Spanish Language in the United States

Early History

Spanish language in the United States has been present since the early years of the sixteenth century. The State Of Florida was the first location in the United States where the Spanish language was introduced. In the earlier years, Spanish was spread in the current United States, as the major land of the United States was under the control of the Spanish Empire.

The United States purchased a large portion of land from Napoleon during the start of the nineteenth century. Louisiana was the state where in there was a concentrated population of Spanish language speakers, and, aside from French, Spanish was the primary language of the state.

Spanish in Today's Society

Today, over 47 million people in the United States can speak the Spanish language, which makes it the country with the second highest Spanish speaking population, next to Spain.

The States where the number of Spanish speakers crosses the one million mark include:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Texas

Out of these states, parts of the following states were originally part of Mexico and therefore the people that existed in these regions were Spanish speakers:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Texas

Incidentally, during the Mexican-American War, these territories came under the control of the United States. This also helped to increase the Spanish language speaking population in the United States.

Puerto Rico, today a territory of the United States, used to be a Spanish colony. This is the reason why Spanish is the most spoken language in Puerto Rico, and is the language commonly used by the administration.

Mexican is the Dominant Spanish Dialect

The Mexican Spanish dialect is the major Spanish dialect that is spoken in the United States today. It is mainly because of the extensive number of Mexicans that have migrated to the United States since the twentieth century. There are, however, other Spanish dialects that differ from the Mexican Spanish dialect, like the one spoken in the eastern coastal states, which is comparatively less influenced by Mexicans. The other dialect of Spanish language in North America includes the one spoken in New Mexico. This is also termed by some linguists as the New Mexican Spanish.

The New Mexican Spanish dialect is also spoken in a few regions of the State of Colorado. This dialect is specifically spoken by those Spanish families who had ancestors that settled in the region of New Mexico during the Spanish colonial period. Being settled in the United States from an early period, these populations have been away from the changes in Mexican Spanish, due to which one can find traces of characteristics of older Spanish dialects in the New Mexican Spanish dialect.








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