Spanish (español), also called Castilian (castellano), is a Romance language that originated in Castile, a region in Spain. There are approximately 407 million people speaking Spanish as a native language, making it the second-most-spoken language by number of native speakers after Mandarin. It also has 60 million speakers as a second language, and 20 million students as a foreign language. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and is used as an official language by the European Union and Mercosur.
Spanish is the most popular second language learned by native speakers of American English. From the last decades of the 20th century, the study of Spanish as a foreign language has grown significantly, facilitated in part because of the growing population demographics and economies of many Spanish-speaking countries, growing international tourism and the search for less expensive retirement destinations by North Americans and Europeans.
- From Wikipedia