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A Latin-based language which has been influenced by a number of factors

Spanish (español) is a language belonging to the Romance language group of the Indo-European family. It is a native language for about 460 million people; it is spoken by almost 540 million people, which makes it the fourth most widely spoken language in the world after Chinese, English and Hindi and the second most spoken language by number of native speakers. Spanish is one of the main international languages, alongside with English and French.

Beware false friends!

Following prolonged contacts with other civilizations, the Spanish language has been enriched by a lexicon borrowed from a number of Paleo-Spanish languages (Iberian, Spanish-Celtic), Gaulish, Basque, Arabic, Latin, Castilian and Indian languages (particularly, after colonization of Latin America by the Spanish Empire).

Spanish is morphologically related to French, due to the common Latin origin of the both languages, but mutual understanding remains very limited, and the archaic nature of French spelling sophisticates the understanding of written language. Like the other Romance languages, Spanish has adopted the Latin alphabet and it additionally uses diacritics and digraphs. It shares the most of the phonological and grammatical modifications specifical for Vulgar Latin with the other Romance languages, such as reduction of vowel quantity, the loss of declensions and the disappearance of deponent verbs.

As compared with other Romance languages, Spanish can be characterized by a particularly free syntactic typology with much less restrictions for the word-order in sentences. In general, the Spanish conjugation system has morphologically remained very close to Latin.

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