Spain's Linguistic Diversity
True, Spanish is definitely the national language and also the only language you may use if you wish to be understood just about everywhere in Spain, but Spain also has three other officially recognized languages, and Spain's linguistic diversity is a hot political issue in various regions. Actually, in regards to a fourth in the country's residents use a tongue besides Spanish as their first language. This is a brief look at Spain's linguistic diversity. If you plan to study at one of the many Spanish schools in Spain then you will definitely find this page useful.
Euskara is easily the most unusual language of Spain - and an unusual language for Europe as well, since it doesn't fit in the Indo-European group of languages which includes Spanish as well as French, English and also the other Romance and Germanic languages. Euskara is the language spoken from the Basque people, an ethnic group both in Spain and France which has its very own identity in addition to separatist sentiments on both sides in the Franco-Spanish border. (Euskara doesn't have legal recognition in France, where far fewer people speak it). About 600,000 speak Euskara, sometimes known as Basque, as a first language.
What makes Euskara linguistically interesting is that it has not been shown conclusively to be related to any other language. Some of its characteristics include three classes of quantity (single, plural and indefinite), numerous declinations, positional nouns, regular spelling, a relative absence of irregular verbs, no gender, and pluri-personal verbs. The fact that Euskara is surely an ergative language (a linguistic term involving cases of nouns and their relations to verbs) has caused some linguists to think that Euskara may have come from the Caucasus region, although the relationship with languages of that area has not been demonstrated. In any case, chances are that Euskara, or least the words it developed from, has been in the area for centuries, and also at on one occasion it was spoken within a much larger region.
The most common English word which comes from Euskara is "silhouette", the French spelling of a Basque surname. The rare English word "bilbo", a type of sword, could be the Euskara word for Bilbao, a city around the western edge of Basque Country. And "chaparral" reached English by means of Spanish, which modified the Euskara word txapar, a thicket. The most typical Spanish word that originated from Euskara is izquierda, "left."
Euskara uses the Roman alphabet, including most letters that other European languages use, and the ñ. Most of the letters are pronounced roughly like they'd be in Spanish, which is useful for those who book a course in Spain to learn Spanish the correct way.
Catalan is spoken not just in Spain, but additionally in parts of Andorra (where it is the national language), France and Sardinia in Italy. Catalan looks something like a mixture of Spanish and French, even though it is a major language on its own and, some say, might be more similar to Italian than to Spanish. Its alphabet is comparable to those of English, although it includes a Ç. Vowels can take both grave and acute accents (as with à and á, respectively). Conjugation is quite similar to Spanish's. About 4 million people use Catalan as a first language, approximately that many also speaking it as a second language.
Galician has strong similarities to Portuguese, particularly in vocabulary and syntax. It developed along with Portuguese until the 14th century, when a split developed, largely for political reasons. With the native Galician speaker, Portuguese is about 85 percent intelligible. About 4 million people speak Galician, 3 million of them in Spain, the rest in Portugal with a few communities in Latin America.