MADRID – Spanish is already the second-most-used language on Twitter, after English, the director of Spain’s Cervantes Institute said on Monday.
Victor Garcia de la Concha was joined by Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo at an event in Madrid to present the institute’s 2012 Yearbook, which provides an in-depth examination of the presence of the Spanish language throughout the world.
Spanish, with its 500 million speakers, is second only Chinese globally and is in third place on the Internet.
Despite this “spectacular” evolution, the growth potential for users of Spanish continues to be outstanding given that more than 60 percent of Latin Americans are still not on the Web.
Besides the growing presence of Spanish online, Garcia de la Concha emphasized the annual growth of 8 percent in the number of people learning Spanish as a second language.
If the current growth trend continues, he said, 10 percent of the world population will be able to get by in Spanish within three or four generations, and the United States will be the country with the largest Spanish-speaking population.
In addition to the United States, the Cervantes Institute also will focus its efforts on the booming Asia-Pacific area, where demand for Spanish instruction is advancing more and more quickly.
In China, 70 percent of the requests to study Spanish currently are rejected because of the limited access to teachers. Despite that, some 25,000 Chinese university students are learning the language, compared with 1,500 in 2000. EFE