Lingua galega ( Galician language )
Galician (, ; galego), also known as Galego and Gallego, is a Western Ibero-Romance language. Around 2.4 million people have at least some degree of competence in the language, mainly in Galicia, an autonomous community located in northwestern Spain, where it has official status along Spanish. The language is also spoken in some border zones of the neighbouring Spanish regions of Asturias and Castile and León, as well as by Galician migrant communities in the rest of Spain, in Latin America including Puerto Rico, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe.
Modern Galician is classified as part of the West Iberian languages group, a family of Romance languages. Galician evolved locally from Vulgar Latin and developed into what modern scholars have called Galician-Portuguese. The earliest document written integrally in the local Galician variety dates back to 1230, although the subjacent Romance permeates most written Latin local charters since the High Middle Ages, being specially noteworthy in personal and place names recorded in those documents, as well as in terms originated in languages other than Latin. The earliest reference to Galician-Portuguese as an international language of culture dates to 1290, in the Regles de Trobar by Catalan author Jofre de Foixà, where it is simply called Galician (gallego).
Dialectal divergences are observable between the northern and southern forms of Galician-Portuguese in 13th-century texts but the two dialects were similar enough to maintain a high level of cultural unity until the middle of the 14th century, producing the medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric. The divergence has continued to this day, most frequently due to innovations in Portuguese, producing the modern languages of Galician and Portuguese. The lexicon of Galician is predominantly of Latin extraction, although it also contains a moderate number of words of Germanic and Celtic origin, among other substrates and adstrates, having also received, mainly via Spanish, a number of nouns from Andalusian Arabic.
The language is officially regulated in Galicia by the Royal Galician Academy. Other organizations without institutional support, such as the Galician Association of Language and the Galician Academy of the Portuguese Language, include Galician as part of the Portuguese language.