Spanish Language Day

Spanish Language Day Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateApril 23, 2024
2025 DateApril 23, 2025

Spanish Language Day

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Spanish Language Day History

Spanish Language Day aims to promote multiculturalism and multilingualism, while also raising awareness and respect for the diverse languages and cultures worldwide. Of special significance in this day is the Spanish language, which is one of the most widely spoken languages. The day seeks to honour the Spanish language and its contribution to the cultural wealth of the world, as well as its role in fostering mutual understanding and cultural exchange.

Spanish Language Day was established in 2010 by the United Nations to acknowledge the Organization's six official languages, with the Spanish language sharing the day with other languages on different dates. For Canadians, Spanish Language Day carries additional relevance. Canada is a culturally diverse country, home to a large number of Spanish speakers attributed to immigration from Spanish-speaking countries. Also, Spanish has become a popular second language in Canada's educational institutions. Hence, the day has a profound significance in promoting language diversity and cultural respect in the country.

Spanish Language Day in Canada is generally marked by various cultural events, including language workshops, Spanish film screenings, music and dance performances, and exhibitions showcasing the art and literature from Spanish-speaking countries. Educational institutions, cultural organizations, and embassies play a pivotal role in hosting these events across the nation. While there is no set date specific to Canada for observing Spanish Language Day, the UN worldwide celebrates it on April 23rd, coinciding with the death date of the renowned Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.

Facts about Spanish Language Day

  • According to Rosetta Stone, Spanish is the second most spoken language around the world with over 500 million speakers.
  • One of the most well-known and important works of the Spanish language is Miguel de Cervantes’ El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha).
  • According to the 2016 Canadian census, more than 530,000 people in Canada reported Spanish as their first language, making Spanish one of the top non-official languages in the country.
  • Today, Spanish is one of the UN's six official languages, and it is spoken by over 400 million people worldwide. In Canada, it is celebrated along with the other five UN language days, which include French, Chinese, Russian, English, and Arabic.

Top things to do in Canada for Spanish Language Day

  • Watch the UN's webinar celebrating Spanish Language Day. The webinar focuses on raising awareness about gender-inclusive Spanish.
  • Learn Spanish, enjoy Spanish food and culture, or read Spanish works of literature.
  • Visit Hispanic Cultural Centers: One could visit places like The Hispanic Canadian Heritage Council in Toronto, Centre Culturel Latino-Américain de Montréal, or Centro Cultural Hispano in Nova Scotia to immerse in the Hispanic culture and festivities.
  • Read a book to learn more about the Spanish Language in Canada:
    1) Hispanic Studies in Canada: A History of Intellectual Development - by Joseph Michel Andre Senecal and Glenn Lee Jewell: This book provides an overview of the journey of Hispanic studies in Canada, including the Spanish language.
    2) Spanish Speakers in Canada: Progress and Challenges in the 21st Century - by Simone Dos Santos Esteves: The author examines the progress and challenges regarding education, employment, and language planning for Spanish speakers in Canada.

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