communication. As such, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and Mercosur. It also helps that most of the Western Hemisphere regards Spanish as their mother tongue. Spanish speakers can also be found in the African continent where it is spoken by individuals in Equatorial Guinea and Western Sahara. There are even some Spanish speakers in Asia, mainly concentrated in the Philippines.

Spanish is a Romance language, which means that it has a Latin origin like other languages such as French, Portuguese or Italian. This makes Spanish easier to learn if you are a native speaker of another Romance language or if you have already acquired one of these languages before. One of the advantages that Spanish offers to learners is that words are written in the same way they are pronounced. You should not worry about which variety you learn, as the Spanish spoken in Spain or any other Latin American country is mutually intelligible.

The English language has various loan words from Spanish. Examples of this are “tornado” or “patio”. Various location names in the United States are Spanish in origin, especially in the south in areas closer to Spanish-speaking Mexico. These are remnants of colonial times, when Spain had conquered a large area of territories and named places such as Los Angeles (“the angels”), Nevada (“snowed”), Florida (“flowery”) or Amarillo (“yellow”).
Some of the linguistic properties that could make Spanish a little tricky to learn include the use of gender for commons nouns and the language’s extensive verb conjugation, which includes six different endings for each verb tense. It is also important to know that Spanish has different ways of addressing people depending on the degree of familiarity and deference you wish to confer when uttering a particular statement. In this sense, speakers can choose between “tú”, to address people in a familiar manner, and “usted”, to address older people, bosses, professors, or any other person who deserves a speaker’s respect.

Historically, the earliest documents written in Spanish date back to the year 964 and they are known as las Glosas Emilianenses (“Glosses of Saint Emilianus”). These documents are a series of notes written in Spanish and Basque in the margins of a manuscript written in Latin. Between 1803 and 2010, the Spanish alphabet, called “abecedario” due to the combination of the names of letter “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”, had 29 letters altogether. In 2010, though, the Spanish Language Academy decided that “CH” and “LL” should not stand as separate letters. The letter “Ñ” is still a separate letter and it has turned into an emblem of the Spanish language, as it appears in the name of the language itself: “Español”. This letter appeared during medieval times to reflect originally Latin words and it has consolidated into the language; today, “Ñ” has its own separate key in all Spanish keyboards.

The Spanish language is regulated by the Royal Spanish Academy (“Real Academia Española” in Spanish), which was created by royal charter in the year 1713. In current times, the institution has become more open and international, accepting different uses from all over Latin America.

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With Spanish being such a pervasive language, translations into and from it is a basic necessity. No matter where you are, Day Translations can help you. We have translators and offices all over the world! Contact us for a free quote!

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Learn Basic Spanish for FREE

Yo = I Él = He Ellos = They (masc.) Usted = You (formal) Nosotros = we (masc.)
Tú = You Ella = She Ellas = They (fem.) Ustedes = You all Nosotras = we (fem.)

 
Present Verbs

AR, Ex. Hablar – to speak ER Ex. Comer – to eat IR Ex. Vivir – to live
Yo Hablo I speak Como I eat Vivo I live
Hablas You speak Comes You eat Vives You live
Él, Ella, Ud. Habla He speaks Come He eats Vive He lives
Nosotros Hablamos We speak Comemos We eat Vivemos We live
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hablan They speak Comen They eat Viven They live

 
Past (preterite) Verbs

AR, Ex. Hablar – to speak ER Ex. Comer – to eat IR Ex. Vivir – to live
Yo Hablé I spoke Comí I ate Viví I lived
Hablaste You spoke Comiste You ate Viviste You lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Habló He spoke Com He ate Viv He lived
Nosotros Hablamos We spoke Comímos We ate Vivimos We lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hablaron They spoke Comieron They ate Viviron They lived

 
Future

AR, Ex. Bailar – to dance ER Ex. Vender – to sell IR Ex. Pulir – to polish
Yo Bailaré I will dance Venderé I will sell Puliré I will polish
Bailarás You will dance Venderás You will sell Pulirás You will polish
Él, Ella, Ud. Bailará She will dance Venderá She will sell Pulirá She will polish
Nosotros Bailaremos We will dance Venderemos We will sell Puliremos We will polish
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Bailarán They will dance Venderán They will sell Pulirán They will polish

 
Imperfect

AR, Ex. Bailar – to dance ER Ex. Vender – to sell IR Ex. Pulir – to polish
Yo Bailaba I used to dance Vendía I used to sell Pulía I used to polish
Bailabas You used to dance Vendías You used to sell Pulías You used topolish
Él, Ella, Ud. Bailaba She used to dance Vendía She used to sell Pulía She used to polish
Nosotros Bailábamos We used to dance Vendíamos We used to sell Pulíamos We used to polish
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Bailaban They used to dance Vendían They used to sell Pulían They used to polish

 
Conditional

AR, Ex. Escuchar – to listen ER Ex. Comer – to eat IR Ex. Latir – to beat
Yo Escucharía I would listen Comería I would eat Latiría I would beat
Escucharías You would listen Comerías You would eat Latirías You would beat
Él, Ella, Ud. Escucharía He would listen Comería He would eat Latiría It would beat
Nosotros Escucharíamos We would listen Comeríamos We would eat Latiríamos We would beat
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Escucharían They would listen Comerían They would eat Latirían They would beat

 
Irregular Verbs, 2 examples using the verb, to be

Ser – to be (all things permanent) Estar – to be (all things temporary)
Yo Soy rubio I am blonde Estoy emfermo I am sick
Eres alto You are tall Estas dormida You are asleep
Él, Ella, Ud. Es ignorante He is ignorant Está nerviosa She is nervous
Nosotros Somos grandes We are big Estamos preparados We are prepared
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Son inteligentes They are intelligent Están mojados They are wet

 
Present Subjunctive

AR, Ex. Hablar – to speak ER Ex. Comer – to eat IR Ex. Vivir – to live
Yo Hable I speak Coma I eat Viva I live
Hables You speak Comas You eat Vivas You live
Él, Ella, Ud. Hable He speak Coma He eat Viva He live
Nosotros Hablemos We speak Comamos We eat Vivamos We live
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hablen They speak Coman They eat Vivan They live

 
Imperfect Subjunctive

AR, Ex. Hablar – to speak ER Ex. Comer – to eat IR Ex. Vivir – to live
Yo Hablara I speak Comiera I eat Viviera I live
Hablaras You speak Comieras You eat Vivieras You live
Él, Ella, Ud. Hablara He speak Comiera He eat Viviera He live
Nosotros Habláramos We speak Comiéramos We eat Viviéramos We live
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hablaran They speak Comieran They eat Vivan They live

 
Present Perfect Indicative, Haber + Past Participle

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado – to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido – to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo He Hablado I have spoken He Comido I have eaten He Vivido I have lived
Has Hablado You have spoken Has Comido You have eaten Has Vivido You have lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Ha Hablado She has spoken Ha Comido She has eaten Ha Vivido She has lived
Nosotros Hemos hablado We have spoken Hemos Comido We have eaten Hemos Vivido We have lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Han Hablado They have spoken Han Comido They have eaten Han Vivido They have lived

 
Past Perfect Indicative, Haber + Past Participle

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado – to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido – to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo Había Hablado I had spoken Había Comido I had eaten Había Vivido I had lived
Habías Hablado You had spoken Habías Comido You had eaten Habías Vivido You had lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Había Hablado She had spoken Había Comido She had eaten Había Vivido She had lived
Nosotros Habíamos hablado We had spoken Habíamos Comido We had eaten Habíamos<u> Vivido We had lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Habían Hablado They had spoken Habían Comido They had eaten Habían Vivido They had lived

 
Future Perfect Indicative, Future Form of Haber + Past Participle

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado –to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido –to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo Hab Hablado I will have spoken Hab Comido I will have eaten Hab Vivido I will have lived
Habrás Hablado You will have spoken Habrás Comido You will have eaten Habrás Vivido You will have lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Habrá Hablado She will have spoken Habrá Comido She will have eaten Habrá Vivido She will have lived
Nosotros Habrémos hablado We will have spoken Habrémos Comido We will have eaten Habrémos Vivido We will have lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Habrán Hablado They will have spoken Habrán Comido They will have eaten Habrán Vivido They will have lived

 
Conditional Perfect

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado –to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido –to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo Habría Hablado I would have spoken Habría Comido I would have eaten Habría Vivido I would have lived
Habrías Hablado You would have spoken Habrías Comido You would have eaten Habrías Vivido You would have lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Habría Hablado She would have spoken Habría Comido She would have eaten Habría Vivido She would have lived
Nosotros Habríamos hablado We would have spoken Habríamos Comido We would have eaten Habríamos Vivido We would have lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Habrían Hablado They would have spoken Habrían Comido They would have eaten Habrían Vivido They would have lived

 
Present Perfect of Subjunctive

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado –to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido –to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo Haya Hablado I have spoken Haya Comido I have eaten Haya Vivido I have lived
Hayas Hablado You have spoken Hayas Comido You have eaten Hayas Vivido You have lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Haya Hablado She have spoken Haya Comido She have eaten Haya Vivido She have lived
Nosotros Hayamos hablado We have spoken Hayamos Comido We have eaten Hayamos Vivido We have lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hayan Hablado They have spoken Hayan Comido They have eaten Hayan Vivido They have lived

 
Past Perfect of Subjunctive

AR, Ex. Haber Hablado –to have spoken ER Ex. Haber Comido –to have eaten IR Ex. Haber Vivido
Yo Hubiera Hablado I had spoken Hubiera Comido I had eaten Hubiera Vivido I had lived
Hubieras Hablado You had spoken Hubieras Comido You had eaten Hubieras Vivido You had lived
Él, Ella, Ud. Hubiera Hablado She had spoken Hubiera Comido She had eaten Hubiera Vivido She had lived
Nosotros Hubiéramos hablado We had spoken Hubiéramos Comido We had eaten Hubiéramos Vivido We had lived
Ellos, Ellas, Ud. Hubieran Hablado They had spoken Hubieran Comido They had eaten Hubieran Vivido They had lived

 
Imperative Commands

Tú (positive) Tú (negate) Usted Ustedes (you all)
AR, Bailar Baila (dance) No Bailes (don’t dance) Baile Bailen
ER, Comer Come (eat) No Comas (don’t eat) Coma Coman
IR, Vivir Vive (live) No vivas (don’t live) Viva Vivan

 
Possessive Adjectives

Singular Plural
AR, Bailar Mi Libro My book Mis Libros My books
ER, Comer Tu cadena Your chain Tus Libros Your books
IR, Vivir Su cara His face Sus caras His faces

 
Possessive Pronouns = Mine, Yours, His, Her

Singular English Plural English
AR, Bailar El libro is mío The book is mine Los libros son míos The books are mine
ER, Comer La cadena es tuya The chain is yours La cadenas son tuya The chains are yours
IR, Vivir La vela es suya The candle is his La velas son suyas The candles are hers

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