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Spanish (español) is a Romance language that originated in northern Spain, and gradually spread in the Kingdom of Castile and evolved into the principal language of government and trade. It was taken most notably to the Americas, and also to Africa and Asia Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Today, about 400 million people speak Spanish as a native language, making it the world’s second most spoken language in terms of native speakers. However, it is fourth in terms of total speakers. Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers.
Spanish is growing increasingly popular as a second or third language in a number of countries because of logistical, economic, and touristic interest towards the many nations which chiefly use Spanish as the primary language. This phenomenon is most notable in Brazil, the United States, Italy, France, Portugal, and much of the Anglosphere in general. It is widely considered to be the most beneficial second language for native speakers of English when they study a language out of general interest or for future travel possibilities.