4 Vote

I just read a comment on another thread that awoke a question that had been sleeping in the back of my mind.

the comment by Izan that triggered question

My wife and I vacationed in Spain several years ago. We spent time in Madrid, then drove to Valencia, and back. And we found people speaking several other languages. Even the street and highway signs in Valencia were in Spanish and another language.

I received a quizzical look from more than one person when I asked "¿Hablas español?" I guess they could tell (in more ways than one) that I wasn't from around there. smile I was later told by a friend in Valencia "Hablamos castellano" not 'español'.

So, what language(s) is(are) spoken in Spain?

Are there Spaniards that don't speak Spanish? (or Castellano?)

  • Thanks for this Chaparrito...this is what I was wondering as well when I originally posted my comments as I know that Bosque does not even remotely resemble Spanish, but it I know that in some pockets of Spain it is spoken there. - Izanoni1 Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • There are about 1 million Brits along the Costas who don't speak Spanish!! - 00515f39 Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • Basque is a major language there, too, isn't it? As for the Brits, shame on them! They should learn Spanish, for Pedro's sake! :) - 0057ed01 Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • yes Basque...not Bosque - Izanoni1 Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • Now,now volponecito are you going to complain about the million or so HispanoAmericao's in the US that don't speak English?:) - Yeser007 Nov 20, 2009 flag

15 Answers

3 Vote

link text

alt text

  • Sorry robertico , What language is spoken in the green zone on the map above? - iker Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • Wiki, I should have known... :-) - chaparrito Nov 20, 2009 flag
  • The dark green is Asturian and the light green is Aranese - 0068e2f4 Nov 20, 2009 flag
4 Vote

Cuando yo iba a una de las organizaciones en que estudiaba metafísica (GFU or in English UGB) siempre ocurrían discusiones acoloradas acerca de temas como Dios, la reencarnación, el vegetarianismo, etc, Casi siempre las discusiones terminaban cuando alguien decía: "El Maestro dice..." (refiriéndose a la literatura que el fundador de la GFU había dejado escrita), y ese era el fin de la conversación. Mucha gente se inventaban citas del Maestre para ganar la disputa.

Bueno, pues aquí yo voy a aplicar el mismo truco con este mensaje que me ha llegado del Olympus: LOL

lazarus1907 said:

There is an endless debate regardless this distinction, and there'll never be a consensus about it. Let's go back in time:At some point, in Spain, there were many dialects of modern vulgar Latin in the peninsula, and one of them, spoken in a tiny little region of the north of Spain, Castilla, eventually gained power and territories. People from other dialects even found it funny and rough, but it spread throughout Spain, and eventually became the dominant dialect in Spain: Castellano. When the Peninsula was officially called España (from Hispania), the term "español", to refer to the language, began to be used not long before people emigrated to America after its "discovery". So, "Castellano" was the original name of the language most people are here to learn, but later people began to use it for other reasons, such as differentiating one dialect from another, or the way people speak in Spain from others. The thing is, it all depends on your intention, but originally it was the name we now know as Spanish.

3 Vote

According to the CIA world factbook:

Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally

Link to map

According to a recent language census in Catalonia, about a third of the population consider Catalan to be there primary language based on initial language exposure (first language), habitual use and language they identify as their "native" language.

3 Vote

"Hablamos castellano" not 'español'.

I am sorry to see there are so many idiots out there. This is like saying I speak American and not English.

Spanish is the official language in my country and there is so far nothing they can do about that. Other languages coexist, but the ONLY official language spoken by everybody is Spanish!

"Are there Spaniards that don't speak Spanish? (or Castilian?)"

this question makes a Spanish person sad. Anybody in his clear mind would think this question in Spain would be impossible.

And no, there is no Spanish person who does not speak Spanish, even some say otherwise..which is the sad thing about this. Makes me really sick to my stomach sick

  • Heidita eres española.... Olé. jejeje Aunque le llamamos Español. En la escuela me dijeron que propiamente era castellano ya que en España existen varias lenguas autóctonas, era más por eso pienso yo. - EdiOswaldo Nov 25, 2009 flag
2 Vote

In terms of number of speakers and dominance, the most prominent of the languages of Spain is Spanish, which nearly everyone in Spain can speak as either first or second language.

This is from Robertos' link, and I have never ever heard anything this stupid in my life.

Everybody in Spain speaks Spanish! Does everybody in England speak English? I mean......

2 Vote

Sorry Heidita, there is another language in England and it is called "cockney". If I spoke it well, you would not understand it.

Do you have long bacons and knobbly biscuits?


  • jejeje, long 'legs' and knobbly (boney or nice?) 'knees'. ¡Qué raro es esta habla! :-) - chaparrito Nov 26, 2009 flag
1 Vote

I know Morti...talking about going up the apples and pairs...jeje, the only one I remember.wink

But these guys speak English too I guess, and understand English.

I mean, I don't understand a question like: does everybody understand Spanish in Spain.confused

1 Vote

¡Ay! ¡Que he hecho para comenzar una disputa, sin darme cuenta! Por favor, sepa que no era mi intención ni deseo discutir esta tema, ni molestar a nadie. shut eye Perdónenme Heidita y todos, ¡Por Favor!

I simply and honestly wanted to know about the variety of cultures and languages that exist in Spain. My question was not meant to be an insult. Looking at it now, I realize it would have been better to say "What languages are spoken in Spain?" thus making clear that there is more than the official language.

The truth is that in the United States, there are many languages spoken by persons whose culture precedes the settlement by Europeans. And in some remote areas, the older members of such communities, although they were born in and raised in and thus are rightly considered 'Americans' or 'Estadounidenses') speak little or no English.

This is true in other as well. Some friends I met in Cozumel are learning to speak Maya. There are residents of that island (Mexicans) that only speak limited Spanish and prefer to communicate in Maya. We found a similar situation when we spent time in Mazatlán. I met a number of young people that were learning Mixteco in order to converse with Mexicans that don't speak 'Spanish' at all or not that well. Just the other day, right here in Kentucky, I met a young man from Guerrero, Mexico that told me he 'only speaks a little Spanish.' He grew up speaking Nahuatl.

I am truly sorry that this thread took an unintended negative turn. Please don't think less of me for this.

Tu Amigo, Chaparrito. downer

1 Vote

I want to echo Chaparrito's comments, as my original comments which may have started this thread in the first place were not intended to insult. My own background is not English but American, and so I likewise am familiar with the fact that in the US there are places (some right in my own backyard) where you can find that English is not the primary language of an entire community, attested to by the presence of rows and rows of storefronts and signs in various languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese across various communities. Still, English is considered the primary language here in America, and I suppose that is why they call America a melting pot.

I was also vaguely familiar with the fact that there are many indigenous languages spoken across America in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico and especially Paraguay which has a strong Guarani influence. I had also heard reference to a dialect used in England called 'piker' (but after reading Mortimer's comments, I think that this may have been 'cockney' that I was thinking about and piker was likely a derogatory term used to describe the people who use this manner of speech). I had heard some of this spoken in various movies and it sounded as foreign to my ears as Arabic or Farsi would.

I have always heard that "A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing," and I suppose that my insensitive and ignorant comments have proved this statement true. My imperfect understanding of these things, I believe has been cause for some anger. I assure you that I would not have asked these questions had I known better. I hope that you can excuse my own provincial understanding of the world. Please forgive me for any anger or frustration that my comments may have caused. As I said, they were based upon my own ignorance.


  • reference to "seperatist groups" deleted - 00494d19 Nov 28, 2009 flag
  • Bueno Izan, fue una consideración interesante. ¿No? :-) - chaparrito Dec 1, 2009 flag
1 Vote

No answers??

Okay, here is mine...

England is not really a country, it’s a commonwealth in the Country known as the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales) Plus includes territories not part of the two mainlands: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, plus much much more

Official Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

Ethnic groups consist of white (of which English 83.6%, Scottish 8.6%, Welsh 4.9%, Northern Irish 2.9%) 92.1%, black 2%, Indian 1.8%, Pakistani 1.3%,

I would say the answer is no, just like everyone in the U.S. doesn't speak English; you don't need to speak the official language to become a citizen of the U.S. you just need to pass the exam.....or born here.

  • Yea, but isn't the test IN english?? - Charlius Jan 1, 2010 flag
  • Parts of it is, yes...see my post on this wonderful citizenship test our country has.... - bdclark0423 Jan 1, 2010 flag
  • "Parts of it are ..." - samdie Jan 1, 2010 flag
1 Vote

The US Citizenship test does have an English comrehsion component

The applicant must be able to demonstrate he can understand 1 out of 3 spoken sentencea by respond meaningfully, there's 1 of 3 written sentances, and 1 of 3 read sentences to pass the English part of the test. An applicant shall not be failed because of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation, and can read one sentence without extended pauses or can read all content words but may omit short words that do not interfere with meaning.

Basically, can get a 33% on putting together a meaningul response and just to get a a sense of the test, check out the this link It's flashcards to help an applicant prepare, these flash cards contain all the words found in the English writing portion of the new naturalization test. I'm not even sure many of the US students could even text message a complete sentence correctly on their phone.....

The rest of the test (U.S. Civics) can be taken in the language of your choice and you must earn 6 correct questions out of 10. There are a total of 100 questions in all, and you can request study guides, in your own language of these questions.

Most applicants score above 95% percent of the correct answers, while US Citizens with a high school diploma score less than 60% (i found a polll that stated it was at about 51%)

So, Heidita....don't loose your lunch yet about Spaniards not speaking Spanish....the U.S. is a pathetic case when you compare....

0 Vote

Thanks for the input Izan and Robertico! smile And the links were helpful, too. If I'm right, Izan, the link to the census appears to be in the Catalán language. It reminds me of the street signs we saw while in Valencia.

But the question still remains, "Are there Spaniards that don't speak Spanish? (or Castilian?)" question

0 Vote

Basque is a major language there, too, isn't it? - volponecito

Define major, volpon.

0 Vote

Does everybody (natives) in England speak English?

No answers??

0 Vote

I bought a packet of flour in a Spanish Supermarket. On the front there is

  1. Harina de trigo
  2. Ogi-irina
  3. Farina de blat
  4. Fariña de trigo

This is practically the same for all commodities - 4 variations.

Interesting discussion!

  • It's the same in 4 languages (sp, it, fr, po)..... ;-) - Carlos-F Nov 26, 2009 flag
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