All about Spanish

Interesting Facts from the History of the Spanish Language

Spanish. Hand drawn doodles and lettering on white background. "Presente, hola, idioma, Futuro, mucho, para, verbos, no". Translate: "Present, hello, language, Future, a lot, for, verbs, no".

The basis of the Spanish language is the so-called “Vulgar Latin” — the language of the Roman legionaries who established the power of the Roman Empire on the territory of the future Spain. Latin was mixed with the languages of the indigenous peoples of the Iberian Peninsula. This is how the language appeared, which became the forerunner of modern Spanish.

A significant influence on the culture and the language had the Arabs (Moors), under whose rule part of the Spanish lands were until the end of the 15th century. Now the Spanish language is very popular all over the globe. It is studied in schools, poems and songs are composed in it, some words and expressions have long become famous and clear to everyone without translation.


The History of Formation

Let’s consider the main periods and stages of the Spanish language formation.

  1. The Roman Empire

In the third century BC, the Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula. Along with the Roman rule, a new language came to these territories, the same Vulgar Latin, which became the basis of modern Spanish.

  1. Visigothic Conquest

When the Roman Empire fell in 476, the next invaders appeared — Germanic tribes, and this also has an impact on the Spanish, although, not so significant.

  1. Arab Conquest

In the eighth century AD, the expansion of the Muslims began. For seven centuries, Muslim culture has been dominant, which naturally affects both language and pronunciation. In modern language, there are about a thousand of arabisms.

  1. Reconquista

Then, the Reconquista began — a liberation struggle for own lands and independence from the Arab conquerors. Castile — a region of Spain, in the 11th century became an independent state that played a leading role in the fight against Muslims. King Alfonso X of Castile ordered to translate historical, legal, scientific and literary works into Castilian. Then, Castilian was recognized as the official language. 

  1. Colonization of the New World

In 1492, Columbus discovered America, and the colonization of the New World by the Spaniards began, which led to the active spread of the language in South America.

In 1492, Antonio de Nebrija’s “Grammar of the Spanish language”, the first work describing the Spanish grammar, was published.

200 years later, in 1713, the Royal Academy of the Spanish language was founded, the purpose of which is studying the Spanish language and literature, as well as the normalization of the language. 

Many people today began to consider the Spanish language as a means of rapid exchange of information, forgetting about its former artistic capabilities, and, in addition to a significant simplification of language constructions, replace many words with borrowings from English.