Languages and Dialects of Spain

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Spain: Languages and Dialects

With a population of approximately 45 million Spaniards and 3.5 million immigrants, Spain is a country of contrasts where the richness of its culture blends it up with the variety of languages and dialects used. Being one of the largest economies worldwide, and the second largest country in Europe, Spain is a very appealing destination for tourists as well as for immigrants from around the globe. Almost all Spaniards are used to speaking at least two different languages, but protecting and preserving that right has not been easy for them; Spaniards have had to struggle with war, ignorance, criticism and the governments, in order to preserve and defend what identifies them, and deal with the consequences
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Thanks to those efforts Catalans can be proud to acknowledge that their languages and dialects are the most well-kept, normalized and preserved in the country, their continuous fight since the very end of war and their pride about using their language has giving them the courage to embrace and protect both, their language and their identity in such way that, in Catalonia, Castilian is limited to those who are foreigners and Catalan to natives.
Unfortunately, a very different thing has happened in Galicia and Basque Country; since, by the end of war, the governments of both regions were more concerned about political affairs than preserving languages. In Basque Country, the reason for these lack of protectionism towards language was the persecution Basques suffer during the Civil War, they were accused of terrorism whenever they spoke in their own language; they were hunted and killed for this reason, and all of these actions made them a little afraid of protecting language even years after the end of war. Something similar happened in Galicia, where there were no efforts to maintain language after the war. It was years later that governments started to make efforts to preserve and rescue the language and to normalize it and make it mandatory in each school around the region, but the accurate and pure versions of them got lost with time and what new generations speak today is a mixture of old and new words adapted from the

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