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History of Spanish

Learn how Spanish developed from earlier languages, especially Latin, and is continuing to evolve today.
  1. Words We Share

10 Facts About the Spanish Language
A collection of basic but interesting facts about the world's No. 2 language.

A Linguistic Look at Spanish
Linguists classify languages in many ways. This article explains three ways that languages are classified and how Spanish fits in them.

Is 'Emails' a Spanish Word?
Discussion of whether words such as 'emails' are legitimate Spanish.

'James' and 'Diego' May Share Common Origin
The Spanish equivalent of James is usually given as Diego, yet the two names don't seem at all alike. Here's why.

Why is There So Much English on Spanish-Language Web Sites?
Find out why Spanish-language Web sites have so many words in English.

Where Is Spanish Spoken Outside Spain and Latin America?
It's common knowledge that Spanish is the language of most of Spain and most of Latin America. But there are other places where Spanish is spoken as well.

Spanish Words Derived from Arabic
After Latin and English, Arabic is probably the biggest contributor of words to the Spanish language.

Spanglish: English's Assault on Spanish
English words are rapidly becoming part of the Spanish language.

Origin of the Names of the Days of the Week
The names of most of the days of the week in both English and Spanish come from the names of planets and the Roman gods.

Origins of the Abbreviation 'Vd.'
Although the abbreviation Ud. is most commonly used for usted in Spanish, sometimes you'll see the abbreviation Vd. Here's why.

Trivia for Spanish Students
Do you know some interesting facts about Spanish? If so, it may help you with this quiz.

Varieties of Spanish
Although Spanish is recognized as a single language, there are differences from country to country.

Definition of 'Acronym'

Why Does Spanish Add an Initial E to Some Words?
One characteristic of Spanish you may have noticed is that many words that are similar to English and start with letter combination such as "sp" or "sc" start with an e in Spanish. For example, "school" in English is escuela in Spanish and "special" becomes especial. Why is that?

Why Is Spanish Sometimes Called Castilian?
Sometimes Spanish is known as Castilian. This article explains why there are two names for the language and what the differences are between the two terms.

Origins of the in Spanish
The is the only Spanish letter of Spanish origins.

Definition of 'Homonym'
Glossary definition of "homonym" with examples in Spanish and English.

Definition of "Calque"
Definition of the linguistic term "calque" with examples in Spanish and English.

Alfabeto - Alphabet
A look at the origins of the English word "alphabet" and the Spanish word alfabeto.

Size of Spanish Vocabulary
Although Spanish speakers have far fewer words at their disposal than English speakers do, the smaller vocabulary of the language shouldn't be seen as a sign of inferiority.

Definition of 'Etymology'

Introduction to Ladino
Ladino had its origins in 1492, when Jews were expelled from Spain. Today, somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 people speak Ladino, most of them in Israel, although very few of the people who use it are monolingual.

Origins of the 'Lisp' of Spain
Once upon a time there was a Spanish king who had a lisp, and so many Spaniards copied him that there mispronunciation because the norm or so the story goes. But don't believe it.

Definition of 'Cognate'

Why Two Forms of the Imperfect Subjunctive?
What now exist as two alternate forms of the imperfect subjunctive used to be two separate tenses.

The Many Meanings of 'Pascua'
An explanation of why the Spanish word for Easter, 'pascua,' can also refer to other holidays.

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