Spanish language in the United States

The United States has forty-one million people aged five or older that speak Spanish at home,[1] making Spanish the second most spoken language of the United States by far. Spanish is the most studied foreign language in the United States,[2] with about six million students.[3] With over 50 million native speakers, heritage language speakers and second language speakers, the United States now has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico,[4] although it is not an official language of the country.[5] About half of all American Spanish speakers also assessed themselves as speaking English "very well" in the 2000 U.S. Census.[6] This percentage increased to 57% in the 2013-2017 American Community Survey.[7] The United States is among the Spanish-speaking countries that has its own Academy of the Spanish Language.[8]

There are more Spanish-speakers in the United States than speakers of French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Hawaiian, varieties of Chinese and Native American languages combined. According to the 2012 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, Spanish is spoken at home by 38.3 million people aged five or older, more than twice that of 1990.[9][10]

The Spanish language has been present in what is now the United States since the 15th century, with the arrival of Spanish colonization in North America. Colonizers settled in areas that would later become the states of Florida, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Spanish explorers explored areas of 42 future U.S. states leaving behind a varying range of Hispanic legacy in the North American continent. Western regions of the Louisiana Territory were also under Spanish rule between 1763 and 1800, after the French and Indian War, further extending the Spanish influence throughout the modern-day United States of America.

After the incorporation of these areas into the United States in the first half of the 19th century, the Spanish language was later reinforced in the country by the acquisition of Puerto Rico in 1898. Later waves of emigration from Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, El Salvador, Argentina, and elsewhere in Hispanic America to the United States beginning in the second half of the 19th century to the present-day have strengthened the role of the Spanish language in the country. Today, Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, thus increasing the use and importance of American Spanish in the United States.

Spanish in the United States by county
Spanish language distribution in the United States by county as of 2000.


Juan Ponce de León (Santervás de Campos, Valladolid, Spain). He was one of the first Europeans to arrive to the current United States because he led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named. Spanish was the first European language spoken in the territory that is now the United States.

Early Spanish settlements

Spanish was among the very first European languages spoken in North America, preceded only by Old Norse. Spanish arrived in the territory of the modern United States in 1493, with Columbus' arrival to Puerto Rico. Ponce de León explored what is now Florida in 1513. In 1565, the Spaniards founded St. Augustine, Florida, and as of the early 1800s, it became the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in what is now the United States. In 1898, San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, became the oldest city in all of the U.S. territory: Juan Ponce De León founded San Juan in 1508.

Historically, the Spanish-speaking population increased because of territorial annexation of lands claimed earlier by the Spanish Empire and by wars with Mexico and by land purchases, while modern factors continue increasing the size of this population.

In 1819 Florida was transferred by Spain to the United States via the Adams–Onís Treaty; many Spanish settlers, whose ancestors came from Cuba, Andalusia, and the Canary Islands, became U.S. citizens and continued to speak Spanish.

Louisiana Purchase (1803–1804)

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, land claimed by Spain encompassed a large part of the contemporary U.S. territory, including the French colony of Louisiana that was under Spanish occupation from 1769 to 1800, and then part of the United States since 1803. When Louisiana was sold to the United States, its Spanish, Louisiana Creole people and Cajun French inhabitants became U.S. citizens, and continued to speak Spanish or French. In 1813, George Ticknor started a program of Spanish Studies at Harvard University.[11]

Annexation of Texas and the Mexican–American War

St Aug Lindsley House sign01
Spanish language heritage in Florida dates back to 1565, with the founding of Saint Augustine, Florida. Spanish was the first European language spoken in Florida.

In 1821,[12] after Mexico's War of Independence from Spain, Texas was part of the United Mexican States as the state of Coahuila y Tejas. A large influx of Americans soon followed, originally with the approval of Mexico's president. In 1836, the now largely "American" Texans fought a war of independence from the central government of Mexico and established the Republic of Texas. In 1846, the Republic dissolved when Texas entered the United States of America as a state. Per the 1850 U.S. census, fewer than 16,000 Texans were of Mexican descent, and nearly all were Spanish-speaking people (both Mexicans and non-Spanish European settlers who include German Texan) who were outnumbered (six-to-one) by English-speaking settlers (both Americans and other immigrant Europeans).

After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming also became part of the Mexican territory of Alta California. Most of New Mexico, western Texas, southern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and the Oklahoma panhandle were part of the territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México. The geographical isolation and unique political history of this territory led to New Mexican Spanish differing notably from both Spanish spoken in other parts of the United States of America and Spanish spoken in the present-day United Mexican States.

Mexico lost almost half of the northern territory gained from Spain in 1821 to the United States in the Mexican–American War (1846–1848). This included parts of contemporary Texas, and Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, California, Nevada, and Utah. Although the lost territory was sparsely populated, the thousands of Spanish-speaking Mexicans subsequently became U.S. citizens. The war-ending Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) does not explicitly address language. However, the English-speaking American settlers who entered the Southwest established their language, culture, and law as dominant, to the extent it fully displaced Spanish in the public sphere. In 1855, California declared that English would be the only medium of instruction in its schools; the newly admitted state of New Mexico followed suit in 1891 to mandate that all of its schools teach in English only.[11]

The first California constitutional convention in 1849 had eight Californio participants; the resulting state constitution was produced in English and Spanish, and it contained a clause requiring all published laws and regulations to be published in both languages.[13] One of the very first acts of the first California Legislature of 1850 was to authorize the appointment of a State Translator, who would be responsible for translating all state laws, decrees, documents, or orders into Spanish.[14][15] But the state's second constitutional convention in 1872 had no Spanish-speaking participants; the convention's English-speaking participants felt that the state's remaining minority of Spanish-speakers should simply learn English; and the convention ultimately voted 46-39 to revise the earlier clause so that all official proceedings would henceforth be published only in English.[13]

Spanish–American War (1898)

In 1898, consequent to the Spanish–American War, the United States took control of Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam as American territories. In 1902, Cuba became independent from the United States, while Puerto Rico remained a U.S. territory. The American government required government services to be bilingual in Spanish and English, and attempted to introduce English-medium education to Puerto Rico, but the latter effort was unsuccessful.[16]

In 1917, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese was founded, and the academic study of Spanish literature was helped by negative attitudes towards German due to World War I.[17]

From 1942 to 1962, the Bracero program would provide for mass Mexican migration to the United States.[11] Once Puerto Rico was granted autonomy in 1948, even mainlander officials who came to Puerto Rico were forced to learn Spanish. Only 20% of Puerto Rico's residents understand English, and although the island's government had a policy of official bilingualism, it was repealed in favor of a Spanish-only policy in 1991. This policy was reversed in 1993 when a pro-statehood party ousted a pro-independence party from the commonwealth government.[16]

Modern mass migration

The relatively recent but large influx of Spanish-speakers to the United States has increased the overall total of Spanish-speakers in the country. They form majorities and large minorities in many political districts, especially in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the American states bordering Mexico, and also in South Florida.

Mexicans first moved to the United States as refugees in the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution from 1910–1917, but many more emigrated later for economic reasons. The large majority of Mexicans are in the former Mexican-controlled areas in the Southwest.

At over 5 million, Puerto Ricans are easily the second largest Hispanic group. Of all major Hispanic groups, Puerto Ricans are the least likely to be proficient in Spanish, but millions of Puerto Rican Americans living in the U.S. mainland nonetheless are fluent in Spanish. Puerto Ricans are natural-born U.S. citizens, and many Puerto Ricans have migrated to New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, and other areas of the Eastern United States, increasing the Spanish-speaking populations and in some areas being the majority of the Hispanophone population, especially in Central Florida. In Hawaii, where Puerto Rican farm laborers and Mexican ranchers have settled since the late 19th century, seven percent of the islands' people are either Hispanic or Hispanophone or both.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 created a community of Cuban exiles who opposed the Communist revolution, many of whom left for the United States. In 1963, the Ford Foundation established the first bilingual education program in the United States for the children of Cuban exiles in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 boosted immigration from Latin American countries, and in 1968, Congress passed the Bilingual Education Act.[11] Most of these one million Cuban Americans settled in southern and central Florida, while other Cubans live in the Northeastern United States; most are fluent in Spanish. In the city of Miami today Spanish is the first language mostly due to Cuban immigration. Likewise, the Nicaraguan Revolution promoted a migration of Contras who were opposed to the socialist government in Nicaragua, to the United States in the late 1980s. Most of these Nicaraguans migrated to Florida, California and Texas.

SER-Niños Charter School
SER-Niños Charter School, a K–8 bilingual public school in Houston, Texas. Bilingual education is popular in school districts with large numbers of Spanish-speakers.

The exodus of Salvadorans was a result of both economic and political problems. The largest immigration wave occurred as a result of the Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980s, in which 20 to 30 percent of El Salvador's population emigrated. About 50 percent, or up to 500,000 of those who escaped, headed to the United States, which was already home to over 10,000 Salvadorans, making Salvadoran Americans the fourth-largest Hispanic and Latino American group, after the Mexican-American majority, stateside Puerto Ricans, and Cubans.

As civil wars engulfed several Central American countries in the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans fled their country and came to the United States. Between 1980 and 1990, the Salvadoran immigrant population in the United States increased nearly fivefold from 94,000 to 465,000. The number of Salvadoran immigrants in the United States continued to grow in the 1990s and 2000s as a result of family reunification and new arrivals fleeing a series of natural disasters that hit El Salvador, including earthquakes and hurricanes. By 2008, there were about 1.1 million Salvadoran immigrants in the United States.

Until the 20th century, there was no clear record of the number of Venezuelans who emigrated to the United States. Between the 18th and early 19th centuries, there were many European immigrants who went to Venezuela, only to later migrate to the United States along with their children and grandchildren who were born and/or grew up in Venezuela speaking Spanish. From 1910 to 1930, it is estimated that over 4,000 South Americans each year emigrated to the United States; however, there are few specific figures indicating these statistics. Many Venezuelans settled in the United States with hopes of receiving a better education, only to remain there following graduation. They are frequently joined by relatives. However, since the early 1980s, the reasons for Venezuelan emigration have changed to include hopes of earning a higher salary and due to the economic fluctuations in Venezuela which also promoted an important migration of Venezuelan professionals to the US.[18] In the 2000s, dissident Venezuelans migrated to South Florida, especially the suburbs of Doral and Weston. Other main states with Venezuelan American populations are, according to the 1990 census, New York, California, Texas (adding to their existing Hispanic populations), New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maryland.[18]

Refugees from Spain also migrated to the U.S. due to the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939) and political instability under the regime of Francisco Franco that lasted until 1975. The majority of Spaniards settled in Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey, New York City, Chicago, and Puerto Rico.

The publication of data by the United States Census Bureau in 2003 revealed that Hispanics were the largest minority in the United States and caused a flurry of press speculation in Spain about the position of Spanish in the United States. That year, the Instituto Cervantes, an organization created by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote Spanish language around the globe, established a branch in New York.[19]

Geographic distribution

Spanish-speakers in the United States
Year Number of native Spanish-speakers Percent of
US population
1980 11 million 5%
1990 17.3 million 7%
2000 28.1 million 10%
2010 37 million 13%
2015 41 million 13%

In total, there were 36,995,602 people aged five or older in the United States who spoke Spanish at home (12.8% of the total U.S. population).[24]

Current status

Berclair Elementary School sign in Spanish Memphis TN 2013-01-01 015
Public elementary school sign in Spanish in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Spanish-language logo of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Although the United States has no de jure official language, English is the dominant language of business, education, government, religion, media, culture, civil society, and the public sphere. Virtually all state and federal government agencies and large corporations use English as their internal working language, especially at the management level. Some states, such as Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico & Texas provide bilingual legislated notices and official documents, in Spanish and English, and other commonly used languages. English is the home language of most Americans, including a growing proportion of Hispanic Americans; between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of Hispanics who spoke Spanish at home decreased from 78 to 73 percent.[25] As noted above, the only major exception is the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where Spanish is the official and most commonly used language.

Throughout the history of the Southwest United States, the controversial issue of language as part of cultural rights and bilingual state government representation has caused socio-cultural friction between Anglophones and Hispanophones. Currently, Spanish is the most widely taught second language in the United States.[26]


California's first constitution recognized Spanish language rights:

All laws, decrees, regulations, and provisions emanating from any of the three supreme powers of this State, which from their nature require publication, shall be published in English and Spanish.

— California Constitution, 1849, Art. 11 Sec. 21.

By 1870, English-speaking Americans were a majority in California; in 1879, the state promulgated a new constitution under which all official proceedings were to be conducted exclusively in English, a clause that remained in effect until 1966. In 1986, California voters added a new constitutional clause, by referendum, stating that:

English is the official language of the State of California.

— California Constitution, Art. 3, Sec. 6

Spanish remains widely spoken throughout the state, and many government forms, documents, and services are bilingual, in English and Spanish. And although all official proceedings are to be conducted in English:

A person unable to understand English who is charged with a crime has a right to an interpreter throughout the proceedings.

— California Constitution, Art. 1. Sec. 14


The state (like its southwestern neighbors) has had close linguistic and cultural ties with Mexico. The state outside the Gadsden Purchase of 1853 was part of the New Mexico Territory until 1863, when the western half was made into the Arizona Territory. The area of the former Gadsden Purchase contained a majority of Spanish-speakers until the 1940s, although the Tucson area had a higher ratio of anglophones (including Mexican Americans who were fluent in English); the continuous arrival of Mexican settlers increases the number of Spanish-speakers.


The majority of the residents of the Miami metropolitan area speak Spanish at home, and the influence of Spanish can even be seen in many features of the local dialect of English. Miami is considered the "capital of Latin America" for its many bilingual corporations, banks, and media outlets that cater to international business.

New Mexico

New Mexico is commonly thought to have Spanish as an official language alongside English because of its wide usage and legal promotion of Spanish in the state; however, the state has no official language. New Mexico's laws are promulgated bilingually in Spanish and English. Although English is the state government's paper working language, government business is often conducted in Spanish, particularly at the local level. Spanish has been spoken in the New Mexico-Colorado border and the contemporary U.S.–Mexico border since the 16th century.

Because of its relative isolation from other Spanish-speaking areas over most of its 400-year existence, New Mexico Spanish, and in particular the Spanish of northern New Mexico and Colorado has retained many elements of 16th- and 17th-century Spanish and has developed its own vocabulary.[27] In addition, it contains many words from Nahuatl, the language currently spoken by the Nahua people in Mexico. New Mexican Spanish also contains loan words from the Pueblo languages of the upper Rio Grande Valley, Mexican-Spanish words (mexicanismos), and borrowings from English.[27] Grammatical changes include the loss of the second person verb form, changes in verb endings, particularly in the preterite, and partial merging of the second and third conjugations.[28]


"No Smoking" sign in Spanish and English at the headquarters of the Texas Department of Health in Austin, Texas

In Texas, English is the state's de facto official language (though it lacks de jure status) and is used in government. However, the continual influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants increased the import of Spanish in Texas. Although it is a part of the Southern United States, Texas's counties bordering Mexico are mostly Hispanic, and consequently, Spanish is commonly spoken in the region. The Government of Texas, through Section 2054.116 of the Government Code, mandates that state agencies provide information on their websites in Spanish to assist residents who have limited English proficiency.[29]

Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recognizes Spanish and English as official languages; Spanish is the dominant first language.

Learning trends in the United States

Spanish is currently the most widely taught non-English language in American secondary schools and higher education.[30] More than 790,000 university students were enrolled in Spanish courses in the autumn of 2013, with Spanish the most widely taught foreign language in American colleges and universities. Some 50.6 percent of the total number of U.S. students enrolled in foreign-language courses take Spanish, followed by French (12.7%), American Sign Language (7%), German (5.5%), Italian (4.6%), Japanese (4.3%), and Chinese (3.9%), although the totals remain relatively small in relation to the total U.S. population.[31]


Spanish language radio is the largest non-English broadcasting media.[32] While other foreign language broadcasting declined steadily, Spanish broadcasting grew steadily from the 1920s to the 1970s. The 1930s were boom years.[33] The early success depended on the concentrated geographical audience in Texas and the Southwest.[34] American stations were close to Mexico which enabled a steady circular flow of entertainers, executives and technicians, and stimulated the creative initiatives of Hispanic radio executives, brokers, and advertisers. Ownership was increasingly concentrated in the 1960s and 1970s. The industry sponsored the now-defunct trade publication Sponsor from the late 1940s to 1968.[35] Spanish-language radio has influenced American and Latino discourse on key current affairs issues such as citizenship and immigration.[36]


La Época is an upscale Miami department store, whose Spanish name comes from Cuba. La Época is an example of the many businesses started and owned by Spanish-speakers in the United States.

The influence of English on American Spanish is very important. In many Latino[37] (also called Hispanic) youth subcultures, it is common to mix Spanish and English, thereby producing Spanglish. Spanglish is the name for the admixture of English words and phrases to Spanish for effective communication.

The Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (North American Academy of the Spanish Language) tracks the developments of the Spanish spoken in the United States, and the influences of English upon it.

Spanish sub-types

Language experts distinguish the following varieties of the Spanish spoken in the United States:

  • Mexican Spanish: the U.S.–Mexico border, throughout the US southwest from California to Texas, as well as the city of Chicago, but becoming ubiquitous throughout the continental United States as Mexican Spanish is used as the standardized dialect of Spanish in the continental United States.
  • Caribbean Spanish: Spanish as spoken by Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Dominicans. Largely heard throughout the Northeastern United States and Florida, especially New York City and Miami, among other cities in the Eastern US.
  • Central American Spanish: Spanish as spoken by Hispanics with origins in Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Largely heard in major cities throughout California and Texas, as well as Washington DC, New York, and Miami.
  • South American Spanish: Spanish as spoken by Hispanics with origins in South American countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Chile. Largely heard in major cities throughout New York, California, Texas, and Florida.
  • Colonial Spanish: Spanish as spoken by descendants of Spanish colonists and early Mexicans before United States expansion and annexion of the US southwest and other areas.
    • Californian (1769–present): California, especially the Central Coast
    • Isleño (Islander) (18th century–present): St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana
    • New Mexican Spanish: Central and north-central New Mexico and south-central Colorado and the border regions of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, and southeastern Colorado

Most post-first generations of Spanish-speakers tend to speak the language with American English accents of the region they grew up in.

Common English words derived from Spanish

Analogously, many Spanish words are now standard American English.

  • Admiral
  • Avocado (aguacate from Nahuatl aguacatl)
  • Aficionado
  • Banana (originally from Wolof)
  • Buckaroo (vaquero)
  • Cafeteria (cafetería)
  • Chili (from Nahuatl chīlli)
  • Chocolate (from Nahuatl xocolatl)
  • Cigar (cigarro)
  • Corral
  • Coyote (from Nahuatl coyotl)
  • Desperado (desesperado)
  • Guerrilla
  • Guitar (guitarra)
  • Hurricane (huracán from the Taíno storm god Juracán)
  • Junta
  • Lasso (lazo)
  • Potato (patata; see Etymology of "potato")
  • Ranch (rancho)
  • Rodeo
  • Siesta
  • Tomato (tomate from Nahuatl tomatl)
  • Tornado
  • Vanilla (vainilla)
Logo Univision 2013
Univisión is the country's largest Spanish language network, followed by Telemundo. It is the country's fourth-largest network overall.[38]

Phonetic features

Pardon our dust
First settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, today, 19% of Floridians speak Spanish, and is the most widely taught second language. In Miami, 67% of residents spoke Spanish as their first language in 2000.
  • As most ancestors of Hispanic Americans came from Hispanic America, ⟨z⟩ and ⟨c⟩ (before /e/ and /i/) are pronounced as [s], the same as ⟨s⟩. However, seseo (not distinguishing /s/ from /θ/) is also typical of the speech of Hispanic Americans of Andalusian and Canarian descent. Andalusia's and the Canary Island's predominant position in the conquest and subsequent immigration to Hispanic America from Spain is thought to be the reason for the absence of this distinction in most Hispanic American dialects.
  • Standard Spanish from Spain, particularly the regions that have a distinctive /θ/ phoneme, realize /s/ with the tip of tongue against the alveolar ridge. Phonetically this is an "apico-alveolar" "grave" sibilant [], with a weak "hushing" sound reminiscent of retroflex fricatives. To a Hispanic and Latino American speaker (as well as to Andalusians or Canary Islanders in Spain), Standard European Spanish /s/ may sound close to [ʃ] like English sh as in she. However, this apico-alveolar realization of /s/ is not uncommon in some Latin American Spanish dialects which lack [θ]; some inland Colombian Spanish (particularly Antioquia) and Andean regions of Peru and Bolivia also have an apico-alveolar /s/.
  • Spanish in the United States usually features yeísmo: there is no distinction between ⟨ll⟩ and ⟨y⟩, and both are [ʝ]. However, yeísmo is an expanding and now dominant feature of European Spanish, particularly in urban speech (Madrid, Toledo) and especially in Andalusia and Canary Islands, though in rural use [ʎ] is preserved in parts of rural northern Spain. Speakers of Rioplatense Spanish pronounce both ⟨ll⟩ and ⟨y⟩ as [ʒ] or [ʃ]. The traditional pronunciation of the digraph ⟨ll⟩ as [ʎ] is preserved in some dialects along the Andes range, especially in inland Peru and the Colombia highlands (Santander), northern Argentina, all Bolivia and Paraguay.
  • Most speakers with ancestors born in coastal regions may debuccalize or aspirate syllable-final /s/ to [h], or drop it entirely, so that está [esˈta] ("s/he is") sounds like [ehˈta] or [eˈta], as in southern Spain (Andalusia, Murcia, Castile–La Mancha (except North-East), Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla).
  • ⟨g⟩ (before /e/ or /i/) and ⟨j⟩ are usually aspirated to [h] in Caribbean and other coastal dialects, as well as in all Colombia, and southern Mexico, as in most southern Spanish dialects. While it may be [x] in other dialects of Hispanic Americans and often [χ] in Peruvian Spanish dialect, this is a common feature of Castilian Spanish. It is usually aspirated to [h] as in most southwestern Spanish varieties. Very often, especially in Argentina and Chile, [x] becomes more fronted [ç] when preceding high vowels /e, i/ (these speakers approach [x] to the realization of German ⟨ch⟩ in ich); in other phonological environments it is pronounced either [x] or [h].
  • In many Caribbean dialects, the phonemes /l/ and /r/ at the end of a syllable sound alike or can be exchanged: caldo > ca[r]do, cardo > ca[l]do; /r/ in word-final position becomes silent, giving Caribbean dialects of Spanish a partial non-rhoticity. This happens at a reduced level in Ecuador and Chile as well and is a feature brought from Extremadura and westernmost Andalusia.
  • In many Andean regions, the alveolar trill of rata and carro is realized as an alveolar approximant [ɹ] or even as a voiced apico-alveolar [z]. The alveolar approximant realization is particularly associated with an indigenous substrate and it is quite common in Andean regions, especially in inland Ecuador, Peru, most of Bolivia and in parts of northern Argentina and Paraguay.
  • In Puerto Rico, aside from [ɾ], [r], and [l], syllable-final /r/ can be realized as [ɹ], an influence of American English on the Puerto Rican dialect; "verso"' (verse) becomes [ˈbeɹso], aside from [ˈbeɾso], [ˈberso], or [ˈbelso], "invierno" (winter) becomes [imˈbjeɹno], aside from [imˈbjeɾno], [imˈbjerno], or [imˈbjelno], and "escarlata" (scarlet) becomes [ehkaɹˈlata], aside from [ehkaɾˈlata], [ehkarˈlata], or [ehkaˈlata]. In word-final position, /r/ will usually be one of these:
    • a trill, a tap, approximant, [l], or elided when followed by a consonant or a pause, as in amo[r ~ ɾ ~ ɹ ~ l] paterno 'paternal love', amor [aˈmo],
    • a tap, approximant, or [l] when the followed by a vowel-initial word, as in amo[ɾ ~ ɹ ~ l] eterno 'eternal love').
  • The voiced consonants /b/, /d/, and /ɡ/ are pronounced as plosives after and sometimes before any consonant in most Colombian Spanish dialects (rather than the fricative or approximant that is characteristic of most other dialects): pardo [ˈpaɾdo], barba [ˈbaɾba], algo [ˈalɡo], peligro [peˈliɡɾo], desde [ˈdezde/ˈdeɦde]—rather than the [ˈpaɾðo], [ˈbaɾβa], [ˈalɣo], [peˈliɣɾo], [ˈdezðe/ˈdeɦðe] of Spain and the rest of Spanish America. A notable exception is the Department of Nariño and most Costeño speech (Atlantic coastal dialects) which feature the soft, fricative realizations common to all other Hispanic American and European dialects.
  • Word-final /n/ is frequently velar [ŋ] in Latin American Spanish; this means a word like pan (bread) is often articulated ['paŋ]. To an English-speaker, those speakers that have a velar nasal for word-final /n/ make pan sound like pang. Velarization of word-final /n/ is so widespread in the Americas that it is easier to mention those regions that maintain an alveolar, European-style, /n/: most of Mexico, Colombia (except for coastal dialects) and Argentina (except for some northern regions). Elsewhere, velarization is common, though alveolar word-final /n/ can appear among some educated speakers, especially in the media or in singing. Velar word-final /n/ is also frequent in Spain, especially in southern Spanish dialects (Andalusia and the Canary Islands) and also in the Northwest: Galicia, Asturias and León.

Lexical features

The usage of Spanish words in American bilinguals shows a convergence of semantics between English and Spanish cognates. For example, the Spanish words atender ("to pay attention to") and éxito ("success") acquire a similar semantic range in American Spanish to the English words "attend" and "exit". In some cases, loanwords from English give existing Spanish words a homonymic meaning: so while coche has come to acquire the additional meaning of "coach" in the United States, it retains its older meaning of "car".[39]

  • Disappearance of de (of) in certain expressions, as is the case with the dialect of Spanish in the Canary Islands. Example: esposo Rosa instead of esposo de Rosa, gofio millo instead of gofio de millo, etc.
  • Doublets of Arabic-Latinate synonyms with the Arabic form are more common in American Spanish, which derives from Latin American Spanish and so influenced by Andalusian Spanish like Andalusian and Latin American alcoba for standard habitación or dormitorio ('bedroom') or alhaja for standard joya ('jewel').
  • See List of words having different meanings in Spain and Hispanic America.

Future of Spanish in the United States

Spanish-speaking Americans are the fastest growing linguistic group in the United States. Continual immigration and prevalent Spanish-language mass media (such as Univisión, Telemundo, and Azteca América) support the Spanish-speaking populations. Moreover, because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it is common for many American manufacturers to use multilingual product labeling using English, French and Spanish, three of the four official languages of the Organization of American States.

Besides the businesses that always have catered to Hispanophone immigrants, a small, but increasing, number of mainstream American retailers now advertise bilingually in Spanish-speaking areas and offer bilingual, English-Spanish customer services. One common indicator of such businesses is Se Habla Español which means "Spanish Is Spoken".

Federal agencies such as the United States Postal Service translate information into Spanish.

The State of the Union Addresses and other presidential speeches are translated into Spanish, following the precedent set by the Bill Clinton administration. Moreover, non-Hispanic American origin politicians fluent in Spanish speak in Spanish to Hispanic majority constituencies. There are 500 Spanish newspapers, 152 magazines, and 205 publishers in the United States; magazine and local television advertising expenditures for the Hispanic market have increased substantially from 1999 to 2003, with growth of 58 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

Historically, immigrants' languages tend to disappear or become reduced through generational assimilation. Spanish disappeared in several countries and U.S. territories during the 20th century, notably in the Philippines and in the Pacific Island countries of Guam, Micronesia, Palau, the Northern Marianas islands, and the Marshall Islands.

The English-only movement seeks to establish English as the sole official language of the United States. Generally, they exert political public pressure upon Hispanophone immigrants to learn English and speak it publicly; as universities, business, and the professions use English, there is much social pressure to learn English for upward socio-economic mobility.

Generally, Hispanic American origin US residents (13.4% of the 2002 population) are bilingual to a degree. A Simmons Market Research survey recorded that 19 percent of the Hispanic American origin population speak only Spanish, 9 percent speak only English, 55 percent have limited English proficiency, and 17 percent are fully English-Spanish bilingual.[40]

Intergenerational transmission of Spanish is a more accurate indicator of Spanish's future in the United States than raw statistical numbers of Hispanophone immigrants. Although Hispanic American origin immigrants hold varying English proficiency levels, almost all second-generation Hispanic American origin U.S. residents speak English, yet about 50 percent speak Spanish at home. Two-thirds of third-generation Mexican Americans speak only English at home. Calvin Veltman undertook in 1988, for the National Center for Education Statistics and for the Hispanic Policy Development Project, the most complete study of English language adoption by Hispanophone immigrants. Veltman's language shift studies document abandonment of Spanish at rates of 40 percent for immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 14, and 70 percent for immigrants who arrived before the age of 10.[41] The complete set of these studies' demographic projections postulates the near-complete assimilation of a given Hispanophone immigrant cohort within two generations. Although his study based itself upon a large 1976 sample from the Bureau of the Census (which has not been repeated), data from the 1990 Census tend to confirm the great Anglicization of the U.S. Hispanic American origin population.

American literature in Spanish

Southwest Colonial literature

In 1610, Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá published his Historia de Nuevo México (History of New Mexico).

19th century

In 1880, José Martí moved to New York City.

Eusebio Chacón published El hijo de la tempestad in 1892.

20th century

Federico García Lorca wrote his collection of poems, Poeta en Nueva York, and the two plays Así que pasen cinco años and El público while living in New York. Giannina Braschi wrote the Hispanic postmodern poetry classic El imperio de los sueños in Spanish in New York. José Vasconcelos and Juan Ramón Jiménez were both exiled to the United States.

In her autobiography When I Was Puerto Rican (1993), Esmeralda Santiago recounts her childhood on the island during the 1950s and her family's subsequent move to New York City, when she was 13 years old. Originally written in English, the book is an example of New York Rican literature.

21st century

Contemporary classics are The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Crisis by Jorge Majfud, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

See also



  1. ^ 2017 American Community Survey 1-year estimates[1]
  2. ^ "US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain". Retrieved 2016-05-09.
  3. ^ Instituto Cervantes' Yearbook 2006–07. (PDF). Retrieved on 2011-12-31
  4. ^ "Más 'speak spanish' que en España". Retrieved 2007-10-06. (Spanish)
  5. ^ How Many People Speak Spanish, And Where Is It Spoken? Published by Babbel Retrieved 28 April 2018
  6. ^ "2000 Census, Language in the US" (PDF). Retrieved June 5, 2007.
  7. ^ [2] American Community Survey, Language Spoken at Home by Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over(Table B16001) 2013-2017 5-year estimates]
  8. ^ "Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española". Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Primary language spoken at home by people aged 5 or older". United States Census Bureau. 2012.
  10. ^ US Census Bureau Public Information Office. "Facts for Features: Hispanic Heritage Month 2010: Sept. 15 — Oct. 15 - Facts for Features & Special Editions - Newsroom - U.S. Census Bureau". Archived from the original on 25 February 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d Garcia, Ofelia (2015). "Racializing the Language Practices of U.S. Latinos: Impact on Their Education". In Cobas, Jose; Duany, Jorge; Feagin, Joe. How the United States Racializes Latinos. Routledge. pp. 102–105.
  12. ^ Van Young, Eric (2001). The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle. Stanford University Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-8047-4821-6.
  13. ^ a b Guadalupe Valdés et al., Developing Minority Language Resources: The Case of Spanish in California (Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2006), 28–29.
  14. ^ Martin, Daniel W. (2006). Henke's California Law Guide (8th ed.). Newark: Matthew Bender & Co. pp. 45–46. ISBN 08205-7595-X.
  15. ^ Winchester, J. (1850). The Statutes of California Passed At The First Session of the Legislature. San Jose: California State Printer. p. 51.
  16. ^ a b Crawford, James (1997). "Puerto Rico and Official English". Language Policy.
  17. ^ [3], Leeman, Jennifer (2007) “The Value of Spanish: Shifting Ideologies in United States Language Teaching.” ADFL Bulletin 38 (1–2): 32–39.
  18. ^ a b Drew Walker (2010). "A Countries and Their Cultures: Venezuelan American". Countries and their cultures. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
  19. ^ del Valle, Jose (2006). "US Latinos, la hispanofonia, and the Language Ideologies of High Moderinty". In Mar-Molinero, Clare; Stewart, Miranda. Globalization and Language in the Spanish-Speaking World: Macro and Micro Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 33–34.
  20. ^ "What is the future of Spanish in the United States?". Pew Research Center. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  21. ^ Language Use and English-Speaking Ability: 2000.
  22. ^ "The Future of Spanish in the United States". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  23. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "American FactFinder - Results". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  24. ^ "Primary language spoken at home by people aged 5 or older". United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  25. ^ Nasser, Haya El (January 2, 2015). "Candidates Facing More Latino Voters Who Don't Speak Spanish". Al Jazeera.
  26. ^ Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2009.
  27. ^ a b Cobos, Rubén (2003) "Introduction" A Dictionary of New Mexico & Southern Colorado Spanish (2nd ed.) Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, N.M., p. ix, ISBN 0-89013-452-9
  28. ^ Cobos, Rubén, op. cit., pp. x-xi.
  29. ^ "Sec. 2054.001." Texas Legislature. Retrieved on June 27, 2010.
  30. ^ Richard I. Brod "Foreign Language Enrollments in US Institutions of Higher Education—Fall 1986". Archived from the original on November 25, 2001. Retrieved September 1, 2016.. AFL Bulletin. Vol. 19, no. 2 (January 1988): 39–44
  31. ^ Goldberg, David; Looney, Dennis; Lusin, Natalia (February 2015). "Enrollments in Languages Other Than English in United States Institutions of Higher Education, Fall 2013" (PDF). Modern Language Association. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  32. ^ Todd Chambers, "The state of Spanish-language radio." Journal of Radio Studies 13.1 (2006): 34-50.
  33. ^ Jorge Reina Schement, “The Origins of Spanish-Language Radio: The Case of San Antonio, Texas,” Journalism History 4:2 (1977): 56-61.
  34. ^ Félix F. Gutiérrez and Jorge Reina Schement, Spanish-Language Radio in the Southwestern United States (Austin: UT Center for Mexican American Studies, 1979).
  35. ^ Andrew Paxman, "The Rise of US Spanish-Language Radio From 'Dead Airtime' to Consolidated Ownership (1920s-1970s)." Journalism History 44.3 (2018).
  36. ^ Dolores Inés Casillas, Sounds of belonging: US Spanish-language radio and public advocacy (NYU Press, 2014).
  37. ^ Jordan, Miriam (April 4, 2012). "'Hispanics' Like Clout, Not the Label". The Wall Street Journal.
  38. ^ D.M. Levine (2012-01-19). "As Hispanic Television Market Grows, Univision Reshuffles Executives". Adweek. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
  39. ^ Smead, Robert; Clegg, J Halvor. "English Calques in Chicano Spanish". In Roca, Ana; Jensen, John. Spanish in Contact: Issues in Bilingualism. p. 127.
  40. ^ Roque Mateos, Ricardo (2017). A Good Spanish Book. University Academic Editions. p. 37.
  41. ^ Faries, David (2015). A Brief History of the Spanish Language. University of Chicago Press. p. 198.

Further reading

American Spanish

American Spanish may refer to:

Spanish language in the United States

Spanish language in the Americas

Calvin Veltman

Calvin Veltman (born 1941) is an American sociologist, demographer and sociolinguist at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He previously worked at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. In the United States, his work on English use and acquisition among Hispanics is well known.

Caló (Chicano)

Caló (also known as Pachuco) is an argot or slang of Mexican Spanish that originated during the first half of the 20th century in the Southwestern United States. It is the product of zoot-suit pachuco culture that developed in the 1930s and '40s in cities along the US/Mexico border.


Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity of some Mexican Americans in the United States. The term Chicano is sometimes used interchangeably with Mexican-American. Both names are chosen identities within the Mexican-American community in the United States; however, these terms have a wide range of meanings in various parts of the Southwest. The term became widely used during the Chicano Movement by Mexican Americans to express pride in a shared cultural, ethnic and community identity.

The term Chicano had negative connotations before the Chicano Movement, and still is viewed negatively and archaic by more conservative members of this community. Over time, it has gained some acceptance as an identity of pride within the Mexican-American community in the United States.

The pro-indigenous/Mestizo nature of Chicano nationalism is cemented in the idea of mestizaje. Ultimately, it was the experience of Mexican Americans in the United States which culminated in the creation of a Chicano identity.

Chicano films

Chicano films portray Mexican-Americans and/or Mexican-American themes and may or may not have been directed by a Chicano director.

Lowriders (film) (2016)

East Side Sushi (2016)

McFarland, USA (2015)

Spare Parts (2015 film) (2015)

Frontera (2014 film)

Cesar Chavez (film) (2014)

Bless Me, Ultima (film) (2013)

A Better Life (2011)

Boyle Heights (film) (2011)

Down for Life (film) (2011)

From Prada to Nada (2011)

La Mission (film) (2010)

Machete (2010 film)

One Story (film) (2009)

La Linea (film) (2008)

La Misma Luna (2008)

El Muerto (film) (2007)

Amexicano (2007)

Hollywood Familia (film) (2007)


Goal! (film) (2006)

Quinceañera (film) (2006)

Walkout (2006)

How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer (2005)

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

A Day Without a Mexican (Dia Sin Mexicanos) (2004)

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

Real Women Have Curves (2002)

My Fathers Love (film) (2001)

Tortilla Soup (2001)

Price of Glory (2000)

Living the Life (2000)

The Mask of Zorro (1998)

The City (1998)

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (film) (1998)

Melting Pot (film) (1998)

187 (1997)

Selena (1997)

From Dusk till Dawn (1996)

Fools Rush In

A Walk in the Clouds (1995)

Desperado (1995)

My Family (Mi Familia) (1995)

A Million to Juan (1994)

...and the earth did not swallow him (1994)

Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) (1994)

Bound by Honor (Blood In, Blood Out) (1993)

El Mariachi (1992)

American Me (1992)

Angel Town (1990)

Sweet 15 (1990)

Colors (1988)

Stand and Deliver (1988)

Break of Dawn (1988)

The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)

Born in East L.A. (1987)

La Bamba (1987)

El Norte (1985)


Things Are Tough All Over (1982)

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

Zoot Suit (1981)

Nice Dreams (1981)

Duke of Earl (film) (1981)

Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980)

Boulevard Nights (1979)

Run. Tecato. Run (1979)

The Streets of L.A. (1979 TV)

Walk Proud (1979)

Up in Smoke (1978)

Raíces de Sangre (Roots of Blood) (1978)

Only Once in a Lifetime (1978)

Amor Chicano Es Para Siempre (1978)

Alambrista! (1977)

Trackdown (1976)

Please, Don't Bury Me Alive! (1976)

La Vida (1973)

"I am Joaquin" (Yo Soy Joaquin) (1969)

Salt of the Earth (1954)

The Ring (1952 film) - one of the first films depicting anti-Chicano discrimination

The Lawless (1950)

The Lash (1930)

Chicano nationalism

Chicano nationalism is the pro-indigenist ethnic nationalist ideology of Chicanos. While there were nationalistic aspects of the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the Movement tended to emphasize civil rights and political and social inclusion rather than nationalism. For this reason, Chicano nationalism is better described as an ideology than as a political movement.

Cisneros Media Distribution

Cisneros Media Distribution (abbreviated as CMD, formerly known as Venevision International) is an entertainment company that broadcasts Spanish content in the United States and in other locations around the globe.

CMD is a Spanish-language Entertainment company with more than 30 years of experience in TV programming production and distribution, besides participating in other segments of the market. Venevision International is part of the Cisneros Group of Companies and was founded initially as the distribution company of this media holding.CMD is headed today by Peter Tinoco. The company opened doors in 1970 under the name Teverama Florida along with Radio Caracas Television as distributors of Venezuelan programming abroad. After a split from RCTV (which formed Coral Pictures) was renamed America Television Inc. and finally in 1987 the company took the name of Venevision International.

As a distributor of television programming, VVI is one of the two largest companies in Spanish language. The programming catalogue is diverse in genres, and the company is renowned for its history and management expertise of the telenovela, an original type of program from Latin America that has achieved great success in international markets.With a presence in five continents and more than 70 countries, Venevision International’s programs have harvested successes in Latin America, Europe and the rest of the world. Venevision International’s telenovelas have been broadcast in more than 100 countries and translated into 24 languages. In this genre the company launched in 2001 the first erotic soap opera “Latin Lover", and in 2007 produced the first soap opera exclusively for cellular phones "Querido Profe" (Dear Teacher). VVI presently supports exchange agreements and sales of TV programming in China and Korea, where the telenovelas have reached great popularity.

From the year 2000 the company embarked in a strategy of diversification to strengthen its catalogue with its own productions, and to participate in the profitable Hispanic market in the United States. As a company that belongs to a mass media group, it decided to focus on the entertainment market, leveraging its relations with industry players, and its own capacity to commercially support its contents.

CMD has today operating divisions in the business of music production and distribution, film distribution, TV productions and distribution, pay television, original productions and content distribution for cellular phones and Internet and product integration through Synapsys International.

In television production, the company was pioneer in independent television production in Spanish in the city of Miami and one of the main companies of this segment in the industry. Also, since 2001 VVI has co-produced with Latin American and US companies, and also with the Chinese TV company CCTV in the Spanish version of a documentary of the Yangtze River.

CMD founded the first exclusive film distribution company in Spanish language in the United States launching movies in cinemas and distributing in pay-per-view, pay television, home video, the hospitality industry (hotels and tourism) and Internet. It is part of the companies that have renewed interest in the Latin American cinema in the US market.As part of the Cisneros Group of Companies, the company has been always interested in launching TV channels (Global Television: How to Create Effective Television for the 1990s . Tony Verna. 1993. Page. 236.). Based on its film catalogue in Spanish, the company launched in 2006 its pay TV movie channel VeneMovies, a signal that programs films 24 hours a day with interviews and coverage of the main festivals of the Hispanic market of the United States.

VeneMusic, Venevision International’s musical stamp, has turned into an important reference in the Latin music, with distribution agreements with the biggest labels of the music industry. Its market activities in the music industry expanded with a publishing unit that administers the rights of the artists and the musical pieces that support the television productions of the company.

In the area of cellular entertainment the company runs Latcel, a mobile content production and distribution company in the U.S. Hispanic market and VeneMobile, a division that offers contents of the Cisneros Group of Companies in the mobile markets worldwide

CMD also has participated in the business of television formats with an alliance with the Spanish company Nostromo and in the production of theater plays in the city of Miami, where it even had its own theatre from 2001 until 2005.

Estrada Courts

Estrada Courts is a low-income housing project in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, California.

Languages of North America

The languages of North America reflect not only that continent's indigenous peoples, but the European colonization as well. The most widely spoken languages in North America (which includes Central America and the Caribbean islands) are English, Spanish, and to a lesser extent French, and, especially in the Caribbean, creole languages lexified by them.

List of most commonly learned foreign languages in the United States

The tables below provide a list of foreign languages most frequently taught in American schools and colleges. They reflect the popularity of these languages in terms of the total number of enrolled students in the United States. (Here, a foreign language means any language other than English, and includes American Sign Language.)

Mexican American Political Association

The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) is an organization that promotes the interests of Mexican-Americans, Mexicans, Latinos, Chicanos, Hispanics and Latino economic refugees in the United States.


Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. More than half of all Europeans claim to speak at least one language other than their mother tongue; but many read and write in one language. Always useful to traders, multilingualism is advantageous for people wanting to participate in globalization and cultural openness. Owing to the ease of access to information facilitated by the Internet, individuals' exposure to multiple languages is becoming increasingly possible. People who speak several languages are also called polyglots.Multilingual speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during childhood, the so-called first language (L1). The first language (sometimes also referred to as the mother tongue) is acquired without formal education, by mechanisms about which scholars disagree. Children acquiring two languages from these early years are called simultaneous bilinguals. Even in the case of simultaneous bilinguals, one language is usually dominant.

People who know more than one language have been reported to be more adept at language learning compared to monolinguals.Multilingualism in computing can be considered part of a continuum between internationalization and localization. Due to the status of English in computing, software development nearly always uses it (but see also Non-English-based programming languages). Almost all commercial software is initially available in an English version, and multilingual versions, if any, may be produced as alternative options based on the English original.

New Mexican Spanish

New Mexican Spanish (Spanish: español neomexicano) is a variant of Spanish spoken in the United States, primarily in Northern New Mexico and the southern part of the state of Colorado by the Hispanos of New Mexico. Despite a continual influence from the Spanish spoken in Mexico to the south by contact with Mexican migrants who fled to the US from the Mexican Revolution, New Mexico's unique political history and relative geographical and political isolation from the time of the annexation to the US has caused New Mexican Spanish to differ notably from the Spanish spoken in other parts of Hispanic America, with the exception of certain rural areas of southern Colorado, Northern Mexico, and Texas.Speakers of New Mexican Spanish are mainly descendants of Spanish colonists who arrived in New Mexico in the 16th to the 18th centuries. During that time, contact with the rest of Spanish America was limited because of the Comancheria, and New Mexican Spanish developed closer trading links to the Comanche than to the rest of New Spain. In the meantime, some Spanish colonists co-existed with and intermarried with Puebloan peoples and Navajos, also enemies of the Comanche.After the Mexican–American War, New Mexico and all its inhabitants came under the governance of the English-speaking United States, and for the next 100 years, English-speakers increased in number.

Those reasons caused these main differences between New Mexican Spanish and other forms of Hispanic American Spanish: the preservation of forms and vocabulary from colonial-era Spanish (such as, in some places, haiga instead of haya or Yo seigo, instead of Yo soy), the borrowing of words from Rio Grande Indian languages for indigenous vocabulary (in addition to the Nahuatl additions that the colonists had brought), a tendency to "recoin" Spanish words for ones that had fallen into disuse (for example, ojo, whose literal meaning is "eye," was repurposed to mean "hot spring" as well), and a large proportion of English loanwords, particularly for technology (such as bos, troca, and telefón). Pronunciation also carries influences from colonial, Native American, and English sources.

In recent years, speakers have developed a modern New Mexican Spanish, called Renovador, which contains more modern vocabulary because of the increasing popularity of Spanish-language broadcast media in the US and intermarriage between New Mexicans and Mexican settlers. The modernized dialect contains Mexican Spanish slang (mexicanismos).

North American Spanish

North American Spanish (Spanish: español norteamericano) is the name of the Spanish dialects spoken in North America.

Mexican Spanish

Spanish language in the United States

New Mexican Spanish

Puerto Rican Spanish

Central American Spanish

List of colloquial expressions in Honduras

Caribbean Spanish

Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language

The Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language (Spanish: Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española, abbreviated AFLE; Filipino: Akademyang Pilipino ng Wikang Kastila) is the language regulator for the Spanish language in the Philippines. It is one of two Spanish language regulators located in countries where the language does not have an official status nationwide, the other being the North American Academy of the Spanish Language in the United States.A founding member of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (ASALE), the Academy was formerly headquartered in the Casino Español de Manila in Ermita, Manila before moving to its current headquarters in Makati.

Sleepy Lagoon murder

The "Sleepy Lagoon murder" was the name that Los Angeles newspapers used to describe the death of José Gallardo Díaz, who was discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole (known as the Sleepy Lagoon) in Commerce, California, on the morning of August 2, 1942.

Díaz was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County General Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards without regaining consciousness. The hospital's autopsy showed that he was inebriated from a party the previous night and had a fracture at the base of his skull. This might have been caused by repeated falls or an automobile accident. The cause of his death remains a mystery to this day. However, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was quick to arrest 17 Mexican-American youths as suspects. Despite insufficient evidence, the young men were held in prison, without bail, on charges of murder. The trial ended on January 13, 1943, under the supervision of Judge Charles W. Fricke. Nine of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve time in San Quentin Prison. The rest of the suspects were charged with lesser offenses and incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail. The convictions were reversed on appeal in 1944. The case is considered a precursor to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

Sleepy Lagoon was a reservoir beside the Los Angeles River that was frequented by Mexican-Americans. Its name came from the popular song "Sleepy Lagoon" by big-band leader and trumpeter Harry James. The reservoir was located near the city of Maywood at approximately what is now 5400 Lindbergh Lane, in Bell, California. The current address has also been given as approximately 5500 Slauson Avenue.

Spanish Americans

Spanish Americans (Spanish: españoles estadounidenses, hispanoestadounidenses, españoles americanos or hispanonorteamericanos) are Americans whose ancestry originates wholly or partly from Spain.Spanish Americans are the longest-established European-American group with a continuous presence in Florida since 1565 and are the eighth-largest (choosing the term "Spaniard") Hispanic group in the United States of America. Many Americans of Latin American descent have Spanish ancestral roots due to five centuries of Spanish colonial settlement and large-scale immigration after independence.

The term "Spanish-American" is used only to refer to Americans whose ancestry originates directly from Spain, and therefore excludes ethnically Spanish Americans who immigrated to the United States from Latin American republics. An exception to this rule are Tejanos, Nuevomexicanos and Californios, descendants of Mexican citizens inhabiting Mexican territory later acquired by the United States, who are typically considered to be Spanish Americans.

Spanish language in the Americas

The different varieties of the Spanish language spoken in the Americas are distinct from Peninsular Spanish and Spanish spoken elsewhere, such as in Africa and Asia. Linguistically, this grouping is somewhat arbitrary, akin to having a term for "overseas English" encompassing variants spoken in the United States, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and Ireland, but not the Island of Britain. There is great diversity among the various Latin American vernaculars, and there are no traits shared by all of them which is not also in existence in one or more of the variants of Spanish used in Spain. A Latin American "standard" does, however, vary from the Castilian "standard" register used in television and notably the dubbing industry.

Of the more than 469 million people who speak Spanish as their native language, more than 418 million are in Latin America and the United States.There are numerous regional particularities and idiomatic expressions within Spanish. In Latin American Spanish, loanwords directly from English are relatively more frequent, and often foreign spellings are left intact. One notable trend is the higher abundance of loan words taken from English in Latin America as well as words derived from English. The Latin American Spanish word for "computer" is computadora, whereas the word used in Spain is ordenador, and each word sounds foreign in the region where it is not used. Some differences are due to Iberian Spanish having a stronger French influence than Latin America, where, for geopolitical reasons, the United States influence has been predominant throughout the twentieth century.

Venezuelan Americans

Venezuelan Americans (Spanish: venezolano-americanos or estadounidenses de origen venezolano) are Americans who trace their heritage, or part of their heritage, to the nation of Venezuela. The word may refer to someone born in the US of Venezuelan descent or to someone who has emigrated to the US from Venezuela.

Venezuelan Americans are one of 20 Latin American groups in the United States. While other US citizens or residents with national origins in any of the Hispanic American countries may be closely related to Spaniards in language and culture, Venezuelan Americans reflect their diversified culture. This includes influences from Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, Germans, and the French, along with influences from African and indigenous Amerindian elements.

Venezuelan Spanish is the group's spoken form of the Spanish language.

In the United States, Venezuelans are on top of the list of nationalities requesting asylum.

North American1
Central American
South American
Racial groups
Ethnic and religious groups
Related ethnic groups
Oral Indigenous
Manual Indigenous
Oral settler
Manual settler
Immigrant languages
(number of speakers
in 2010 in millions)
Varieties of Spanish by continent
United States articles

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.