Language Centre Resources - Spanish
An Indo-European language and a member of the Romance group of languages currently spoken by nearly 300 million speakers; it is the official language of the Kingdom of Spain and of a long chain of Latin American countries from Mexico to Argentina, and sizeable Spanish-speaking communities can also be found in certain areas in the USA, North Africa and the Philippines.
The earliest written documents date from the 10th century. Literature started emerging from the 12th century with the famous epic El Cantar de Mio Cid reaching its golden age in the 17th century with Don Quixote of Miguel de Cervantes, but also with the works of Garcilaso de la Vega and Lope de Vega.
Being so spatially diffused, Modern Spanish is spoken in many regional and sociolinguistic varieties. The main dialectal division is between north (Castilian) and south (Andalusian). Castilian is also the basis of the modern standard language and the model for pronunciation. There are also several Spanish-based Creoles, such as Chabacano in the Philippines.
Spanish is spelt in the Roman alphabet. Questions and exclamations are introduced with inverted markers.
CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European SCRIPT = Roman