Saharan Spanish (Spanish: español saharaui) is the variety of the Spanish language spoken in Western Sahara and adjacent regions. This non-native variety is heavily influenced by both Spanish cultural links and a strong expatriate community who live in Spain and Hispanic America, particularly Cuba.
Although the native and dominant languages in Western Sahara are Hassaniya Arabic and some Berber languages, Spanish was introduced by settlers in Spanish West Africa and Spanish Sahara in the 19th century.
Spanish still influences Sahrawi society today and is the preferred second language for acquisition and government. Although Arabic and Spanish are both official languages of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Arabic is the sole official language in their constitution and the republic only uses Spanish for radio and TV broadcasts and state journalism.
Spanish vocabulary has entered Hassaniya, particularly in fields related to agriculture, automobiles, diet, and sanitation. These loanwords are reinforced due to Sahrawis studying abroad in Hispanic lands and returning to either Western Sahara or the Sahrawi refugee camps.
Regarding the lexicon, the preference for Hispanisms in the framework of technique and tools has been documented, just as other countries have opted for solutions of the colonizing language such as English or French.
|Lexical field||Originating loanword|
caja de cambio
tubo de escape