Spanish language

Romanic language originating in the Iberian Peninsula

Spanish is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain, with hundreds of millions of native speakers around the world. It is the primary language of most of Spain's former colonies in Latin America. It is usually considered the world's second-most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese.

Spanish is most important to an American. Our connection with Spain is already important and will become daily more so. Besides this the antient part of American history is written chiefly in Spanish. ~ Thomas Jefferson

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  • As a young student in Mexico, I had no favorite artists. I was mostly impressed by the folk art in the Mexican markets. My grandma used to take me to the markets where I was fascinated by the native crafts. The designs and patterns on blankets, baskets, pottery, jewelry, and toys were my inspiration. Later on, I learned about the Mexican muralists that painted beautiful images on the walls of public buildings. Diego Rivera, Orozco, Tamayo, and others. Being born in Mexico has made my life richer, I feel fortunate to be able to speak the beautiful Spanish language, and I feel I came to the USA with a wonderful culture.
  • Soy boricua. In spite of my family and in spite of my country, I’m writing the process of the Puerto Rican mind—taking it out of context as a native and a foreigner-expressing it through Spanish, Spanglish, and EnglishIndependencia, Estado Libre Asociado, and Estadidad—from the position of a nation, a colony, and a state—Wishy, Wishy-Washy, and Washy—not as one political party that is parted into piddley parts and partied out.
  • But when you think back on Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Johnson, Kennedy, those memories, for working people, for people who believe in a strong defense and for peace, for people who believe in a brighter future for our country, better education for our children, self-respect for the elderly, dignity for those who are black or who don't speak English well, but might speak Spanish, are very important.
  • The United States for many years has tried to convert Puerto Rico into a model of hybrid culture: the Spanish language with English inflections, the Spanish language with hinges on its backbone--the better to bow down before the Yankee soldier. Puerto Rican soldiers have been used as cannon fodder in imperialist wars, as in Korea, and have even been made to fire at their own brothers, as in the massacre perpetrated by the U.S. army a few months ago against the unarmed people of Panama--one of the most recent crimes carried out by Yankee imperialism. And yet, despite this assault on their will and their historical destiny, the people of Puerto Rico have preserved their culture, their Latin character, their national feelings, which in themselves give proof of the implacable desire for independence lying within the masses on that Latin American island.
  • This new request is for additional radio and television to Latin America and Southeast Asia. These tools are particularly effective and essential in the cities and villages of those great continents as a means of reaching millions of uncertain peoples to tell them of our interest in their fight for freedom. In Latin America, we are proposing to increase our Spanish and Portuguese broadcasts to a total of 154 hours a week, compared to 42 hours today, none of which is in Portuguese, the language of about one-third of the people of South America. The Soviets, Red Chinese and satellites already broadcast into Latin America more than 134 hours a week in Spanish and Portuguese. Communist China alone does more public information broadcasting in our own hemisphere than we do. Moreover, powerful propaganda broadcasts from Havana now are heard throughout Latin America, encouraging new revolutions in several countries. Similarly, in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, we must communicate our determination and support to those upon whom our hopes for resisting the communist tide in that continent ultimately depend. Our interest is in the truth.
  • This lack of social contact between conquerors and conquered, allied to the fact that the Visigoths were considerably Romanized before they even entered Spain and had even adopted the practice of using Latin as the language of their official documents, has meant that the number of words which have entered the Spanish language as a direct result of the Visigothic occupation is strikingly small.
  • Popé … ordered in all the pueblos through which he passed that they instantly break up and burn the images of the holy Christ… and that they burn the temples, break up the bells, and separate from the wives whom God had given them in marriage and take those whom they desired. They were ordered likewise not to teach the Castilian language in any pueblo….
    • "Declaration of Pedro Naranjo of the Queres Nation" (1681) describing the Pueblo Revolt.
  • The Spanish language itself neatly illustrates these distinct levels of influence. There is next to nothing Arabic or Germanic in the morphology and structural syntax of the Spanish language, even though both languages, and particularly Arabic, contributed many isolated words and expressions to its vocabulary.
  • When language is a cause of discrimination, there must be an intensive educational effort to enable Spanish-speaking students to become fully proficient in English, while maintaining their own language and cultural heritage... Handicapped persons must be admitted into the mainstream of our society. Too often the handicapped population of the nation—over 30 million men, women and children—has been denied the rights taken for granted by other citizens. Time after time, the paths are closed to the handicapped in education, employment, transportation, health care, housing, recreation, insurance, polling booths and due process of law. National involvement is necessary to correct discrimination in these areas.
  • The Spanish language reflects the legacy of Eurasian ancient civilizations, a legacy enriched through the centuries by movements of peoples and groups into and out of the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish also is reflected in geographical names on the landscapes of the New World. From the first moment Spanish conquistadors set foot on the American mainland, they left Spanish language place names on the land (toponyms).
  • It is crucial to build from Fanon's account to rethink the construction and navigation of boundaries associated with categories of language and identity. The status of French in particular Caribbean contexts in the previous Fanonian example is not entirely unlike English language hegemony in the United States, which relies heavily on schools as flagship institutions for language standardization. This positions standardized English both as an institutional norm and aspiration. While school actors used different varieties of Spanish and English, standardized English was understood as the normative language variety for official business. Most school-wide announcements were made in English, and all formal staff meetings were conducted in English. Meanwhile, the majority of school employees perceived as Spanish-dominant occupied subordinate hierarchical positions as security guards, custodians, and lunchroom workers. This reflects the structural stigmatization of the Spanish language.
    • Jonathan Rosa, Looking Like a Language, Sounding Like a Race: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad (2019)

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