Spanish All Around Us
Spanish is a growing language in our country and city today. Teachers are encountering more and more Spanish speaking children and parents within their classroom. The following photos are examples of Spanish in our community.
The Language Links sections provides links to wonderful resources that will help teachers hear and learn the basics of Spanish.
Language Links: Spanish
The following websites are wonderful links to audio and videos that will assist teachers in learning basic Spanish language skills and survival terminology. The greatest thing is they are all free. Happy Exploring!
Overview of the Spanish Language
Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language in terms of the number of speakers and the number of countries which claim Spanish as the official language. Approximately 275 million people in 19 countries ranging from Spain to Costa Rica speak Spanish. Spanish is also spoken in the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, communities in the United States of America, and parts of the west coast of Africa. A variation of the Spanish language, called Ladino, is also spoken in Turkey and Israel by descendents of Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492.
Much of Spanish vocabulary stems from Latin, which was introduced to the Iberian peninsula in the 3rd century during the Roman conquest as a dialect, Castilian. During the Christian reconquest of the 15th century, all the kingdoms of Spain were united and the language of Castile became the dominant dialect. Castilian Spanish is spoken in Spain today. Castilian Spanish and Latin American Spanish differ from region to region. Latin American Spanish, in particular, has evolved since colonization. For example, peach is melocotón in Spain and durazno in Latin America. One notable difference is the inclusion of words from the indigenous languages of Latin America into modern Spanish vocabulary.
Many of the words that begin with "f" in other Romance languages begin with an "h" in Spanish (hilo, thread; hijo, son). Another distinction in the Spanish language is the Moorish influence. Many Spanish vocabulary words beginning with "al-" are of Moorish descent (alfombra, rug; alfiler, pin; almohada, pillow).
English words that come from Spanish vocabulary include cargo, siesta, hacienda, patio, armada, canyon, plaza, rodeo, adobe, vanilla, tornado and embargo.
For more on the Spanish Language and is origins click here.