After making the decision of studying Spanish come other questions such as:

What program should I enroll in? Which country or city should I go to? For how long should I take a Spanish course?

Actually, there is not a “right” answer; there is not “a better program.”

It all depends on the goal you have for learning Spanish and on your preferred method of learning.

In Colombia, the cities people normally visit more for studying Spanish are Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. There are plenty of universities and Spanish schools in those cities. They offer a wide variety of Spanish courses.

We know you can be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options that are out there. But we will help you make the decision that suits best for you.

One of the things people struggle more with is choosing between University and language schools.

So, let’s look at that.

Studying Spanish at Colombian Universities

What is it studying Spanish at Colombian universities like? What characteristics university programs have?

Well, it’s basically the same as when you are studying your undergraduate or master’s program. Courses at the university are very structured, the same program for everybody.

University courses can vary in length, from a couple of weeks to a full academic year. So, the first thing to keep in mind is the time you have to invest in learning the language.

People who choose university programs are usually young students or young professionals.

They have the time to travel to Colombia for at least one month. They aim to get a certificate of language proficiency to include it in their curriculums.

What are the advantages of studying Spanish at a Colombian university?

  • Spanish courses can usually be taken in addition to regular university course offerings. Thus, you will have the chance to meet other Colombians and enjoy the student Colombian life.
  • You can enjoy the university facilities. There, you can also make new friends and immerse yourself in the Colombian culture.
  • If you are currently doing a bachelor’s or master’s back home, you might get entitled to get transferable credits to your program.
  • It will look good in your CV.
  • If you planned to stay longer than six months in the country, it’s a good option to get a student visa.

What are the disadvantages of studying Spanish at a Colombian university?

  • You will be in classrooms with large groups of students.
  • Depending on the university you choose, the program could be a bit pricey.
  • If you are having a cultural shock, you won’t feel teachers and fellow students are that close to you to help you overcome it.
  • You won’t have personalized classes. So, if you’re struggling with a specific topic teachers won’t be able to focus on your learning process.

Studying Spanish at a language school

Language schools are getting more and more attention during the last years.

What are the advantages of studying Spanish in a language school?

  • They have a very structured program as well but are much more flexible. You choose between group classes and private classes
  • If you are interested in learning a specific skill you can plan the program with your teacher or tutor. For instance, D.E.L.E exam preparation, or Spanish for business.
  • Once you are back in your home country you can continue your classes online.
  • Language schools offer many social activities. Thus, you can get to know the Colombian culture better in a short time.

What are the disadvantages of studying Spanish in a language school?

  • You should do extra research while choosing the best Spanish school. There are so many options but you should look at the one that suits best your needs and expectation.
  • Teachers are also highly qualified. However, ask the teachers’ credentials first. Some schools mentioned their teachers are native speakers but it doesn’t mean they are certified or have enough experience.
  • Not all Spanish schools give you a certificate of attendance.
  • Languages schools don’t have the same infrastructure, facilities, and services as universities. However, it’s not totally a disadvantage since they organize many social and cultural activities around the city.

For those interested in language school we have prepared “Tips for choosing the best Spanish Course

Whatever option you choose the most important is that you immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the experience. Learning Spanish should be always fun!

If you want to learn more about the language and about Colombian culture read our weekly blog here. And, if you have any questions about our programs you can always contact us.

Learn Spanish in Colombia: In-Class & Online Courses

Spanish is one of the most studied languages worldwide nowadays. There are so many options to start learning and for improving the language. It’s a matter of making the decision, have discipline and practice as much as possible.

You could use many of the Apps available, enroll in group classes in your city, or have a private tutor. Also, you could take some time off to travel and get the best language immersion experience.

In this post, we are talking about the last one, a language immersion experience.

What should you ask yourself before start looking for a Spanish course that suits your needs?

Before start looking for the best Spanish course ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your current level of Spanish?
  • What is your motivation for learning Spanish?
  • What level are you looking to achieve?
  • How much time are you willing to invest in learning the language?
  • Of course, how much money are you willing to invest?

After having these aspects clear you can focus on finding the best Spanish course for you.

You might learn Spanish for traveling and for talking to local people. Or, you might learn it for communicating better with your family’s relatives.

Spanish is also a language people earn for improving their career opportunities.

Whatever your goal is, make sure you analyze the following aspects:

Location

You might think the location doesn’t matter, but it is a crucial aspect.

People Learning Spanish are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of Spanish classes offered.

A good way to start narrowing down your selection is by choosing the location of your Spanish school.

This is important because that’s going to be the place where you are going to pick up your Spanish accent.

Also, it’s going to be the place where you will spend some time and certainly, immerse yourself in the culture.

ELE certified teachers

When exploring Spanish schools, check first the qualifications of the teachers.

You should ask if they are native speakers but also what certifications they have.

Being a native speaker is not enough. Certifications, experience, and attitude are crucial.

A great advantage if the teachers are also bilingual or have an understanding of your mother tongue. It would be much easier for you to communicate with them.

They know the country’s culture and customs very well. They will be able to translate expressions and colloquialisms and to explain those topics that drive most of the people crazy.

Our teachers are highly qualified native Spanish speakers, passionate about teaching. They provide an amazing classroom experience!

Duration of the program

New Spanish learners are not always clear on how much time they want to invest in learning the language.

That is why it’s important to ask yourself the questions listed above. It will give you clarity and will help you plan your immersion experience better.

Learning a new language it’s a process and it takes some time. You can start by choosing 1-3 weeks General Spanish program to get by while traveling.

Then, if you feel like deepening your knowledge of the language, you can try longer-term programs. For instance, D.E.L.E exam preparation, or Spanish for business.

Services the school has to offer

Learning Spanish must be fun!

People learn a new language to have social interactions and to get to know new cultures better.

Learning grammar and having strong foundations on the language is very important. But, keep in mind that when you are out there, talking and interacting with people, is when you are going to learn more.

Thus, you should also look for a Spanish school where you can put into practice what you learn in the classroom.

As we say it at LMTS “Learning Spanish at our school is not just about studying in a classroom”. Our students practice what they have learned during the week interacting with locals. All with the guidance of our teachers.

Some of the activities LMTS offers are Graffiti Tour, National University Tour, and Quinta de Bolivar visit. Sometimes we also do a botanical garden tour, city center tour, and coffee tasting.

Volunteering is another service LMTS offers to Spanish students. They can practice the language while making a difference in the lives of others.

Mixing classes with social activities makes the language immersion an excellent experience.

Flexible study options

Another important aspect to take into account is the flexibility of study options. It’s important to find a Spanish school that suits your needs and expectations.

One of the advantages of studying Spanish in Colombia is that we don’t have typical seasons as North American and European countries have.

Spanish courses are open all year round and start dates are pretty flexible.

With regards to classes, the Spanish school must offer you a private, group, and online classes.

Why?

Because you can combine them and get the most out of each option.

For example, when you are a beginner you could join group classes. You will get to know new people and you will learn the basics of grammar and pronunciation.

When signing up for group classes make sure the size of the class is not too big, not bigger than 10 people.

Smaller class sizes allow for more personalized attention for students. The teacher can tailor lessons more specifically to different students.

Then, if you feel like improving a specific skill, like speaking, you can opt for private classes. In this case, the teacher will be focused only on you and you will see your improvement in very fast.

And, when your immersion program is over you could keep up the language with online sessions.

Teaching methods

Asking the Spanish school for the teaching method is also important. It does not mean that one is better than the other, but that they are different. Perhaps some are more suited to your tastes than others.

First of all, define to yourself what is your preferred learning method.

Do you like more theoretical classes? or do you prefer more visual and experiential classes?

Are you one of those who learn easier by writing things down and reading?

Or, one of those who learn easier by talking and listening to other people?

Once you have this clear ask the Spanish schools about their teaching method, the materials they use, and the activities they do. Ask them also how often your teacher will change. This is important for you to get used to different people’s accents and styles.

In conclusion

Choosing a Spanish school is not always an easy process. A lot of different factors have to be taken into account: their location, small class numbers, flexibility, and study hours among others.

Choosing the right school carefully can help you maximize the experience both personally and academically and give you the best possible results.

If you have any questions about the different learning options at LMTS do not hesitate to contact us!

Learn Spanish in Colombia: In-Class & Online Courses

Do you want to explore cosmopolitan cities, snow mountains, and oceans in the same trip?

Or maybe see humpback whales having their babies and pink dolphins swimming next to your boat?

Do you want to see a seven-colours sea and a rainbow river?

Or, do you want to invest in one of the most important Latin America’s economies?

What if we tell you that there is a place where you can do all these things while meeting the friendliest people of the world as well as learning a new language?

Yes, there is. This place is Colombia!

More than 2,000 people a year now travel to Colombia to learn Spanish. It has become one of the top destinations to learn this language.

Here 10 reasons why Colombia is the perfect place for you to learn Spanish:

1. Colombia’s strategic location

Bogota’s International Airport is one of the largest passenger hubs in Latin America.

It handles over 30 million travelers per year and has several daily nonstop flights to the major cities in the Americas and Europe.

Colombia is known as the “Gateway of South America”.

It is located in the northwest part of the continent and connects South America with Central America.

So, If you are traveling around any of these parts of the continent, Colombia is the best place to start your trip.

2. Colombians are one of the friendliest and most welcoming people of the world

Colombians happy, friendly, and spontaneous people. We love talking, we make jokes and make friends easily.

When you travel or live in Colombia don’t be surprised by being invited to friends and family gatherings, even if you just have met them one day ago, or even a few hours ago.

There is no better way of experiencing a country than by talking to its people!

That is why every day more people have decided to visit the country and start their journey with an immersion of the Spanish language.

If you want to read what people think about Colombians you should read our post “10 joys and challenges of having a Colombian partner

3. Colombia’s rich cultural diversity

Are you one of those passionate about world cultures?

Then Colombia is should be in your bucket list! It is a dream destination for all those who love traditional music, food, history, and art.

One of the things people like the most when visiting Colombia is to discover the different cultures within the country. Each region has its traditions, its unique customs, and its accent.

Colombians are a fascinating blend of people and cultures. If you want to know more about Colombian people read our post “People of Colombia, as diverse as their country

4. Colombia is one of the main world’s emerging economies

Latin America and Africa are now known as “the new Asia” in terms of profitable market opportunities.

Colombia is one of the countries leading these economies. It is the 32nd largest economy in the world and the 4th in Latin America.

 

The country sits at an important corner for world trade, the country’s macroeconomic indicators (i..e. GDP, unemployment, inflation) are improving, and the middle class is rising.

In the past, Colombia was a high-risk country for foreign investors due to internal conflict. But since the political situation has stabilized, foreign investment has increased.

For instance, Softbank Group Corp invested $1B in the Colombian unicorn, Rappi.

With over $1.4B in disclosed funding, Rappi is now one of the highest-funded Latin American startups.

5. Affordable cost of living

For North American or European standards the cost of living in Colombia is relatively low. It depends, of course, on your likes and lifestyle.

In cities like Bogota, Medellín, or Cartagena, like in any other cosmopolitan city, you might spend quite some money if you don’t control your expenses. But, in general, living in Colombia is very affordable.

For example, below are some rough costs (USD) for somebody living in a neighborhood like Chapinero in Bogota near our Spanish school.

Accommodation

  • 1 bedroom apartment – $500 per month
  • Private bedroom in a shared apartment – $200 per month
  • A dorm bed in a hostel – $10 per night
  • Private room in a hotel – $50 per night

Food and Drinks

  • A “menú del día” (day menu), which is normally a traditional Colombian dish that comes with soup, juice and sometimes even dessert – $4
  • Street food all around the city – less than $2
  • Main course meal at a mid-level restaurant – $10
  • Main course meal at a high-end restaurant – $25
  • Craft beer in a Pub – $3
  • Cocktail in a trendy rooftop– $10

Transportation

  • A local city bus or Transmilenio – $0.70c
  • 30 min Taxi or Uber trip – $5
  • Bus trip to cities like Medellin, Cali or Bucaramanga – $25
  • Round-trip flights to the Caribbean coast – $100

6. Plenty of natural places to explore

Colombia is listed as one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries. It hosts close to 10% of the planet’s biodiversity.

There are 17 megadiverse countries in the world; eight in America, five in Asia, and four in Africa. Those countries together host around 70% of world biodiversity

Colombia is the second country with the most biodiversity per square kilometer. 41 natural parks, 11 fauna and flora sanctuaries, 2 national nature reserves, and 5 biosphere reserves.

Also, just to name a few of the wonders of the country,  you can find in Colombia:

7. You can find any climate, anytime

Colombia is known for its great climatic diversity. The climates are usually categorized according to the elevation of the mountains. This is known as “pisos termicos” in Spanish.

Furthermore, thanks to its geographical proximity to the equator, Colombia doesn’t have typical seasons like spring, summer, fall, or winter. Instead, there are only two seasons, rainy and dry season. This makes the weather stays more or less the same all year round in each region.

The best of having a climate defined by the elevation of the mountains is that you don’t need to plan your trips according to the season.

If you feel like having a “summer” holiday you can book anytime a flight to the Caribbean coast. Or, if you are in Bogotá you can drive 3-4 hours to small cities and towns which are around 30 degrees all year round.

If you feel like having a “spring” break you can visit Medellín, a city known for being “the city of the eternal spring”.

If you like the “autumn” feeling, you can spend some time in Bogota, the country’s capital city. Bogota brings together the best of Colombia; its music, its food, its art, its people. The cultural offer is infinite. Read our post “Bogota: Cultural diversity in just one place

And if you feel like winter, you can plan a trip to one of the many snow-capped mountains of the country.

8. No student permit needed

You do not need a study permit to enroll in a short-term study program.

Holders of passports from 99 countries do not require a visa to enter Colombia for a maximum stay of 90 days. During your stay as a tourist, you can enroll any short-term Spanish course

If you fall in love with Colombia, which we tell you in advance that it usually happens, and wish to stay longer, then you can extend your stay for another 90 days paying only about $25USD

9. Easiest Spanish to learn

It is often said that Colombians speak one of the most neutral Spanish in the world. By “Colombian Spanish” people normally refers to the dialect spoken in Bogota.

Although there are many accents, dialects, slangs, and expressions. Is it true that Colombian Spanish is one of the easiest to understand and learn?

Colombian people, mostly those from the center of the country, tend to speak slowly and clearly. Even with only a limited knowledge of the language, you will have a much better chance of understanding a conversation with Colombians than you would with Spaniards or Chileans, for instance.

When we say “neutral” it doesn’t mean we don’t have an accent. We do have “an accent” but it is an undeniably pleasant one.

So, if you learn Spanish in Colombia, you will not only pick up a beautiful and understandable accent but you easily communicate with any other native Spanish speaker.

Read also our post: “Top 5 differences Spanish from Colombia and Spanish from Spain

10. Locals don’t speak much English

Last but not least, Colombia is particularly a great location to learn and improve your Spanish language because most of the people don’t speak much English.

You might find people who speak very good English in big cities, in touristic places, or in hotels and hostels. However, when going to restaurants, when taking a taxi or a local bus, or when visiting small towns finding people that speak English might be difficult.

Don’t worry about it. Colombians will always find a way to communicate with you, either by sign language, by smiling, or by google translator, and since you will be forced to practice you will learn to speak Spanish faster!

These are enough reasons to choose Colombia as your next destination for learning Spanish, right?

Don’t forget to follow our social media channels and to read our blog here!

According to the 2019 report from the Instituto Cervantes, more than 580 million people around the world speak the Spanish language. This includes native speakers (483 million) and non-native speakers (97 million).

You might wonder where all these people come from, don’t you?

In this post, we’ll talk about which countries have Spanish as their official language, and which countries Spanish is widely spoken in, even if it’s not their official language.

You might be surprised; Spanish is spoken in countries you probably never thought of!

Let’s start!

In which countries Spanish is the official language?

Spanish is today is Spoken in 3 out of the 5 continents of the world. It’s the or an- official language of 20 Countries (excluding Puerto Rico):

The Americas (18 countries):

Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Also, Spanish is also an official language of Puerto Rico (US) and Easter Islands (Chile)

Latin America is the region with the biggest population of native Spanish speakers. It has a lot to do with the region’s history. Read our post The Spanish language: history, evolution and influences

Mexico has the greatest number of native speakers in the region (more than 125 million). It is followed by Colombia (almost 50 million), and Argentina (more than 45 million).

Europe (1 country): Spain

Although Spain is where the Spanish language was originated, it is not one of the countries with the greatest number of native speakers (more than 46 million).

Spain accounts for less than 10 percent of the world’s Spanish speakers. It is even behind the United States, which today, has the third-largest Spanish speaking population (Yes! You will see in the next section).

Africa (1 country): Equatorial Guinea.

Did you know that there is still one country in Africa where Spanish is one of the official languages?

Yes, Equatorial Guinea. Nearly 68% of the country’s population speaks Spanish. It has been one of the official languages since 1844 when Spanish settlers established cacao farms.

See below the map of the countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language, and where Spanish has gained popularity as a second language:

Geographical distribution of the Spanish language

Geographical distribution of the Spanish language. Source

Did some of the countries on this map surprise you?

Let us surprise you even more!

Countries where Spanish is not an official language but is still widely spoken

The Americas

1. The United States

More than 13% of the US population (over 43 million people) speaks Spanish as a first language.

This makes it the second-largest Spanish speaking country in the world after Mexico. What is more interesting is that there is a bigger Spanish speaking population in the US than in Spain.

Additionally, the United States is home to nearly 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers.

Americans who don’t already speak Spanish are trying to learn it. Spanish is the most studied language in the U.S.

Here, you can see the map where Spanish is spoken in the United States and Puerto Rico. The darker the green, the higher percentages of Spanish speakers.

According to the US Census Office, it is estimated that 138 million people will speak Spanish by 2050.

This would make it the biggest Spanish-speaking nation on Earth, with 30% of the population speaking Spanish as their mother tongue.

2. Brazil

The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. Due to its proximity to Spanish speaking countries, and due to the fact that Portuguese is also a Romance language, Spanish is widely spoken in the country.

There are only 460,000 Spanish native speakers in Brazil. However, more than 6 million people speak Spanish as a second or third language.

In the parts of Brazil that border Spanish-speaking countries, you can encounter a pidgin language known as Portuñol, which is a mix between Spanish and Portuguese

3. Belize

Since it was a British colony, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official language. Nonetheless, Spanish is also spoken by more than 50% of the population.

4. Canada

Canada is one of the most diverse and multicultural countries in the world. Its official languages are English and French, and depending on the region one of them is spoken more than the other.

Since there are a large number of immigrants from all around the world, there is also a diversity of languages.

However, Spanish is also gaining popularity as in the rest of the world. According to national reports, Spanish is the most spoken foreign language, almost 1.8 million Canadians speak it.

5. ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao)

Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages in the Dutch Antilles. However, its proximity to Central and South America makes Spanish one of the most spoken languages in the islands.

In Aruba, 80% of the population speaks Spanish, while in Bonaire and Curaçao 59% does it.

Europe

In Europe, Spanish is the fifth most commonly used language after German, French, English, and Italian.

Besides Spain, these are the European countries with most native speakers: France (9,06%), Portugal (6,98%), Italy (6,56%), Sweden (4,78%), Ireland (3.65%), Denmark (3.29%), and the Netherlands (3.24%)

Percentage of people who self reportedly know enough Spanish to hold a conversation, in the EU, 2005

Percentage of people who self reportedly know enough Spanish to hold a conversation, in the EU, 2005. Source

Other countries important to highlight are:

1. Switzerland

What it’s most interesting about this country is not only that they have four official languages (i.e. German, French, Italian, and Romansh), but also that Spanish is one of the most popular as a second language. About 150,000 people or 2.3 percent of the population speak the language.

2. Andorra

Andorra is the only country in the world with Catalan as an official language. 70% of the population also speaks Spanish due to the immigration of Spanish immigrants between 1955 and 1985.

3. Gibraltar

It is a British overseas territory. English is the official language, it is used by the Government and in schools. However, Most locals speak Spanish because of its proximity to Spain.

Africa

1. Morocco

Did you know what Morocco was also a Spanish colony?

That’s why now in Morocco still mainly people speak Spanish as a second language. It is spoken mainly in the northern region, also because of its proximity to Spain.

2. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Western Sahara, formerly Spanish Sahara, Spanish was the official language during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Sahrawi nomads (about 500,000 people) still speak the language.

3. Algeria

In 1492 Spain was declared a Catholic nation which resulted in expelling the Spanish speaking Muslims out of the country. Most of them flew to Algeria.

Also, at the end of the Spanish civil war many Republicans had to take up exile and went to Algeria too. That is why still today we can find 200.000 Spanish speakers in the city of Oran.

Asia

1. The Philippines

Only one country in Asia stands out for the use of Spanish language, this is the Philippines.

Yes, these islands were also a Spanish colony. They ruled the country from 1565-1898, and Spanish was the official language back then.

Then, at the end of the 19th century, the United States invaded the country. During that time English language was imposed and Spanish forbade.

After the Spanish-American War, Spanish remained as a co-official language until 1987. Since then, it has been designated as an optional language. This is why much of the Spanish language disappeared.

Today, there are some 120 to 187 languages spoken in the Philippines. However, most people speaks English and Tagalog (a mixture of English, Spanish and native languages).

There are also other languages like Bisaya that has many Spanish words. For instance, they use the same words for the days of the week, the months of the year, the numbers and the cookware.

And, there is also a language called Chavacano (i.e. Spanish-based Creole), that is very close to Spanish.

Oceania

1. Australia

Although Spanish is not one of the most spoken languages in Australia, it is interesting to see how the language has also gained popularity during the last years due to the immigration of Spanish and Latin Americans. Spanish is one of the 10 foreign languages spoken in the country

2. Guam Island

This is an island in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean and is part of the United States. It also stands out for speaking the Spanish language since 36% of the population speaks it.

Did any of the countries on this list surprise you?

Spanish as a second language is growing fast. It is a language of cultural integration, if you learn Spanish you will definitely have a major advantage when visiting all these countries and meet its people.

Plus, it’s one of the easiest languages for English speakers to pick up.

Learn Spanish in Colombia: In-Class & Online Courses

 

 

Where did the Spanish language come from, and how has it changed over time?

In this post, we’ll talk about linguistics, history, and in particular, the evolution of the Spanish language.

We’ll be exploring its roots and learning about the many words we use today that were adopted from other languages or dialects.

Let’s start from the beginning…

How many languages are there in the world?

According to Ethnologue, there are 142 different language families and a total of 7,111 languages are spoken today.

Around 40% of these languages are endangered and only 23 languages account for more than half the world’s population, being the Spanish language one of the most spoken languages in the world.

Learn Spanish: Languages with the most native speakers

Languages with the most native speakers. Source

The Spanish language we know today, has gone through a very interesting and long journey; it’s the result of thousands of years of language development and cultural influence.

Spanish belongs to the Indo-European family and derives many of its rules of grammar and syntax from Latin; around 75% of Spanish words have Latin roots.

However, Spanish has also other influences such as Celtiberian, Basque, Gothic, Arabic, and some of the native languages of the Americas.

How has Spanish changed over the years?

In his TEDed video, Alex Gendler talks about how languages change and evolve, and how groups or linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past.

Gendler finishes with an interesting request:

…the next time you hear a foreign language, pay attention. It may not be as foreign as you think.

Did you know that there are about 4,000 words in Spanish that come from Arabic?

Spanish, and its distinct dialects, emerged following years of invasion and settlement of many cultures in the Iberian Peninsula: the Moors from Northern Africa, the Visigoths from Central Europe and the Christians from the Roman Empire.

Castillan Spanish was originated as a continuation of the spoken Latin (Vulgar Latin) in the northern and central areas of Spain. Then, the northern dialect spread to the south where it absorbed local Romance dialects such as Judaeo-Spanish or Ladino and borrowed many words from the Andalusian Arabic.

Colonization and the Spanish language

Another important moment in history influenced the development of the Spanish language.

The colonization of the Americas in the 15th Century.

It all started when the Spanish “conquistadores” led by Christopher Columbus (Cristobal Colon in Spanish) arrived in the Caribbean in 1492.

The process of bringing the Spanish language and Spanish traditions, including the catholic religion, into the continent was referred to as “hispanización”.

There were many challenges in the “hispanización” process, but one of the biggest was communication.

Local languages were starkly different, the Catholic Church stepped in establishing learning institutions to teach Catholicism in Spanish.

The Spaniards occupied the territory for over three centuries, children and adolescents grew up, and the Spanish language started to spread and expand in the region.

Despite the efforts of the Spaniards to impose the language, many of the native local words were adopted.

The Castillan Spanish words were simply not accurate to the description of the many new discoveries of the region.

The adoption of the native vocabulary included local objects such as:

  • “canoas” (canoe) or
  • “hamacas” (Hammocks). Likewise, fauna and flora that didn’t exist in Europe at that time such as
  • ají (chilli pepper),
  • tiburón (shark),
  • iguana (iguana),
  • manatí (manatee),
  • guacamayo (macaw),
  • maní (peanut),
  • camote (sweet potato),
  • cacao (cocoa),
  • tomate (tomato),
  • tamal (tamale) and
  • papaya (papaya).

Over the years, the Americas Spanish evolved and Latin American Spanish and its many dialects emerged.

What About Spanish Today?

Spanish is today the official language of 20 countries.

It’s spoken by more than 500 million people around the world, and it’s the most widely spoken Romance language, both in number of speakers and number of countries.

Today, depending on where you go, you could hear differences in words, accents and even grammar.

Mexico is by far the country with the most native Spanish speakers worldwide, followed by Colombia, Argentina and Spain.

 

Top 12 countries with the largest number of native Spanish speakers worldwide

Countries with the largest number of native Spanish speakers worldwide Source

Spanish is the third most used language on the Internet and it’s second on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Furthermore, it plays an important role in the modern cultural and artistic industry; there are countless films, series, books, songs, and conferences in Spanish. And, it is expected that by 2060 around 754 million people will speak the language globally.

Is Colombian Spanish different?

In general, Colombian Spanish is a group of dialects of Spanish spoken in Colombia.

Since the dialects spoken in the various regions of Colombia are quite diverse, the term Colombian Spanish is of more geographical than linguistic relevance.

It is important to note that when referring to “Colombian Spanish” people normally refer to the standard dialect spoken in Bogotá. This dialect is generally well known for being probably the clearest Spanish to understand and the easiest Spanish to learn.

Colombian Spanish has gained popularity between the non-native speakers willing to learn or improve this language.

What do you think? Did you find the history of the Spanish language as rich and fascinating as we do? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram