Are you a language lover? If Yes, then you’ve landed on the right article.
We’ll present to you the most fun languages similar to Spanish. And if you are a Spanish-speaker, then you have the privilege to learn other languages similar to Spanish effortlessly.
Let’s proceed with this informative learning journey.
List Of 9 Languages Similar To Spanish
According to historical linguistic analysis, Romance languages are significantly closer to each other. Thanks to their origin, “Latin” was the language of the Roman Empire. With the Reconquest, Spain developed its colonial empire. And the Spanish language then further expanded.
There are languages similar to Spanish, standing with their history and characteristics. Including:
1. Portuguese – One Of The Languages Similar To Spanish:
Portuguese comes from Galicia in Northwest Spain. By far, it is considered the most similar language to Spanish. They are closely related and quite similar in many ways.
They both occupy the unique geographic layout of the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula was under Islamic rule for several hundred years. That’s why the Arabic language heavily influences Spanish and Portuguese.
The lexical similarity of Spanish with Portuguese is more significant; it’s 89%. That means both languages are similar in written form. But due to their divergent phonetic system, this fact gets obscure.
Portuguese has nasal tones that make differences in pronunciation. Portuguese speakers do understand Spanish reasonably well. However, it can be difficult for Spanish-speakers to comprehend.
To become fluent in either language, you’ll always have to learn. And knowing either language will help you in understanding the other one quite quickly.
To boot, Portuguese is the official language of nine countries. And it is the fast-growing European language in the world after English. So definitely, it is worth it to learn Portuguese.
2. Similarities between Spanish and Italian:
Spanish and Italian are mutually intelligible to various degrees. They both come from “Vulgar Latin,” that’s why they have so much in common. Italian and Spanish share 82% lexical similarity. For instance:
In Spanish, the word “jardín” and, in Italian word “Giardino” means “place.”
In some cases, they share loanwords from one another with slight spelling variations.
Italian “probabile” and, Spanish “probable”, means “probable/likely”.
At the same time, be sure to watch out for “False Friend.” For example:
In Spanish, “embarazada” means “pregnant” but, in Italian, “imbarazzata” means “embarrassed.”
The significant similarity is between their pronunciation, unlike Portuguese. Some say, if you want to speak Italian, then talk in Spanish with continuous moving hands.
However, in both languages, speakers can have extended conversations as long as they speak clearly. Yet, for the majority, Italian wins on aesthetics.
If you are contemplating learning a new language, knowing Spanish can make it easier for you to learn Italian and vice versa.
3. Spanish and French:
France and Spain share a common border. They have similarities in cultures and languages. French and Spanish spread throughout the world via colonization. They both belong to the same language family, “Latin.”
Spanish and French have the same writing system. And have 75 % lexical similarities. And there are many false friends too. Although Spanish and French often use similar vocabulary.
French and Spanish words pronounce quite differently. Spoken French is more challenging to understand than Portuguese. French has multiple pronunciations of one word based on the position of letters. That results in more nasal and guttural sounds.
It will take you about half time to learn a second language if you know Spanish or French. Especially if you are a native English speaker, learning one would be easy.
The French-Spanish linguistic similarities work in both directions. They are more like cousins than siblings. So it is recommended not to learn both languages simultaneously because it will trip up and leave you confused.
4. How Catalan Is Similar To Spanish?
Catalonia is one of few regions in Spain, which has its language. And Barcelona is known as its capital. Catalan is not broadly speaking but a distinct language in Catalonia. It is also known as Valencian.
This language finds its root in “Latin,” similar to Spanish. That said, Catalan has no different from Spanish. Except for the difference between the spelling of some words.
The letter ‘h’ is silent, and the letter ‘r’ is trilled in both languages. Spanish and Catalan have 85% lexical similarity.
Spanish and Catalan grammar share many features. Both languages are highly inflected. In each language, nouns have two genders and numbers.
In Catalan, Spanish is learned as a subject. While learning Catalan is easy for Spanish-speakers because it being a part of Spain. Catalan is a minority yet unique language. You have to be dedicated to it to learn Catalan properly.
5. Romanian Language:
Romanian is the Romance language, like Spanish. Spanish and Romanian are phonetic languages. Within the limit of few simple rules, all the words are pronounced as spelled in both languages.
Both languages use a similar sentence structure. We can find many identical cognates in Spanish and Romanian as there is 70% lexical similarity. Due to no small part in dialect and pronunciation differences, both languages are not mutually intelligible.
Many changes have developed within each language due to the influence of close nations and their respective languages.
Learning Romanian comes more naturally to you if you already studied Spanish. Otherwise, Romanian has Level I difficulty and harder to know for a native English speaker.
6. Are Spanish and Tagalog similar?
Tagalog is the primary language of the Philippines. It is an Austronesian language. While Spain the Romance language. Still, Tagalog is a similar language to Spanish. How?
In the late 16th century, Spaniards held the Philippines for over 300 years as a colony. Spanish left a significant linguistic impact on the language of the Philippines. Tagalog developed approximately 4,000 words from Spanish. But no wonder they somehow sound similar. For example:
“Kamusta?” is the Tagalog greeting that means “How are you?” which comes from the Spanish “Como Esta?”.
An educated Tagalog speaker can guess the meaning of a Spanish written text. Yet Philippine-Spanish dialect is not commonly understandable elsewhere.
7. Dutch language:
Dutch is the language of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname. Though Dutch is a Germanic language closely related to German and English. Spain had ruled the Netherlands for nearly a hundred years between the 16th and 17th centuries. So Dutch can find a lot of similarities with Spanish.
Dutch and Spanish are both from Indo-European languages and written with Latin alphabets. Their phonetics are close to being the same. The spellings in Spanish and Dutch are not unclear like some English words. The Dutch letter ‘A‘ and ‘E’ are similar to the Spanish language.
Did you know? Dutch has 75% borrowed words, especially from Hebrew and French.
Interesting Fact: The longest Dutch word in the dictionary is 53 letters long. It is ” Kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedenplan,” which means ” preparation activities plan for a children’s carnival procession.”
Dive right into Dutch, and you’ll figure out how enjoyable the language is. Spanish and Dutch both are relatively easy to learn for native English speakers. Many language learners believe that English-speakers can soon absorb Spanish and Dutch.
Learning Dutch and Spanish depends on your background and the strengths you possess. Pick just one language to start with.
8. Certain similarities between Spanish and German Languages:
Though Spanish is Romance and German is a Germanic language. Yet German loanwords tend to come from Latin roots, so does Spanish. They both are located on the same continent and are among the most spoken languages in Europe.
The grammar and phonemics of the two languages are what make all the difference. In practice, Spanish and Germanic are entirely incomprehensible.
Beyond the linguistic similarities, Spain and Germany have traditionally been close and friendly relations. Reportedly that around 1.7 million Spaniards live in Germany. In contrast, more than 1.3 million Germans are residents in Spain.
If Germans are looking for fun, they should learn Spanish. If Spaniards are up for a challenge, German is one for them. After all, language learning is not about taking the easy route anyway.
9. Striking similarities between Spanish and Arabic Languages:
Arabic is one of the languages similar to Spanish. The regions of the Arabian Kingdom and South America are too far apart. Still, Spanish is heavily influenced by Arabic. As Arabs conquered and ruled the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years.
For historical reasons, about 8% of Spanish directly comes from Arabic. When giving descriptions, Arabic and Spanish both tend to put nouns before the adjective. Just like Spanish, the Arabic feminine words end in “a” sound. Arabic also influenced Spanish songs, food, and architecture.
Did you know? Aljamiado is the way of writing Spanish using Arabic letters.
Therefore, if you speak Spanish, you know a little Arabic already. But just knowing some vocabulary is not enough for either native speaker. Without learning Spanish or Arabic, it is not possible to construct a proper sentence.
Russian, Austrian- Leonese, Aragonese, and Judeo-Spanish are also languages similar to Spanish.
As all the “Romance Languages” branch off from Latin. So even you might not be able to tell which one is most similar, yet you can tell they’re all pretty similar to each other. And Spanish-speakers will find it easy to learn these nine languages.
People who can speak multiple languages tend to have mental flexibility, improved memory, and enhanced concentration. And also increase the chances of communication as a global citizen. So are you ready to become one? And know which language you’ll pick up?
Or, in case you need more information and guidelines, don’t hesitate to contact @ The Language Doctor.