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Wednesday, December 13, 2006 (read 869 times)
Who wants to learn Spanish? 14 million of us, worldwide, according to the Cervantesby Erin
In October the Instituto Cervantes released a new 900 page volume titled "The Encyclopedia of Spanish in the world" (El enciclopedia del español en el mundo).
Published in honor of the 15th anniversary of the Instituto Cervantes, Spain's official cultural ambassador (with 66 sites around the world - click here to find out if there is a IC in your country), the encylclopedia includes articles by 220 authors, including Carlos Fuentes and Antonio Muñoz Molina. Through 900 pages the authors analyze the presence of Spanish in the world in a number of fields: education, literature, science, technology and the internet. Among the book's intriguing conclusions is this: worldwide, 14 million people are currently learning the language of Cervantes in a school or private language school.
In which countries do most of the 14 million Spanish students live?
The encyclopedia presents some interesting data, including the fact that more people are studying Spanish in Cameroon (63,000 students) than in Australia and New Zealand together (60,000). The force behind the popularity of Spanish in Cameroon? The authors give at least some of the credit to the popularity of Samuel Eto'o, the Cameroon forward for FC Barcelona.
Most of the world's Spanish students hail from the Americas, with 6 million in the USA alone. Brasil will implement the new law requiring schools to offer Spanish with 1 million Brasilian students already studying the language. The authors suggest that Brasil will need 210,000 Spanish teachers to keep up with demand when the new law comes into effect.
Spanish students by continent:
Americas: 7.1 million
Europe: 3.5 million
Asia and the Pacific: 172,000
USA: 6 million
France: 2.1 million
Brasil: 1 million
You can find all the data in a PDF at the Instituto Cervantes site.