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Published on: Culture

10 Fun Facts in the Spanish Language Worth Knowing

The Spanish language is very versatile and multifaceted. It is worth learning a few things about the language itself that can be quite curious, not to mention interesting!

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. So if you want to learn Spanish, you’ll like this list of interesting fun facts about the Spanish language. 

Here we go! 

1. The Letters “Ch” And “Ll” Do Not Exist

In Spanish, the letters “Ch” and “Ll” existed in the alphabet. In 1994, the RAE (Real Academia Española) eliminated these letters from the Spanish alphabet. This was terrible news for all those who studied these letters as part of the alphabet.

As a side note, the letter “h” is the only letter that has no sound in Spanish, except when preceded by “c”. Here are some examples with this combination of letters:

Spanish  English 
Hacha Axe
Champiñón Mushroom
Charla Talk
Chica Girl
Chicle Chewing gum
Spanish  English 
Llave Key
Calle Street
Valle Valley
Lluvia Rain
Llave Key

2. Where Does The «ñ» Come From?

The accent of the ñ, called virgulilla in Spanish, originally came from another n that was written on top of the larger one, at the top, as an abbreviation. 

Over time it flattened out to the form we know today and became one of the distinctive and prominent elements of Spanish. Here we leave you some words in Spanish that use Ñ:

Spanish  English
Piña Pineapple
Baño Bath
Engañar To cheat
Albañil Bricklayer
Soñar Dreaming
Añadir To add

3. Spanish Unique Words Which Can’t Be Translated In Other Languages

All languages have words that do not have exact translations, but Spanish has some very funny and unique words that will surely be useful for everyday Spanish. Here are some of them:

Vergüenza ajena 

Feeling shame for someone else even if you don’t feel shame for yourself; like when someone else is going through an embarrassing situation, and you feel shame for that situation too. 

It is “other people’s shame” because the embarrassing situation is not happening to you, but you feel as if it is.


The term is used when you are eating a sweet that you no longer tolerate because it is too sickly. An “empalagoso” dessert is one that is so sweet that you can’t keep eating it.


It is used when you want to say that you went to bed very late. “Anoche me trasnoché” is like saying: “I stayed up late last night”.


It is the opposite of “trasnochar”. It is used when you get up very early when it was still dark. 


Buen Provecho is a term of etiquette during meals. It is used to wish people you eat with or meet while eating a pleasant meal. In English, a close translation would be “enjoy your meal” or its French equivalent, “bon appetit”, is also used.

4. Castilian speakers vs. Spanish speakers

In Latin American countries, the Spanish language is simply called Spanish, since that is where it originates from. In Spain, however, the Spanish language is called Castilian, in reference to the province of Castile, in central Spain, where the language is said to have originated.

Is Spanish the same as Castilian?

Yes, both terms can be synonymous, only the term is differentiated for geographical or political reasons.

5. The Longest Word In Spanish Has 31 Letters

The longest word in English is “esternocleidooccipitomastoideos”. It is quite a long medical word for just a small neck muscle. And no, Spanish speakers don’t usually go to the doctor and say that word. They simply say “It hurts over here”. 

6. “El Agua, Las Aguas, Mucha Agua”: How To Say “Agua” Without Getting Confused?

The noun “agua” is feminine, but it has the special feature of beginning with a tonic /a/ (the strong sound is in the first syllable). For reasons of historical phonetics, this type of word chooses the singular form el of the article, instead of the normal feminine form “la”. 

This rule only works when the article immediately precedes the noun, so we say ” el agua”, “el área”, “el hacha”; but, if another word comes between the article and the noun, the rule has no effect, so we say “la misma agua”, “la extensa área”, “la afilada hacha”. 

As these words are feminine, the adjectives must always agree in the feminine: ” la agua clara”, “la extensa área”, “la afilada hacha”. 

The change only occurs in the singular and not in the plural, that is why in the plural, “las aguas” is used.

7. A Text Translated From English To Spanish Will Be Longer

If you learn Spanish, you’ll notice that a translated text from English to Spanish can be 15-25% longer, not because the Spanish words are longer, but just because Spanish is very detailed, highly expressive, and very poetic

8. Homophones In Spanish

Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently. They are like false friends but in the same language! In Spanish, there are many words like this! For example:

Hacia (Towards) Asia (Asia)
Hola (Hello) Ola (Waves)
Bienes (Property) Vienes (Conjugated Form Of Venir, To Come)
Ciento (Hundred) Siento (Conjugated Form Of Sentir, To Feel)
Hierba (Herb) Hierva (Conjugated Form Of Hervir, To Boil)
Si (If) Sí (Yes)

9. Regional nuances of Spanish

There are many differences in the Spanish language within Latin America itself. They are not so extreme, and communication is still very easy. You should be able to travel around the Spanish-speaking world with “neutral” Spanish and communicate with almost anyone.

The differences arose because the colonies developed with some independence from each other, and even from Spain.

A good example is the use of “vos” in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. “Vos” is used in the Spanish of Spain, and so it carried over to the Americas. 

As alluded to earlier, vosotros means “you” or “all of you”, and is therefore the second person plural in Spain, as it was originally intended to be used. However, “vos” is now used as a polite second-person singular pronoun in all three countries mentioned.

In Spain, it has long since ceased to be used this way, but if you visit Buenos Aires you are very likely to be asked “¿de dónde sos?” (where are you from?) instead of  “¿de dónde eres?” 

10. The United States will be the largest Spanish-speaking country by 2050

Despite the fact that there are many Spanish-speaking countries in the world, with more than 124 million people, Mexico is the country with the largest Spanish-speaking population in 2021, according to a study conducted by the Cervantes Institute. 

However, if growth forecasts continue in the coming years, the largest Spanish-speaking country could be the United States by 2050. The United States is currently home to 41 million native Spanish speakers (13% of the population) and, in addition, 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers. It already exceeds Spain itself and aspires to dethrone Mexico.

Last Words

Learning Spanish is the best way to develop your brain’s capabilities further. For English speakers, learning Spanish not only brings benefits on a professional level (and emphasizes that it is the official language of many countries) but also in terms of mental development and intelligence. 

If you want to learn how to better use these Spanish fun facts and get the most out of this beautiful language, always remember to choose native teachers to make your learning faster, more efficient, and more accurate. 

With native teachers, there is no way you won’t learn! So sign up today for a free 1:1 class or for a 7-day trial of group classes and see why SpanishVIP’s methodology for learning Spanish!

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