Spanish needs a stronger online presence to be the (West's) second language

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

This page has an interesting interview with Víctor García de la Concha from the RAE on what Spanish needs to grow in strength as a second language. It's a pretty easy interview to follow but here are a few parts translated:

"When I began as the secretary (of the organization), I spoke with Alonso Zamora Vicente, and he said to me:  "the future of Spanish will be in America".


"The common (Spanish) lexicon is greater than 90%, only 10% is dialectal variance. The grammar is unified for the first time and so is the orthography."

Q: "The new grammar of 2009 was the first large pan-Hispanic contribution (to the language)?"

"It was the first time that a total grammar of the Spanish language was made. There are no precedents to that. It was monumental, and that's not an exaggeration...For the first time we have a map of Spanish in each of its linguistic areas."

Q: "How is Spanish doing in the world now?"

"It's growing a lot, especially in America; to the US in the north, and in Brazil in the south. Spanish people only represent 10% of Spanish speakers, while 90% are from the Americas. The main challenge is to consolidate it as the second language of the international community in the Occident. For this it needs four things: a large number of speakers, strong unity, a strong digital presence, and more international qualitative recognition."

Q: "...What do you think of European patents not allowing Spanish?"

"It's a pity. Spanish needs to be given more weight. It's true that in Europe it is surpassed in number of speakers by French and German, but it's a very important world language. The recognition it needs is connected to having a larger online presence. But it's also true that it lacks a presence in the field of science and there are few patents in Spanish."

Q: "Are things going badly on the internet (for Spanish)?"

"The increase of Spanish internet users has grown exponentially...but on the other hand the number of pages in Spanish is far behind."

After that it gets into Spanish (Castellano) in Spain in places like Barcelona where Catalán is spoken, and that's another issue. Near the end we also see that the date for the next dictionary will be 2013.

I wrote recently that Spanish is not exactly my favourite Romance language, but as a lover of nearly all languages that's more like saying that Band X is your third or fourth-favourite band instead of first, and one can't help but admire its structure. I also wrote waaay back when (in a post here that took me a full ten minutes to find) that all IAL supporters should support Spanish as perhaps the best language to bring about the realization that English will not end up sealing the deal as the world's second language. I believe that the linguistic deadlock in the early 20th century was what gave the greatest impetus to languages like Esperanto, Ido and Occidental, and only a further strengthening of other languages besides English (Spanish, Chinese and French to a certain extent) will shift the world's attention back to them.

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