The Story of Spanish… at Busboys and Poets

A presentation of the recently published book, La Historia del Español, made for interesting discussion and debate last Wednesday, as authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow took questions from fans at the Busboys and Poets on 5th and K Streets NW.

Joined by Félix Sánchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, and Guillermo Corral, Cultural Counselor of SPAIN arts & culture for the Spanish Embassy, panelists provided historical context and insights into the origin of the Spanish language and how nuances in regional dialect have shaped the Hispanic world we know today.

“People are always asking, ‘Which Spanish is the right Spanish?’” noted Barlow at the front end of the conversation, touching on the delicate dynamic racial constructs play on the Spanish language at large. “Understanding this dynamic [is] fundamental,” added Nadeau.

In the US, Spanish continues to grow in popularity, but just how did an obscure dialect spoken by farmers in northern Spain secure its standing as one of the most prominent languages of modern day? You’ll have to read more to find out.

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