Taipei / Spanish is one of the most popular foreign languages in Taiwan, which was the headquarters of a Hispanic government between 1626-1642, and is diversifying its presence from its traditional bastion in universities to schools and other settings.
The appeal of Hispanic culture, and the fame of its art, dance, music, literature, and cinema have led many Taiwanese to explore this Romance language which has its origins in Latin, the language spoken by the Roman Empire.
“Spanish allows me to communicate with many people around the world, understand Spaniards and Latin Americans during my travels, and I hope that it might help me find a good job,” university student Leticia Fang told EFE.
The reasons Taiwanese have chosen to study Spanish vary from a love for flamenco, folkloric music and dance prevalent in southern Spain, identifying business opportunities in Latin America and Spain or becoming fans of well-known Spanish soccer teams such as Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
“I don’t miss any of the matches of Spanish soccer or Spanish teams on TV,” says a student of the Department of Spanish of Tamkang University, founded in 1962.
At present, five universities offer a degree in Hispanic Philology and as well as 32 courses in Spanish.
Spanish is also used in the media including several radio shows on Radio Taiwan International and in journals and official newspapers.
But Spanish has taken a leap from universities to the streets with many Taiwanese opting to study it in language schools, university outreach programs, community colleges and public institutions, including the police force and national army.
“There are no concrete figures on this expansion of Spanish in formal non-academic contexts, but there is a noticeable increase in the number of new programs and organizations that offer them,” said Professor Jose Miguel Blanco, promoter of the magazine SinoELE, aimed at teaching Spanish to Chinese speakers.
The latest estimates suggest that there are around 2,500 students pursuing Spanish degrees, some 3,200 in other university programs and a little over 6,300 in high school, which places Spanish in third place among foreign languages in universities and in the fourth place in high schools.
In the 1960s and 70s, the universities of Tamkang and Fu Jen began offering degrees in Spanish faced with the prospect of economic growth in Latin America and Spain.
“Many Taiwanese diplomats and several deputy-ministers pursued a degree in Spanish in recent decades,” said Jose Ramon Alvarez, who was dean of the Department of Foreign Languages and director of the Department of Spanish of Fu Jen University.
In the first two decades of the new millennium, scholarships for students from Latin America and Spain multiplied, which expanded the presence of Hispanic culture and private classes of the language on the island, as well as more arts and leisure activities emerging. (March 10, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)
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Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)
del escaso interés que tienen los taiwaneses por aprender español.
del porqué los taiwaneses aún no tienen interés por el idioma español.
de la presencia e interés por el español en Taiwán.
por motivos no solo económicos sino también culturares y deportivos.
solo porque les gusta unos clubs de fútbol.
solo porque quieren hacer negocios en países hispanohablantes.
No se sabe.
el español no se expandió allí tras el apoyo del Gobierno taiwanés.
se ha incrementado el número de programas para aprender español.
aún no se ha notado que haya un incremento de estudiantes de español.
apenas les impresionó.
lo vieron y se aburrieron.
les encantó y se aficionaron.
aún no es usado en ningún medio de comunicación de Taiwán.
podría empezar a utilizarse en algunos medios de comunicación de Taiwán.
también es usado en medios de comunicación de Taiwán.