The Spanish language is one of the world’s most-spoken languages, second only to Mandarin Chinese in terms of number of speakers worldwide. According to Wikipedia, there are more than 480 million speakers all over the world, some with Spanish as a first/native language and many with Spanish as a secondary language. It is spoken in many different nations, including Spain, Latin America, and Equatorial Guinea, but there are pockets of Spanish-language speakers in almost every major world country today.
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For those who speak English as a first language especially, Spanish is one of the world’s most popular languages to learn as a second language. English and French are also popular choices, but Spanish is considered fairly easy to learn and accepted in many more places worldwide. Other names for Spanish include Castilian and Español, especially in Spain versus Latin America. However, Spain’s Spanish (Castilian) is the less popular version of Spanish learned, with Mexican Spanish (Latin American Spanish or Español) being far more popular.
Spanish is very similar to both Portuguese and Italian, but there are enough differences that native speakers of each tongue are not fluent in all three. In most cases, some study and research must still be devoted to learning the other two languages before fluency is achieved, although rudimentary conversations can still be understood.