Countries That Speak Spanish

Instructor: Ashley Zehel

Ashley has a M.A. in Spanish as well as a B.S. in Foreign Language Education. She has taught K-12 and now teaches college level.

The use of language gives us the ability to connect with others on a more personal and cultural level. Learning Spanish opens up communication to millions of people in many different countries. With that type of communicating power, the possibilities are endless!

So when you think of Spanish, you probably think of Spain. España is the country from which Spanish, or español, gets its name. However, thanks to historical factors which include the famous Spanish conquest of the Americas, you can now communicate in Spanish across over 20 countries!

Spanish as an Official Language

First, let's talk about the countries in which Spanish is the official language. We will visit Europa, África, América del Norte, América Central, América del Sur, y el Caribe to complete our list.

  • España, or Spain, obviously.
  • Guinea Ecuatorial, or Equatorial Guinea, is a western African country and the only one with the official language on the continent!
  • Cuba, Puerto Rico y la República Dominicana (the Dominican Republic) are 3 of the major Antillean islands in the Caribe (Caribbean) that share this tongue. Puerto Rico is technically a territory of the United States and is not its own independent country.
  • México is the only North American country with Spanish as its official language.
  • Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica y Panamá are the 6 Central American countries that communicate with this language as they connect América del Norte to América del Sur (North America to South America).
  • Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay y Uruguay are the 9 Spanish-speaking countries located in western and southern South America.

This gives us 21 countries with Spanish as the official language! That's a lot of travel and speaking potential!

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Spanish as an Unofficial Language

Spanish is also the 'unofficial' language of various countries, mainly due to proximity to a Spanish-speaking country as you will see in the list below.

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