Spanish is fashionable. The number of Spanish-speaking people grows every year and, in some countries, like, for example,China, the government needs teachers to meet the demand of students wanting to learn Spanish.
The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the Spanish Language Academy Association (ASALE), the Cervantes Institute (IC) and the Government of Panama have decided to devote the 6th edition of the International Congress of the Spanish Language to discuss and analyse the situation of books in Spanish.
Spanish is the second most spoken language all over the world (currently, 490 million speakers , more than 530 million in 2030). This means that a 7,5% of the world population speaks Spanish. In addition to that, Spanish is one of the most studied languages, with almost 20 million pupils in the world.
On the other hand, Spanish is the third most widely use language on the internet, with a 800% increase throughout the last 10 years. UNESCO figures stand that 170.000 new books in Spanish were published in 2011.
The Congress was held in Panamafor four days, starting on October 20th. The Prince of Asturias, Felipe of Borbon, attended the opening ceremony, giving a speech in which he pointed out that reading is the first step in order to carry out a reasoned criticism of the society that we live in.
Peruvian great writer and also Nobel Prize-awarded Mario Vargas-Llosa also was in the opening ceremony, highlighting the strength of Spanish all over the world, because its stands as a great common language that works as an essential link between the Old and the New Worlds.
Some of the activities and themes discussed in the Congress have been: libraries in the digital era, how to promote reading, the Spanish Literature situation, literary criticism, digital press, books and graphic language and Latin-American educational politics, among others.