Voice Over Sydney: Spanish (Español) is spoken by nearly 400,000,000 persons in Spain, all of Central and South America except Brazil (where the closely related Portuguese language is spoken), as well as in the Canary Islands, parts of Morocco, and the Philippines. In the United States Spanish is used amongst numerous Hispanic communities in California, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, in New York and Chicago, in the free state of Puerto Rico etc. The media in Spanish language are developing very dynamically in the USA.
Spanish is one of the five official languages of the United Nations.
Voice Over Sydney: Spanish Language History
Spanish dialects developed from the Vulgar Latin which was brought to the Iberian peninsula after the Roman conquest in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC. The earliest written materials, in the form of glosses on Latin texts, date from the mid 11th century (see Glossae Aemilianensae), and works of literature in Spanish first appeared c. 1150.
Voice Over Sydney: Spanish Language Dialects
Spanish is also known (particularly in Latin America) as Castilian, after the dialect from which modern standard Spanish developed. That dialect arose in the 9th century around the town of Burgos, in north central Spain (Old Castile), and, as Spain was reconquered from the Moors, spread southward to central Spain (New Castile) around Madrid and Toledo by the 11th century. In the late 15th century the kingdoms of Castile and Leon merged with that of Aragon, and Castilian became the official language of all Spain. The regional dialects of Aragon, Navarre, Leon, Asturias, and Santander were crowded out gradually and today survive only in secluded rural areas. Galician, a Portuguese dialect spoken in northwestern Spain, was also much reduced.
Voice Over Sydney: Ladino and Judesmo
An archaic form of Castilian Spanish, known as Ladino or Judesmo, was preserved among the descendents of the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492.
The dialect of Spanish used in Arab-occupied Spain prior to the 12th century was called Mozarabic (see Mozarabic language). A remarkably archaic form of Spanish with many borrowings from Arabic, it is known primarily from Mozarabic refrains (called kharjahs) added to Arabic and Hebrew poems.