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


[[Image:Spain languages.PNG|thumb|left|300px|The languages of Spain (simplified)

In terms of number of speakers and dominance, the most prominent of the languages of Spain is Spanish, which nearly everyone in Spain can speak as either first or second language. But there are robust regional languages figuring prominently in a series of regions:

Spanish is official throughout the country; the rest of these have co-official status in their respective regions, and (except Aranese) are widespread enough to have daily newspapers and significant book publishing and media presence in those regions. In the cases of Catalan and Galician, they are the main languages used by the Catalan and Galician regional governments and local administrations. 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 recently. These are:

Three very localised dialects are of difficult filiation: Fala, a nearly extinct variety of its own mostly adscribed to the Galician-Portuguese group; Eonavian, a dialect between Asturian and Galician, closer to the latter according to several linguists; and Benasquese, a dialect between Aragonese, Catalan and even Aranese, considered either as an extreme Eastern Aragonese dialect or as a transitional dialect of its own. Asturian and Leonese are closely related to the local Mirandese which is spoken on an adjacent territory but over the border into Portugalmarker. Mirandese is recognised and has some local official status.

With the exception of Basque, which appears to be a language isolate, all of the languages present in mainland Spain are Romance languages.

Arabic (including Ceuta Darija) or Berber (mainly Riffean) are spoken by the Muslim population of Ceutamarker and Melillamarker and by recent immigrants (mainly from Morocco and Algeria) elsewhere.

Portuguese language in Spain

In Galiciamarker, the mutual relationship between Galician and Portuguese has caused some controversy, since some linguists, such as Lindley Cintra, consider that they are still dialects of a common language, in spite of the differences in phonology and vocabulary (see Reintegrationism).

Others, such as Pilar Vázquez Cuesta, argue that they have become separate languages due to major differences in phonetics and vocabulary usage, and, to a lesser extent, morphology and syntax.

In any case, the respective written standards are noticeably different one from another, partly because of the divergent phonological features and partly due to the usage of Spanish orthographic conventions over the Portuguese ones at the time of Galician standardization by the early 20th century .

The official (of the Galician Language Institute) and widespread position is that Galician and Portuguese should be considered independent languages.

The Galician-Portuguese based dialect known as A Fala is locally spoken in San Martín de Trevejomarker (Sa Martin de Trevellu), Eljasmarker (As Elhas) and Valverde del Fresnomarker (Valverdi du Fresnu), in the Valley of Jálama (Val de Xálima), (Cáceres Provincemarker).

Portuguese as such is spoken by some in:


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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