Last month, the 9th International Congress of the Spanish Language was held in Cádiz, Spain.
This year’s theme focused around language, multiculturalism and interculturality, running from March 27-30 and was declared a “success” by its organizers. There was a special acknowledgement to the recent mass introduction of AI technology.
The conference hosted by the Instituto Cervantes in partnership with the Royal Spanish Academy and Association of Academies of the Spanish Language is considered the most important official reflection for the status of the Spanish language.
1,300 participants from all over the Spanish-speaking world, 57 thematic panels and 78 cultural events brought the conference together, with this year becoming the first where the entire event was broadcast online, live from Cádiz.
Director of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and president of the Association of Language Academies (ASALE), Santiago Muñoz Machado spoke confidently about the current status of the Spanish language “We are optimistic regarding the situation of the Spanish language, which is growing and which demands educational resources due to the enormous demand that education in Spanish poses in the world.” He added that the “star” of this event has been Artificial Intelligence—something he believes poses challenges, brings opportunities for the defense and dissemination of the language.
Along with talks, exhibitions, seminars and meetings, the event hosted a wide range of arts workshops and performances in the arts and theater. There was even the opportunity for attendees to learn how to rap in Spanish. Events took place across18 emblematic spaces in Cádiz—offered up by the City Council, the University of Cádiz, or the Provincial Council.
Mayor of Cádiz, José María González expressed that the event has been “a fantastic experience for the city” and that Cádiz has never been more capable. He commented on the charm of its informality “It was an academic meeting, but there were meetings on doorsteps, presentations in classrooms and talks on street corners.”
Isabel Rodríguez, the Minister for Territorial Policy and spokesperson for the Government of Spain outlined the Government’s upcoming investment in the PERTE (Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation) for Language. She defined the initiative as “a strategic project for the country that combines public funding of 1,100 million euros ($1.3 million), on top of private investment.”
Rodríguez closed the final ceremony with the statement “Promoting Spanish, together with other official languages, and giving them their value in the world, must be a policy of state. The government of Spain works with this ambition.”