Spanish language, the language Spanish

How do you say language in Spanish?

What is language in Spanish?

There are many different words for language in Spanish, which you will find below:

Language: el idioma, el lenguaje, el habla, la lengua

Though they all mean language, the words for language in Spanish vary based on their context. Take the sentence below:


Me encanta aprender idiomas; en la escuela siempre tomé francés. Mis lenguas maternas son inglés y español, lo que en lenguaje sencillo se dice bilingüe. Por ende, yo debería de tener una facilidad con los idiomas, pero la triste realidad es que estoy perdiendo el habla del francés por no practicarlo.


I love to learn languages; in school I always took French. My first languages are English and Spanish, so I’m what you’d call in plain language bilingual. For that reason, I should have a facility with languages, but the sad truth is I’m forgetting the French language because I haven’t been practicing it.

Though in English the word language is used throughout the sentence above, in Spanish there are subtle differences in the translations for the word. Make sure to use idioma or lengua for when you’re learning a language, lenguaje for when you make a reference to a specific kind of language (i.e. bad language, plain language, etc.), and habla for when you refer to speaking a language (i.e. English-speaking: de habla inglesa).