10 Facts about the Spanish Language Boom
At this point, we all know that the Spanish language is on the rise and it looks like its future is bright… and we’re not just saying it because we teach Spanish! We’re saying it because it’s true: Spanish is a language that is being spoken more and more every day. As proof, take a look at these facts. They’ll leave you stunned!
1. Do you know which country has the largest number of Spanish speakers? That’s right, it’s Mexico… but do you know which comes in second? None other than the U.S. of A, with more than 52 million Spanish speakers; the great, world superpower speaks our language! Ha! And what about Spain? It comes in fourth place, just behind Colombia.
2. The typical Trivial Pursuit question…what’s the most widely spoken language on the planet? Well, it’s Chinese; but when compared to the growth of Spanish, the language of this Asian giant looks like it may be, little by little, ceding its seat. And curiously, interest in learning Spanish is growing in China, proven by the more than 40,000 Chinese students studying Spanish.
3. Since 2009 the use of Spanish on the Internet has grown by 650%. Can you say “fast”!
4. Did you know that Spanish is the second most used language on Twitter? Now you know there are millions of readers who can understand the comments you post about your job… so be careful!
5. The 33rd most sold book in the world is 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. It could seem like that’s pretty low down on the list… but we’re talking about 30 million copies sold! José Arcadio Buendía would be proud.
6. Now, there are a lot of Spanish shows that are successful in foreign countries. But did you know that Verano Azul (Blue Summer) was a complete hit in Portugal, Angola, Algeria, Croatia, Poland, France and Bulgaria? Imagine the millions of people sobbing their eyes out when Chanquete died.
7. How many people study Spanish worldwide? According to the Instituto Cervantes, the number is over 21 million. Do you think they’ll find texts from 100 Years of Solitude or an episode of Verano Azul among their study material?
8. There are 22 Spanish Language Academies around the world. The first was the Real Academia Española (founded in 1713) and the most recent is the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (founded in 1973).
9. Don Quixote is not only one of the most translated books in the world, it is also one of the ones with the most versions. You can find Spanglish versions, Japanese Manga versions, mentions of it in international comics like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and even in novels… in which the sad knight hunts zombies!
10. We’ve scoured the Internet looking for the most famous festivals in the world. And everywhere we looked we found, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, Spain’s La Tomatina, and of course San Fermín. Strangely, La Tomatina seems to be gaining popularity for running with the bulls in recent years.
Of course these are not exactly the most intellectual of facts, we know… But isn’t it true that they give you an idea of how important the Spanish language really has become?