The language of Cervantes spreads to Tokyo

11th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 September 2007, TOKYO- (EFE)- The Cervantes Institute opened its biggest facility outside Spain, a 4,300-square-meter (46,200-square-foot) building with a teaching capacity of 12,000 students a year and from where it will promote Spanish culture with a marked emphasis on Latin America.

11 September 2007

TOKYO- (EFE)- The Cervantes Institute opened its biggest facility outside Spain, a 4,300-square-meter (46,200-square-foot) building with a teaching capacity of 12,000 students a year and from where it will promote Spanish culture with a marked emphasis on Latin America.

A crowded party with personalities from numerous countries, particularly from Latin America, launched the center that will organize talks and expositions, will boast Japan's biggest library of books in Spanish, and will show movies in Spanish.

The inauguration of the 72nd facility of the Cervantes Institute was celebrated with the screening of the Oscar-nominated film "Pan's Labyrinth," a Spanish production directed by the Mexican Guillermo del Toro and attended by its young leading lady, 13-year-old Ivana Baquero.

"We are proud to welcome you on this day that we open the doors on the inaugural ceremony of the Cervantes Institute of Tokyo," its director, Victor Ugarte, said at the event.

Baquero told Efe that she was thrilled with what she had seen in Tokyo, a city that impressed her "because I never dreamed it was so beautiful," while Manuel Huergo, director of "Salvador," to be shown Tuesday at the Cervantes Institute, described the experience as "fascinating."

Also attending the party were representatives of Latin American embassies in Tokyo.

Starting Monday, registration is open for students who wish to study Spanish in the classes beginning Oct. 1 and which will include preparatory courses for the Spanish as a Second Language Diploma examinations.

Up to Tuesday close to 800 students had expressed interest in attending Spanish classes in Tokyo, a number that got a boost this morning thanks to coverage provided by a local radio program, Ugarte said.

The Cervantes Institute is located in the academic heart of Tokyo near the Imperial Palace and close to similar centers such as the British Council, the Alliance Française and Germany's Goethe Institute.

Some 200,000 people study Spanish in Japan, most of them in academies and the rest in the 70 university classes that teach the language, a low number that has stagnated in recent years and that the Cervantes is now trying to increase.

According to Cervantes Institute data, 14 million people study Spanish around the world. It has been trying to increase the number of students in Asia with the opening of new facilities over the past few years.

This has been a year of expansion for the Cervantes Institute in Asia, with scheduled openings in Shanghai and New Delhi added to last year's inauguration in downtown Beijing. EFE

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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