If you can speak and read Italian, is it easy to learn Spanish?

Someone told me that the Italian and Spanish languages are very similar (more similar than any other two romance languages). Now I know this is a subjective question, but if I speak Italian, might Spanish be a very easy language to pick up?


  1. Yes, Spanish and Italian are dialects that originated from Latin. I speak spanish and I can understand 70% of what an italian person is saying

  2. I would say so, although I don’t speak Italian. However, a few years ago, I had a penpal who wrote to me in Italian and I answered in Spanish. It took a bit of work to decode some of the words, but it wasn’t too hard. I think your biggest problem might be confusing the two, i.e., using Italian words when you’re supposed to be speaking Spanish.
    P.S. I would have thought that Spanish (or more precisely, Castellano) and Portuguese were the most similar to each other. And, of course, there’s Catalan, which is wedged in between French and Castellano…

  3. When the Roman Empire fell, the Latin that was spoken all over the empire began to evolve into what are called the Romance languages ("Roman’s languages"). These include French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian. Because of their common ancestry in Latin, all of them are similar in writing, though their pronunciations differ.

    For example, the phrase "One language is never enough":

    French: "Une seule langue n’est jamais suffisante"
    Italian: "Una sola lingua non è mai abbastanza"
    Portuguese: "Uma só língua nunca basta"
    Romanian: "O singură limbă nu ajunge niciodată"
    Spanish: "Un idioma nunca es suficiente"

    Notice that "language" in these phrases is similar ("langue," "lingua," "limba") but in Spanish it’s "idioma." Also, "one" is similar ("une," "una," "uma," "un") but in Portuguese it’s "o." So there are tons of similarities yes, but there are also a lot of differences.

    Grammar on the other hand, that’s almost identical in all Romance languages (except Romanian, it borrows more grammar from its Slavic surroundings than from Latin), so in this case if you know Italian then Spanish grammar is a cinch.


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