Spanish Language Day is an annual celebration of one of the six official languages of the United Nations, marked every year on April 23. The celebration aims to promote and appreciate multi-linguism and the significance of Spanish culture in the world, especially in the Americas. This day is formally known as the U.N. Spanish Language Day as U.N. is the principal sponsor and organizer of the event.
History of Spanish Language Day
The Spanish language is part of the Indo-European language stream and takes its origin from Latin. Understanding the formation of this language is quite simple; consider Romance as the root language from which western and eastern Romance languages emerge. From Western Romance, derive Iberian which will further split into Castilian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Tracing the history of this language, after the fall of the Roman Empire, every state began developing its dialect and script. Spanish language in its infancy is described as a mixture of crude Latin and local languages with three different stages of development. The first stage is considered during the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century and the emergence of individual kingdoms in Iberia.
The second stage was during and after the Moorish conquest of Iberia in which Arab-Berber invaders from North Africa ruled the peninsula in the ninth century. During this time, Arabic had a great influence on not only the language but also on the Iberian culture. All during this time, the language continued to evolve but still did not gain the status of being acknowledged as an actual Spanish language.
The third stage of the language’s evolution was when the Kingdom of Castile was established in the 13th century. The overthrowing of the Berbers in the land saw the local Iberians starting to restore the post-Latin roots of the language, hence giving it a proper new script and dialect which ultimately evolved into Spanish.
The Spanish conquests in the Americas and the following emergence of the Spanish Empire was the determining factor behind Spanish gaining an international language status. After the formation of the United Nations, Spanish was among the six languages chosen to be the official languages.
Spanish Language Day timeline
Rome is founded and the city develops into a city-state with its language and culture.
The romance language splits into western and eastern languages based on local influences.
The Spanish conquests in America take the Spanish language into a new land, which develops it into a modern language.
The U.N. officially announces April 23 as Spanish Language Day.
Spanish Language Day FAQs
What other languages are celebrated by the U.N.?
The U.N. has six official languages and it celebrates all of them on six different days. The languages are English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
What is considered to be the best piece of Spanish literature?
Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” is considered the most emblematic work in the canon of Spanish literature.
How can I learn Spanish in a non-Spanish country?
There are many online teachers available to teach Spanish. The key element to understand is that you cannot simply learn a language without speaking or hearing it often. The most important thing while learning any language is to practice speaking the language with easy day-to-day sentences.
Spanish Language Day Activities
Give learning Spanish a shot
No one can learn a language in one day. However, you can try experimenting with learning Spanish, and you may continue doing so beyond the day.
Study the history of this language
Learn the history of the language and how it developed over time. Discover how it became an internationally spoken language.
Explore Spanish via movies, T.V. shows, or songs
A number of streaming sites host good-quality Spanish movies, T.V. shows, and music. It's no problem if you don't understand the language, just turn on the subtitles and try to comprehend the flow in Spanish and the similarity it may have with your language.
5 Interesting Facts About Spanish
A vulgar Latin
Spanish is derived from Latin and Romance languages and is sometimes called a vulgar form of Latin.
It’s spoken by 559 million people
Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world, around 560 million people speak it.
It’s spoken in 44 countries
Spanish is spoken in at least 44 countries and is the most spoken language in the western hemisphere.
The status of Mexico
Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, surprised, aren't you?
The influence of Arabic
According to sources, there are around 4,000 words in Spanish with Arabic roots.
Why We Love Spanish Language Day
Easy to understand
Admit it, English is the most widely understood language. For English speakers, understanding Spanish is relatively easy as the roots are primarily the same. Besides, many words have been exchanged between the languages. Normally, an English speaker would require 22 to 24 weeks to be able to speak Spanish proficiently.
It is a beautiful language
Spanish is considered by many to be one of the most romantic languages. The vocabulary is diverse and has been used to express feelings of love and passion in many pieces of literature. More people try to learn Spanish than any other language, after English.
It is a day to celebrate Spanish
Days like these give people a refreshing change momentarily in which they get to skip their daily routine, and admire the other things happening around them. Spanish Language Day can be a great day for many people, Spanish and non-Spanish speakers, to celebrate this language by watching a Spanish movie, or T.V. show, or by simply listening to Spanish music.
Spanish Language Day dates