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History of Spanish

Like anything else in the world, knowing the history of a language can give us a better perspective of how it evolved to become the way we speak it. There were many ancient languages such as; Greek, Latin, Egyptian and Hebrew. According to a book called, 'The Story of Language' by Mario Pei, it states; "Among all the world's languages, Greek and the Latin-Romance group are the ones of which we have the most complete unbroken history".

"Latin records run from c. 500 B.C. To the end of the Roman Empire and beyond, merging with nascent French in A.D. 842 and with nascent Spanish and Italian in 950 and 960, respectively." In my research I have discovered that of all the Romance Languages Spanish is the most widely spoken with Spain, almost all of South and Central America, Caribbean, Balearic and Canary Islands, Africa, U.S.A. There is also a variety of Spanish called, 'Ladino' (Spanish Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492) spoken in Israel and Turkey.

As you will see in this course, Spanish varies in accent and slang widely from country to country, but the difference is not so great as to cause confusion. According to the book called, 'The Languages of The World' by Kenneth Katzner, "The purest form of Spanish is known as Castilian, originally one of the dialects that developed from Latin after the Roman conquest of Hispania in the 3rd century A.D."

There are English words that have developed from Spanish Origin, here are just a few; cargo, adobe, vanilla, tornado, embargo and bonanza. There are many words that you will find very familiar to English as you immerse yourself in study. Be sure to learn the pronunciation of each letter.

Image from personal files: Gaucha tins. These usually contain Yerba Mate, a herb that is drunk both hot and cold by the Gauchas and peoples of Argentina.

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