7 Facts About Texas Spanish

I’m in Texas right now for work, just outside of Killeen. Since I’m studying Spanish, I’m excited to practice and improve my skills with some of the locals.

I live in Orlando, which has no shortage of Spanish speakers, but things are a little different here. Here are seven facts about Spanish in Texas.

1. There are over 6 million people who speak Spanish in Texas.

No matter where you go in the state, there is a good chance you’ll interact with someone who speaks Spanish.

Dancers performing a traditional Jalisco Mexican dance.
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2. Texas is the US state with the second highest number of Spanish speakers.

The first is California.

The Dallas Skyline
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3. There are over 2 million people in Texas who speak only Spanish.

That significant number equates to about 1 out of 13 people.

A festival in San Antonio
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4. Many Texas place names are Spanish.

There are too many to list, but some notable examples include San Antonio, Amarillo, the Rio Grande, El Paso, and the Alamo.

The Alamo
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5. The Spanish in Texas is influenced by Mexican Spanish.

Kind of a no-brainer given the geography, but the US census figures confirmed that the overwhelming majority of the Hispanic population in Texas are Tejanos–Texans of Mexican descent.

Mariachis performing at the Austin marathon
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6. Language has become somewhat of a political issue.

Spanish in Texas is a complicated topic that residents and lawmakers have debated. (As a guest here, I will refrain from giving my opinion and let Texans figure out this issue themselves.)

South Congress Avenue in Austin
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7. There are several Spanish newspapers.

This Wikipedia article links to websites of at least 8 Spanish newspapers, which are influential in Texas’ various communities.

A woman tailgating at a University of Texas game.
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