Posted October 12, 2016
Today is one of the six language days established by the United Nations organization UNESCO. Each of the language days focuses on one of the U.N.'s six official languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.
But the idea behind the language days is to encourage multilingualism (the ability to speak more than one language).
Spanish is the second most-spoken language, if you go by NATIVE speakers, after Mandarin Chinese. (English is the most spoken SECOND language and the second most spoken language overall, counting native speaker and second-language speakers, again after Mandarin Chinese.)
|These kids are in Costa Rica, one of the Central |
American countries in which Spanish is the
It's the official or national language of 1 country in Europe (Spain), 1 country in Africa (Equatorial Guinea), and 19 countries in the Americas (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico). Spanish used to be an official language of the Philippines, from the mid-1500s all the way up to 1987. Since then it has had “voluntary” or “optional auxiliary” language status in the government – but it is used very little in everyday life in the Philippines, and fewer than one percent of the population speaks Spanish fluently!
Spanish is a commonly spoken language in a few nations that don't claim it as an official language: Andorra, Gibraltar, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Guyana, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. And there are Spanish-based creole languages spoken in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, in the Philippines, and in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Spanish isn't called “Spanish” by Spanish speakers – instead, it is called either español or castellano – which translate to Spanish or Castilian. There are other languages spoken in Spain, such as Basque, Catalan, and Galician, so many people do not think it is proper to refer to the language of Castile as Spanish.
Check out this infographic on Spanish!
Also on this date:
aka Unity Day
Second Wednesday in October
Wednesday of the second full week of October
Laos Liberation Day
Dia de la Raza
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