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French and Spanish

I've started to notice how similar French and Spanish are. Does anybody know if there are any countries that have both French and Spanish as their primary languages?

September 23, 2017



French and Spanish have a lot in common because they both belong to the Romance language family, which is the group of all the languages that desenced from Latin. Other major languages of this family are Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan.

Also, I don't think there is any country where French and Spanish cohexist. I know they are both spoken (but not official languages) in Andorra, a small country between France and Spain, but even there the majority language is Catalan.


French Guiana, to the east of Brazil on the South American continent, has a fascinating history and, although its official language is French, many in the population speak Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English as well as local dialects.

Guiana is derived from an Amerindian language and means "land of many waters". The addition of the adjective "French" in most languages other than French is rooted in colonial times when five such colonies existed (The Guianas), namely from west to east: Spanish Guiana (now Guayana Region in Venezuela), British Guiana (now Guyana), Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), French Guiana, and Portuguese Guiana (now Amapá in Brazil). French Guiana and the two larger countries to the north and west, Guyana and Suriname, are still often collectively referred to as the Guianas and constitute one large shield landmass.


Although not the same country, the Dominican Republic and Haiti share the same island. French and Spanish are somewhat similar but they are not mutually intelligible. Spanish and Portuguese are even more similar.


Equatorial Guinea might be the closest you can get but I couldn't find an estimate on the number of French speakers. And yeah, they are similar because they are both Romance languages.

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