According to today’s edition of El Pais, Spanish language and culture are becoming more and more popular in the ten countries about to join the European Union.
A couple of weeks ago, a news item appeared in the Spanish press claiming that in the USA, four times more students choose Spanish (rather than French) as their first foreign language. Today El Pais claims that the growing popularity of Spanish language and culture has spread to Eastern European countries. There are plans for a Cervantes Institute (the Spanish version of the British Council) to be set up in Prague, Budapest and Bratislava, and the director of the Cervantes Institute in Poland has reported 766% increase over the past 8 years in the number of students matriculated on one of the Spanish courses offered by the Institute. More and more books by Spanish-speaking authors are being translated into the languages of all ten countries, and Spanish films are increasingly popular.