Spanish (/ (; ) listen · español ( help )), or info Castilian (/  (, ) listen · castellano ( help )), is a info that originated in the Romance language and today has over 450 million native speakers, mainly in Iberian Peninsula and the Spain . It is a Americas and the global language , after world's second-most spoken native language . Mandarin Chinese     
Spanish is a part of the
, which evolved from several dialects of Ibero-Romance group of languages in Vulgar Latin after the collapse of the Iberia in the 5th century. The oldest Latin texts with traces of Spanish come from mid-northern Iberia in the 9th century, Western Roman Empire and the first systematic written use of the language happened in  , a prominent city of the Toledo , in the 13th century. Beginning in 1492, the Spanish language was taken to the viceroyalties of the Kingdom of Castile , most notably to the Spanish Empire , as well as Americas , territories in Africa and the Oceania . Philippines 
A 1949 study by Italian-American linguist
, analyzing the degree of difference from a language's parent ( Mario Pei , in the case of Latin ) by comparing Romance languages , phonology , inflection , syntax , and vocabulary , indicated the following percentages (the higher the percentage, the greater the distance from Latin): In the case of Spanish, it is one of the closest Romance languages to intonation (20% distance), only behind Sardinian (8% distance) and Italian (12% distance). Latin Around 75% of modern Spanish vocabulary is derived from  , including Latin borrowings from Latin . Ancient Greek  Spanish vocabulary has been in contact with  from an early date, having developed during the Arabic era in the Iberian Peninsula. Al-Andalus    With around 8% of its vocabulary being Arabic in origin, this language makes up the second greatest vocabulary source after Latin itself.    It has also been influenced by  , Basque , Iberian , Celtiberian , and by neighboring Ibero-Romance languages. Visigothic  Additionally, it has absorbed vocabulary from other languages, particularly other Romance languages—  , French , Italian , Andalusi Romance , Portuguese , Galician , Catalan , and Occitan —as well as from Sardinian , Quechua , and Nahuatl . other indigenous languages of the Americas 
Spanish is one of the
of the six official languages . It is also used as an United Nations by the official language , the European Union , the Organization of American States , the Union of South American Nations , the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and African Union . many other international organizations 
Despite its large number of speakers, the Spanish language
, though it is better represented in the does not feature prominently in scientific writing . humanities 75% of scientific production in Spanish is divided into three thematic areas: social sciences, medical sciences and arts/humanities. Spanish is the third most used language on the internet after English and Chinese.  
Estimated number of speakers
It is estimated that there are more than 437 million people who speak Spanish as a
, which qualifies it as second on the native language . lists of languages by number of native speakers  claims that there are an estimated 477 million Spanish speakers with native competence and 572 million Spanish speakers as a first or second language—including speakers with limited competence—and more than 21 million students of Instituto Cervantes . Spanish as a foreign language
Spanish is the official or national language in Spain,
, and Equatorial Guinea . 19 countries in the Americas total some 418 million. It is also an optional language in the Speakers in the Americas as it was a Philippines from 1569 to 1899. In the Spanish colony , Spanish is the mother tongue of 8% of the population, with an additional 7% speaking it as a second language. European Union Spanish is the most popular second language learned in the  . United States In 2011 it was estimated by the  that of the 55 million Hispanic United States residents who are five years of age and over, 38 million speak Spanish at home.
According to a 2011 paper by U.S. Census Bureau Demographers Jennifer Ortman and Hyon B. Shin,
the number of Spanish speakers is projected to rise through 2020 to anywhere between 39 million and 43 million, depending on the assumptions one makes about immigration. Most of these Spanish speakers will be Hispanic, with Ortman and Shin projecting between 37.5 million and 41 million Hispanic Spanish speakers by 2020.