Digitisation and remote-working are making the world smaller and smaller. There is no doubt, international careers are more possible regardless of which corner of the world you find yourself. In South Africa, we may have 11 official languages, but only one of these, English, is an international language. This is why more and more people are intentionally adding another international language to their skillsets.

But which one?

A good choice is Spanish and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world. But where do they speak Spanish? The answer may astound you. It’s spoken in 20 countries where Spanish is an official language.

It's also a language with widespread influence across the globe. For example, international organisations use Spanish as an official language. These include the UN, the EU, and the WTO.

When it comes to the benefits of learning Spanish, there are many, and if you have been looking into learning it so that you can add it as a competency to your CV,

As a second language, considering that there are so many countries where Spanish is spoken, here are some reasons why it is so important, as well as why there are so many countries where Spanish is an official language.

So if there are around 440 million native Spanish speakers, where do they speak Spanish?

  • Around 440 million people speak Spanish as a first language, this makes it the second-most spoken native language spoken after Mandarin Chinese.
  • In terms of popularity, it is the third most popular language spoken after Mandarin and English.
  • As a second language, it is ranked in the top 10, even outside of countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language.
  • In terms of where Spanish is spoken in the world, this includes almost every big city in the world, including the countries where Spanish is an official language.

So why should you study Spanish?

Well, the above facts should certainly go a long way to convince you that it is a worthwhile choice. These numbers certainly demonstrate that Spanish is one of the most important languages in the globe. The fact that there are so many countries where Spanish is spoken as an official language offer clues as to why there are so many reasons to learn Spanish.

But, let’s look a little deeper into the question, where is the Spanish language spoken.

two girls smiling
You'll find Spanish speakers in almost all big cities. - Source: Pexels

As a result of Spanish history, the list of countries where Spanish is spoken is long.

It is spoken in Spain, obviously, but also throughout most of Central and South America. In fact, in terms of where is Spanish spoken in the world - the places that have the most Spanish speakers are not in Spain.

  • One of the countries where Spanish is spoken the most is undoubtedly Mexico, with 121 million people speaking the language!
  • Although the USA is not one of the countries where Spain is an official language, it has 53 million Spanish speakers who reside there, 41 million of whom speak it as their mother tongue. This is a huge percentage given that the US has a population of 320 million people. According to the Cervantes Institute, when it comes to the question, where is Spanish spoken, the number of people speaking Spanish in the United States is expected to rise to 128 million by 2050.
  • Where do they speak Spanish the most in Latin America? The answer is Columbia with 48 million Spanish speakers.
  • In Spain, there are 46 million native speakers.

In terms of where is Spanish spoken in the world, how did the Americas become home to the language? It all began with the explorations of Christopher Columbus towards the end of the 15th century. During this time, much of this part of the world fell into the control of the Spanish empire and these are the countries where Spanish is spoken the most today.

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Where is the Spanish Language Spoken?

If you are convinced about the merits of speaking Spanish and are wondering, where is the Spanish language spoken? Remember that as a language, it is spread throughout the world, therefore having conversational Spanish is important if you like to travel.

Having said that, where is Spanish spoken as an official language?

  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Cuba
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Costa Rica
  • Paraguay
  • Spain
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Peru
  • Colombia

If you are looking for holiday options to practise your conversational Spanish, then these unusual and exotic destinations, are perfect. And if you are wondering about the countries where Spanish is an official language so that you can embark on language immersion, these are all excellent options too.

Remember that to truly pick up the complexities and nuances of both the Spanish language and culture, it is extremely beneficial to choose to do this in one of the countries where Spanish is spoken. If you don't, it’s probably a good idea to have learned the basics and studied a bit of Spanish grammar before you go. After just a few weeks of immersion, you'll find yourself learning far more Spanish than you ever imagined.

One tip before you spend too much time wondering where is the Spanish language spoken?

If you’re still looking up basic words on the internet, and not really able to complete sentences as yet, make sure that before you are consumed with the question, where is Spanish spoken in the world, so that you can book your immersion trip, that you take a few classes before you go!

There’s no question, when it comes to the fastest way to pick up a language, immersing in a language by being forced to get by in daily conversations becomes one of the most important classrooms in which you could ever find yourself.

From the list of countries where Spanish is spoken, you could choose a destination to immerse that you have never previously even thought of making a new home.

red spanish dresses
Spanish is spoken in many colourful, exotic parts of the world. - Source: Unsplash

Where is the Spanish Language Spoken by International Organisations? 

The significance of Spanish on the global stage extends beyond the vast number of native speakers in existence, or indeed, the number of countries where Spanish is spoken. Some of the world’s most influential and important organisations use Spanish as their chosen language to conduct business, even if they are not operating in countries where Spanish is an official language.

So where do they speak Spanish to conduct such significant business, you might ask? The answer is everywhere. Global organisations operating in the Americas use both English and Spanish. Sometimes French and Portuguese are used too. One example is the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which uses Spanish as one of four official languages.

What about international sporting organisations? Where do they speak Spanish? In the sporting world, many international bodies use Spanish in day-to-day activities. Some of these include FIFA, football’s world governing body, and World Rugby, both of whom use Spanish in an official capacity.

But perhaps the impact of Spanish is best demonstrated by its adoption by some of the most significant international organisations in the world. One of these is the European Union which uses Spanish as one of its official languages.

The importance of Spanish is further emphasised when you consider that it’s one of three languages used at both the World Trade Organisation and International Labour Organisation and only one of six languages used by the United Nations.

The prolific use of Spanish in both public and private sectors means that by adding it as a skill to your CV, it can open up worthwhile career doors. Remember that everyday conversational Spanish will not suffice at this level if you intend to work in countries where Spanish is an official language.

So, in terms of where is Spanish spoken in the world of international politics and business, the answer is, just about everywhere.

Whatever your aspirations, as a bilingual English-Spanish speaker you will undoubtedly improve your employability. One of the reasons is because when it comes to, where is Spanish spoken in the world, the answer is in many places that English is needed too. This means that many organisations are keen to recruit people who can combine these two important international languages.

Spanish: A Cultural Language

Since Spanish advanced from Latin and half of the English vocabulary is derived from Latin, there are many similarities between English and Spanish.

This can make Spanish easier to learn than languages like Chinese, however, it can still be a challenge. There are still conjugations, complex tenses, and other nuances to master. This is why anyone with aspirations of gaining a professional working proficiency in Spanish should consider taking lessons during their school years.

In mainstream South African education, Spanish is not usually offered as a Grade 12 subject, however, this should not stop anyone from finding a private tutor, even from Grade 8, to make it a seventh subject. On Superprof, private Spanish tutors are located all over the country for both in-person or via webcam lessons.

The challenges of studying Spanish are always worth it for the cultural exploits. These include:

  • Literature
  • Architecture

Don Quixote is still the most well-loved Spanish novel of our time and is, in fact, the second-most translated book after the Bible!

Try and read the original version, but of course, then you will have to learn Spanish so that you can enjoy it as it was meant to be read.

On the subject of Spanish architecture, this is also something you have to look forward to if you decided on language immersion in countries where Spanish is spoken. You can look forward to cathedrals of Gothic architecture, marvelous university buildings and so much more.

Architecturally-rich cities, like Barcelona, are a great place to start if you are wondering where is Spanish spoken. Places of interest include the Sagrada Familia, the famous unfinished cathedral. The country’s capital Madrid is also home to many architectural wonders.

Once you know where is Spanish spoken, you will be able to plan trips to many culturally-rich cities that include architectural feats like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the City of Arts of Sciences based in Valencia, or the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid for example.

If you want to revel in this kind of cultural variety, Spain is certainly the place to go. So why not get started with your private Spanish tutorials and beginning planning your trips to Spain?

Open up Career Options with a Private Spanish Tutor

Learning Spanish to benefit your career is a worthwhile investment. If you are serious about it, remember that it is not enough simply to just add a few Spanish business terms to your conversational repertoire and hope for the best. A good step would be to find a personal Spanish tutor who could help you to achieve your individual goals.

There are so many benefits to using Supeprof, consider some of these as you search for a private tutor to suit you:

  • Use the location function to find a tutor near to you and enjoy at-home Spanish lessons at a time that is convenient to you.
  • Learn via webcam with a tutor from anywhere in South Africa, or even overseas.
  • Find out if the first lesson is for free and use this time to ask questions about your tutor’s teaching methods and also to discuss your goals.
  • Check out their profile pages in case past students have posted reviews.
  • Tailor-make content according to your own Spanish-speaking goals.
  • Superprof tutors are verified for your peace of mind.

Finally, in today’s highly competitive business world, there has never been a better time to be strategic about your education. Adding professional working proficiency in Spanish to your CV is an excellent way to increase your employability and explore the world with great confidence!

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.