In the Iberian Peninsula, the Spanish language is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family that developed from colloquial spoken Latin. In today's world, it is a worldwide language with about 500 million native speakers, the most of whom live in North and South America and Europe. It is also the world's second-most language native language after Mandarin Chinese, and the world's fourth-most spoken language overall after English, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindi. It is also the world's most widely spoken Romance language, and the world's most widely spoken language in the world's Romance language family, after French.
Spanish is a member of the Ibero-Romance family of languages, which developed in Iberia after the Western Roman Empire was defeated in the 5th century from multiple varieties of Vulgar Latin. Most of the first Spanish-language documents date back to the 9th century in northern Iberia, and Toledo, a major city of the Kingdom of Castile, is where the first systematic written usage of the language was first recorded in the 13th century. From 1492 onwards, the modern Spanish language was introduced throughout the viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire, most notably in the Americas, as well as in African and Asian countries, including the Philippines.
As a Romance language, Spanish is a descendent of Latin and, along with Sardinian and Italian, has one of the lesser degrees of variance from it (about 20%). Around 75% of current Spanish vocabulary is derived from The latin, which includes Latin borrowings from Ancient Greek and other languages. It is also one of the most widely taught foreign languages in the world, ranking third behind English and French. Despite the fact that Spanish is not a significant scientific language, it is more prevalent in fields such as the humanities and social sciences. Apart from that, Spanish is the third most often used language on internet pages, behind only English and Chinese respectively. Besides being one of the six official languages of the United Nations, the Spanish language is also used as an official language by a number of other international organisations, such as the European Union, the Organization of America States, the Union of South American Nations, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and the African Union.