Languages of Spain

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


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:

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:

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 Portugal 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:

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:


There are also variants of these languages proper to Spain, either dialect, cants or pidgins:

Further information

See also


External links

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