The languages of Spain

How many languages do people speak in Spain? The modern literary standard of Spanish is derived from the original Romance dialect, which evolved over the years into the medieval Castilian language, and then the modern Castellano was created. Find out what other languages you can hear while walking the charming streets of Spain.

The Spanish flag
Spain currently has a total of 16 different languages (official and unofficial ones)


Castilian - the only official language of Spain

It can be spoken throughout the whole country. In addition, it is used as a customary language and is the mother tongue of the vast majority of inhabitants.



Catalan is spoken by around 9 million people. The vast majority of them live in the regions of Andorra, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands or Valencia, and it is there that it also obtained the status of an official language.


Both Catalan and Spanish belong to the group of Romance languages. They are not as different today as they were in the past. Catalan takes directly from Latin and has a twin language, Occitan. Occitan can be spoken in the Catalan valley in the south of France and in the Piedmont region of Italy. Catalan differs from Spanish in grammar, pronunciation and spelling.


Gallego - Galician

Galician also belongs to the group of Romance languages, whose common 'ancestor' was Latin. Galician is currently spoken by around 3 million people - mainly living in the Galician region, and also by emigrants who live in South America.


Inevitable, strong influences of Castilian Spanish changed the original version of the Galleo language. In order to avoid further transformations, work has been going on since 1983 to maintain the knowledge of Galician among the people of Galicia. As a result, over 80% of the region's population is now fluent in it - in schools, business, media and commerce.


Euskera - Basque

This language does not belong to any language group - it is deemed an isolated language. Basques live mainly in the regions on the border between Spain and France. In the Basque Country, it is treated on a par with Castellano and can be heard in schools, health services and offices. Knowledge of the Euskera language is not necessary for a trip to the Basque region, but it can make living and working there much easier - reading posters and leaflets.


Aranés - Occitan

Occitan is the official language in the Aran Valley. In 2006, thanks to a new autonomous statute, it also became the language of the entire Catalonia - it is closely related to Catalan. It belongs to the group of Romance Indo-European languages.




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Malaga, Spain



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