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  • Video
  • 5 minutes

The history of Spanish in about six minutes

Updated Thursday, 6 May 2021
How old is Spanish? Where do words like siesta, cerveza or paella come from? What languages have influenced Spanish the most? 

Find out about the fascinating history of Spanish, its speakers, and how it has evolved from its origins into becoming a global language widely spoken across the world, through the series of short animations below, plus listen to how the Spanish language sounded over the course of history


Before the Romans

PDF document Transcript 102.7 KB


Latin gets everywhere

PDF document Transcript 105.4 KB


Germanic Visigoth and Arabic influences

PDF document Transcript 111.3 KB


Spanish and other Romance languages

PDF document Transcript 107.9 KB


Spanish and the languages of the empire

PDF document Transcript 108.2 KB


Spanish and English

PDF document Transcript 102.9 KB


The history of Spanish in full

PDF document Transcript 132.0 KB



Acknowledgements and resources


Beatriz Bond, Anna Comas-Quinn, Mercedes Cuenca Franco, Rocío Díaz Bravo, María Ángeles García Aranda, María José García Folgado, Gema B. Garrido Vílchez, Sara Gómez Seibane, Esteban T. Montoro del Arco, David Rodríguez Gómez, Santiago Sánchez Moreano and Maricela Taylor.


Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española:  

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes:  








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