Spanish is a language which counts almost half a billion people as native speakers, a bridging language that unites speakers from more than twenty countries around the world. Its extraordinary vitality makes Spanish a language that, whilst remaining united, expresses itself with its own varieties and nuances in each of the countries that have made it their own.
Yesterday, the 6th of April 2021 at 11 o’clock, at the Headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes, an organisation created in 1991 to disseminate Spanish language and culture around the world, celebrated the presentation of ‘Lo uno y lo diverso. La riqueza del idioma español’ (The one and the diverse. The richness of the Spanish language). Authors from across the Spanish speaking world deal with an aspect of the language that has caught their attention and use it as an example to tell the story of the diversity that enriches the Spanish language.
Fernando Iwasaki (a writer from Lima, living in Seville) pointed out that Spanish speaking people understand each other better than, for example, Chinese speakers (13% of the world’s population) or the Germans and Swiss who share the same language. For the Peruvian writer Spanish “is a common language that separates us, that is prone to complicity, that unites us in a special way”. He discussed words such as huevo (egg) (to which he dedicated his article), hortera (tacky), cacao (cocoa), patata (potato), but also other almost forgotten words of remote African or indigenous origin that hide a past linked to slavery and marginalised peoples.
The work laughs at the usual embarrassing situations that words with different meanings create and reviews the unity of a language that, for the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, is“polycentric and plural” and is based on a complicity between“inclusive identities that do not subtract, but add”
The full event on the Instituto Cervantes Youtube channel.
Source: original article found at EL PAIS