The 5th International Congress on Spanish Language presented in La Moncloa today has been organised by the Cervantes Institute, the Royal Spanish Academy, the American Academies and the Government of Chile; and it was attended by the Minister of Culture of Chile, Paulina Urrutia, for which the President thanked her "specially".
The Congress in Valparaíso will be the fifth one of this kind. The previous one was held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) back in 2007 and the first one in Zacatecas (México), eleven years ago.
According to the President, these meetings have become one of the most important forums for the analysis "of the healthy present and of the even brighter future" of our common language.
The congress in Valparaíso will be attended by 200 lecturers from the different Spanish-speaking countries and from different parts of the world.
More than 500 million speakers
Rodríguez Zapatero pointed out that the Spanish language is "the bridge that links the mind and the hearts of more than 500 million human beings all over the globe". An amount that he claimed is growing progressively, not only due to demographic reasons, but also due to the efforts and to the work of scientists, thinkers, mass media, writers and teachers.
Thus, the Head of the Government pointed out some facts "that show the magnitude of our language": it is the third most spoken language in the world, after Chinese and English; the number of speakers is growing by 10% every year; it is the official language in more than twenty countries and the second one in the United States, where towards the middle of the 21st century it will be spoken by 130 million persons.
He emphasised that our language "opens all doors all over the world" and "it makes it possible for us to enhance economic and cultural exchanges in our global society". According to him, it is "a source of wealth and development for our countries".
Thus, he referred to publishing houses, which are making the most and profiting from the strength of Spanish language in order to build one of the most solid, modern and exciting cultural industries.
He said that it is necessary to make an effort in order to promote Spanish on the Internet and he claimed that it was necessary to study the spread of Spanish language in the areas of education, the knowledge society and in research, development and innovation, because "this is the future for us in terms of welfare and also the future of our way of life".
He pointed out that America is playing the main role because it is "naturally called to spread our language all over the world".
In fact, during the Congress in Valparaíso, participants will pay special attention to the inclusion of Spanish language studies in non-Spanish speaking countries, such as Brazil or the United States.
The Congress in Chile, which, as the President pointed out, is the birthplace of some of the greatest writers in Spanish, will also pay a tribute to poets such as Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Vicente Huidobro, Nicanor Parra and Gonzalo Rojas.
Speech of the President of the Government 15:22
Speech of the President of the Government