Spanish Speaking Countries - Maps, Capitals, and Games!
Spanish is the official language in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Review the maps and capitals of the Spanish speaking countries below and then test your knowledge of Spanish speaking countries by playing our Spanish games!
|Spanish for Kids Spanish Speaking Countries - Maps, Capitals, and Games!|
Spanish was spoken in the United States long before the United States existed! Huge areas of the American Southwest and all of Florida was previously part of New Spain. Spanish is the most popular foreign language in United States. Spanish is the mother tongue of 41 million people who live in the USA. In addition, 11 million Americans speak Spanish as second-language. The United States now has the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. Even if you are not familiar with the Spanish ordinal numbers, you should be aware that soon the USA will have more Mexicans than Mexico!
Even within a single language there are major differences in speech. The term dialect refers to those differences in intonation and pronunciation. When traveling in Spanish speaking countries, one will soon discover words and expressions which are used extensively in some countries are noticeably absent in others. Regardless of the county you find yourself in, you will need to have a strong understanding of Spanish relative pronouns if you wish to communicate with anyone!
Spanish has a colorful history that spans continents and centuries. The same way English speakers from London use some words differently from those in New York or Sidney, there are very common expressions and vocabulary in Spain or Mexico which would be completely new and somehow strange for a Spanish native from Peru or Guatemala. To shout "be careful" or "watch out" to someone in Mexico, one simply shouts "aguas". This has no meaning in any other county. I have discovered about 1,000 similar examples in my thirty years of traveling and living in Spanish speaking countries. On the positive side, Spanish demonstrative adjectives are used in the same way in every Spanish speaking country., so this is one less thing you need to worry about!
If you study Spanish in Mexico, you will learn some words which you will never hear in Spain. You will also hear many Spanish idioms which you will only be able to use in Mexico. Of course, you will learn more than just words, you will also learn how to conjugate verbs, how to construct sentences using the Spanish indirect object, and to correctly use Spanish demonstrative pronouns. You will also learn to distinguish between masculine and feminine genders, and a few thousand rules of grammar. All of this knowledge will be very helpful to you when you travel to other Spanish speaking countries. However, don't expect to be able to understand anyone the first week you arrive in Spain if you learned Spanish in Mexico. My wife is a native Spanish speaker and she had a very difficult time understanding many people during our travels through Spain.
It goes without saying that a strong knowledge of Standard Spanish will help you communicate with Spanish speakers throughout the world despite the huge variety of accents, expressions, local idioms, and mispronunciations which are unique to every Spanish speaking country or region. It is much easier to speak to a well educated person from a Spanish speaking country than to speak with someone in the street. In fact, it is often impossible to understand street Spanish in any country if you are not a native of that country.