Spanish - interesting facts


Spanish is the native language of 470 million people worldwide (about 5% of the world's population), which ranks it second (after Chinese) among the world's languages regarding the number of native speakers.

Español is the official language in Spain, but it has the same status in more than 20 countries outside Europe (mainly in Latin America). The largest are Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru. Interestingly, Spanish is also the official language in one of the African countries – Equatorial Guinea. The vast Spanish-speaking population also resides in the United States – about 40 million (according to some estimates, it exceeds the number of native Castellano users in Spain itself).

Spanish belongs to the group of Romance languages and its origins date back to the 5th century, when it appeared in the northern and central parts of the Iberian Peninsula. It was initially referred to as romance (with strong Latin influences) but was only distinguished as a separate language in the 10th century. Interestingly, many modern Spanish words are derived from Arabic.

The Spanish language on the Iberian Peninsula has many regional variations. However, there is a much greater variation in the case of español variants in Latin America. There are no significant grammatical differences between them, but there are large discrepancies in pronunciation and vocabulary (see curiosities).

The standards of the Spanish language are regulated by the Association of the Spanish Language Academy, and the dissemination of Castellano and Spanish culture is carried out by the Cervantes Institute.

Spanish is the official language of the European Union, the United Nations, UNESCO, the African Union, the Organization of American States, FIFA and Mercosur (Southern Common Market).

In question sentences, there are two question marks: inverted at the beginning and normal at the end, e.g. ¿cómo estás?

Spanish names may be long and complicated to remember. The full name of Pablo Picasso was... Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisma Trinidad Ruiz Picasso.

A good example of lexical differences in the Spanish-speaking world is the equivalents of the noun beans. In Spain, its equivalent is judía, while in Mexico and Colombia the same vegetable is called frijol, in Argentina – jury, in Venezuela – caraota, and in the Dominican Republic – habichuela.

Español is ranked second among the most taught languages in the world (after English). It is also the second language of Twitter and Facebook and the third most widely used online language.


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The second most used language in the world

Spanish, with more than 460 million speakers, is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. It is the official language of 21 countries, including most of Latin America and Spain. For people who speak Polish, learning Spanish may be interesting due to the possibility of contact with many speakers of this language and a better understanding of the culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries. In addition, knowledge of Spanish can be an asset in the labour market, especially in the commercial or tourist sectors, where cooperation with Spanish-speaking countries is becoming more and more common.

A wealth of dialects and accents

The Spanish language has a wealth of dialects and accents that vary by country and region. These dialects differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar. This can be a fascinating experience for Spanish learners, allowing them to understand the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. Although learning standard Spanish allows you to communicate with most people, it is worth learning different dialects to understand better the nuances of the language and culture of a given region.

Language of Don Quixote and Rich Literature

Spanish is the language in which many prominent writers and poets have written, such as Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous "Don Quixote", or Gabriel García Márquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Thanks to their knowledge of Spanish, Poles have the opportunity to read these works in the original, which allows for a more complete understanding of their literary and cultural value. In addition, Spanish literature is extremely rich and diverse, including classical works and contemporary novels, short stories and poetry.

The key to understanding culture and history

Spanish is the key to understanding the rich culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries that date back to the Roman Empire, Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula, and the colonial era of Latin America. For people who speak Polish, learning Spanish can be an opportunity to explore this fascinating history and learn about the values, traditions and customs that shape the identity of nations speaking this language.

Language of Music and Dance

Spanish is also the language of music and dance, such as flamenco, tango or salsa. Knowledge of the language allows for a fuller understanding and appreciation of these unique forms of artistic expression, closely related to the culture and emotions of Spanish-speaking people. Learning Spanish allows you to delve into the world of Spanish-language songs, which often touch on important social, love or political topics.

An important language in the United States

Spanish is playing an increasing role in the United States, where it is the second most widely spoken language after English. Knowledge of Spanish can be very useful for Poles living in the USA, travelling there or cooperating with American business partners. In addition, more and more American universities offer study programs in Spanish.

A language with a wide range of applications in the humanities

Spanish is widely used in the humanities, such as philology, history, archaeology, or anthropology. Thanks to their knowledge of Spanish, Polish speakers can benefit from a wealth of source materials, scientific publications and research conducted by Spanish-speaking scientists. In addition, the Spanish language enables a better understanding and analysis of works of art or literature created in Spanish-speaking countries and conducting field research or cooperation with local communities.

Language with a rich linguistic tradition

The Spanish language has a rich linguistic tradition that dates back to the times of King Alfonso X the Wise and his Seven Partides, one of the first grammatical works in Spanish. Since then, Spanish linguistics has developed dynamically, contributing to the creation of numerous research works, dictionaries and grammar. For people who speak Polish, learning Spanish can be an opportunity to discover this fascinating story and explore different aspects of the language, such as the evolution of grammar, lexical changes or the influence of other languages on the development of Spanish.


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Your Essential Spanish




no No
please Por favor
thank you Gracias
I'm sorry Perdón / Lo siento
good morning Buenos días
good evening Buenas tardes
goodbye Buenas noches
good night Adiós
hi Hola
how are you?  ¿Cómo estás?
well Gracias, bien.
My name is... Me llamo...
I don't understand No entiendo



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