Luis García Montero: “No one should feel that they own a language”.


Luis García Montero’s perspective when it comes to analysing the situation of the Spanish language on the planet is more than remarkable, and he gave details of this in his participation in the summer courses of the International University of Andalusia (UNIA) in Baeza (Jaén).

Poetry, artificial intelligence and the agri-food sector at the opening of the Baeza summer courses

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For this reason, he defends the language “which is already spoken by almost 500 million people with native language, and almost 600 have learned it, the second language in the world after Mandarin Chinese and in communication after English”.

But, in the face of polemics derived from nationalism, which use language as part of the confrontation, García Montero is clear: “No one should feel that they own a language”.

And he explains this at the UNIA headquarters in Baeza, defending that “in Andalusia, Spanish is not spoken worse than in Valladolid, because everyone speaks Spanish according to where they live, and this applies to the Spanish of Rio de la Plata, of the Andes, or of Latin America”.

The strength of the language

“We have a very important cultural strength”, defends the writer from Granada, who says that “we should not be satisfied only with the rates of population that speaks Spanish, because we must also look for prestige. The challenge of turning Spanish into the language of science and technology”.

In this work, one of the next steps is the opening of the new headquarters of the Cervantes Institute in Los Angeles, “because California allows us to be close to Hollywood, which is culture, but also all the technology companies in Silicon Valley will be next to us, in our efforts to expand investment in science and technology.

And is that the United States may be the second country in Hispanic natives, after Mexico, and Los Angeles is the city in the world with more Mexicans, after Mexico City, “and has a native population that can not only be identified with the poor population and strata”, which have had to see how Donald Trump defined Spanish as “poor language”, with attitudes such as suspending the website in Castilian of the White House.

The power of Spanish in the US

“Today, the United States, in the Hispanic, not only has to do with first-generation immigrants, but second and third generations with a very high economic index, and that makes many politicians, especially Democrats, are using Hispanic culture, and do not make it the enemy of English.”

García Montero reflects on the use of the language with political motivations, and believes that “Spanish has a strength that ensures its health”, and then goes on to say that “anyone who messes with technology is a cretin, and to mess with the humanities, too”.

“Those who use languages to defend closed identities are wrong, and it is nonsense to try to despise Spanish in regions where the population is bilingual and most of them have Spanish as their mother tongue.

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