Asturian is a Romance language that developed from Latin. It is spoken nowadays in the Princedom of Asturias, in Spain. There are 100,000 first language speakers, plus 450,000 second language speakers able to speak or understand it (1994). 50,000 in Central Asturian, 30,000 in Western Asturian, 20,000 in Eastern Asturian.
Asturian belongs to a wider linguistic group called Asturian-Leones,which was the language of the ancient kingdom of León. Its greatest expansion in the XII th century occupied today's Spanish provinces of Asturias, León, Zamora, Salamanca, the western half of Cáceres an Badajoz, the Portuguese region of Miranda do Douro and the eastern bank of Cantabria. Asturian-Leonese never had a unified linguistic standard and several dialects were spoken all over this area.
Today Castilian (Spanish) has almost extinguished all these dialects except two: Asturian and Mirandese (the Asturian-Leonese variant spoken in the northeast of Portugal). The situation of the Asturian-Leonese dialects today is presented on the map.