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Spanish remains popular choice for foreign language study
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Spanish remains popular choice for foreign language study
Jordan Times

 AMMAN — Whether for business or for fun, more and more Jordanians are studying Spanish, joining a 500-million-strong global community of Spanish speakers, according to the Instituto Cervantes.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world after Chinese, and the second most studied after English, Luisa Fernanda Garrido, the director of the Spanish cultural institute’s Amman branch, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

Over the past two years, 2,000 Jordanians have enrolled in the institute’s language classes, Garrido said at an event held at the institute to mark Spanish Language Day or “El Día E”.

“El Día E” is observed annually in Spanish-speaking countries and by the Instituto Cervantes on June 23, according to the institute’s media adviser, Ruth Fernandez Galende.

The event in Amman included several activities such as free sample classes, a book exhibition and a karaoke contest.

Students at the institute, meanwhile, gave varying accounts of what inspired them to study the Romance language.

“I do not have a specific reason for learning Spanish, except that I like the language and enjoy speaking it,” Hajer Jaafreh said.

Zaid Hamzeh, another student, said he was studying the language for two reasons.

“The main reason... is that I like the Spanish culture, and decided to study Spanish to know more about this culture,” Hamzeh told The Jordan Times. The other reason is that he works in a hotel and learning a new language has “added value”.

Ali Abdullah said he studied Spanish because he enjoys watching the Spanish association football league (La Liga).

“I am a big fan of the Spanish league, and I thought learning the language would help me follow the news in more depth in Spanish,” he noted.

For Meenas Qasem, however, studying the language was a way to help her husband in his work.

“My husband’s business requires him to travel regularly to Spain, and I usually travel with him. I decided to learn Spanish to translate for him when he has business deals in Spain,” Qasem told The Jordan Times at the event.

The Instituto Cervantes is a nonprofit organisation founded by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote the Spanish language and Spanish and Hispanic-American culture. The head offices of the institution are located in Madrid and in Alcalá de Henares, the birthplace of the writer Miguel de Cervantes.

The institute currently operates in 77 cities across the world.

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