Spanish (español), also called Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in Castile, a region in Spain. Approximately 406 million people worldwide speak Spanish as a native language.
- With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world's No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language. It is slightly ahead of English (328 million) but far behind Chinese (1.2 billion).
- Spanish is one of the world's most phonetic languages. If you know how a word is spelled, you can almost always know how it is pronounced.
- Spanish and English share much of their vocabulary through cognates, as both languages derive many of their words from Latin and Arabic.