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  • 5 minutes

The history of Spanish in about six minutes

Updated Thursday, 6th 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



Latin gets everywhere



Germanic Visigoth and Arabic influences



Spanish and other Romance languages



Spanish and the languages of the empire



Spanish and English



The history of Spanish in full




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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