With 405 million native speakers, Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken language in the world. But while all of those 405 million people might speak the same language, they don’t all speak it the same way.
So, let’s take a look at the different types of Spanish, where they’re spoken, and what that means for organizations doing business in Spanish-speaking countries.
How different are the different types of Spanish?
There’s not as much variation between the various Spanish dialects as there is between dialects in other languages. Most Spanish speakers, no matter where they’re from, can understand each other simply by speaking more slowly, listening carefully and using context clues for unfamiliar vocabulary.
That said, here are some key facts and statistics about where Spanish spoken and how it differs from place to place:
Spanish in Spain
Number of Speakers: 46.6 million
Where it’s spoken: Spain
Spain is the motherland of the Spanish language, of course. But these days, Spanish speakers from Spain are greatly outnumbered by Spanish speakers from other places.
Latin American Spanish
Number of Speakers: More than 418 million
Where it’s spoken: The United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America
90% of Spanish speakers are Latin American, though indigenous languages are also spoken throughout Mexico, Central, and South America. In the Latin American market, the largest Spanish-speaking countries are:
- The United States.