Spanish Speakers Rising by Five Million a Year

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza monument with Cervantes

Spain’s Instituto Cervantes has released its annual report on the Spanish language: El español en el mundo 2017, revealing that more than 572 million people speak Spanish worldwide, of which 477 million people are native speakers — five million more than last year — and that there will be more than 750 million Spanish speakers by the middle of the century.

Currently, 7.8% of the world’s population speak Spanish, and that figure looks set to remain the same until at least 2050, while the percentages of the world’s population that speak Chinese and English are both set to decline.

Now in its 20th edition, the annual guide is more than 250 pages and is divided into four sections, the first of which examines the current position of Spanish, and includes information about the language, like the fact that there are more than 21 million students of Spanish as a foreign language, the sue of Spanish on the web has grown 1,400% since 2000, and that Spain is the world’s third-largest exporter of books.

Entitled La iberoamericanización del español, the second section contains six articles on the influence of the Americas on Spanish written by Richard Bueno, the Cervantes’ academic director; Santiago Miralles, director general of the Casa de América; Jesús Andreu, director of the Fundación Carolina; Darío Villanueva, director of the Real Academia Española y President of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (ASALE); Alicia Mayer, director of the  Centro de Estudios Mexicanos (CEM) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Spain; and Martín Gómez, delegate of the Instituto Caro y Cuervo (Colombia) in Spain.

The third section is dedicated to la difusión del español en la era de la digitalización, and the final chapter looks at the worldwide presence of the Cervantes Institute.  For the first time, a digital version is available in EPUB format. Visit www.cervantes.es for more information.

 

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