Spanish is a Romance language, closely related to Italian, Portuguese and French. It is therefore not difficult for learners familiar with one of these languages to acquire another. Spanish has been spread worldwide by Spanish colonisation and is now either an official or national language in 20 countries, including Spain. Most Spanish speakers in Australia are Australian-born second or third generation, with the next largest group having come from Chile. Migration from Spanish-speaking countries to Australia has been influenced by economic and political circumstances in the home country. However, migration from Spanish-speaking countries remains steady, making Spanish an important community language in Australia. Spanish was first taught in Australian universities in the 1960s and it is now one of the most popular languages at tertiary level.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 117,493 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: European Languages

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