A stage performance of Don Quixote at the Teresa Carreño Theater in Venezuela on 18 October 2013
King Felipe VI: “Upon its publication, Don Quixote set out to conquer America. In the Archives of
the Indies in Seville, there are accounts of passengers of various ships en route to
America reading the Quixote during the long hours of the voyage”*
By 2050 the United States of America could be the biggest Spanish-speaking country in the world!
Right now the Spanish-parlante population in the States is 51 million, 41 million of whom have a native-speaker’s command of the language, according to the Instituto Cervantes, Spain’s equivalent of institutions like the Alliance Française and the Goethe Institute. As of today, Spanish is by far the most studied foreign language in the USA, on all academic levels.
“But more significant than the numbers is the fact that, according to the Observatory of the Spanish [Language] and the Hispanic Cultures of the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard, the Spanish has ceased to be the immigrants’ marginal language and has become a social and cultural language in the American society,” according to Felipe VI, King of Spain, in his address to the 7th International Congress of the Spanish Language in Puerto Rico, 15 March 2016.
*Original text: Don Quijote, nada más salir de las prensas, se encaminó a conquistar América. En el sevillano Archivo de Indias se encuentran testimonios de cómo pasajeros de distintos barcos que iban a América entretenían las largas horas leyendo el Quijote.
Note: Don Quixote was first published on 16 January 1605
> Don Quixote stage performance by The Photographer (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:The_Photographer), uploaded by Laura Fiorucci, PD
> Map of the USA by Lokal-Profil by (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lokal_Profil), CC BY-SA 2.5
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