Academic Year 2019-2020
Semester I: October 22, 2019 - February 19, 2020
Semester II: February 27 - June 30, 2020
We are not offering Spanish courses at this time. If you are interested in a Spanish course, please reach out to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do we call "Spanish"?
Spanish, or Castilian, is a language that dates back to the 11th century AD, when the Iberian peninsula (since Spain did not exist as such at the time) was a melting pot of kingdoms that were struggling to gain control of as many lands as possible. Each Christian kingdom began to use variants of Latin, increasingly distant from the language of Cicero - it is the moment of the origin of French, Portuguese, and Catalan, but also of other languages like Occitan, Franco-Provencal, Leonese, and Gallego.
Small texts, originally comments written in the margins of Latin texts, began to appear in the Kingdom of Castile in a language completely differentiated from Latin. It is not until the 13th century that the first poetic text appears in this language: Cantar del Mio Cid, a book that sings the adventures of a Castilian Lord, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar or el Cid (from the Arabic said, sir), who struggles to maintain his honour against all who opposed him.
Castilian continued to gain popularity and in the year 1492 (a year of great changes), the first grammar text of the Castilian language appears, written by Antonio de Nebrija. With the conquest of new territories in America, the conquerors carry with them, among other things, this language. For the first time it transgresses its borders to become a tool of communication between people of very different cultures and origins, which has been shaped by writers and artists from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, such as Cervantes, Rubén Darío, Federico García-Lorca, and Jorge Luis Borges.
Who speaks Spanish today?
An estimated 576 million people around the world speak Spanish, and 472 million of them are native speakers (more than English, with 375 million of native speakers) spread across 20 countries where it is established as an official language. It is the language of singers like Shakira, Manu Chao, Ricky Martin, and Enrique Iglesias. It is the language of one of the most translated books of the history after the Bible: Don Quixote. And it is the language that the Jews took with them after their expulsion from Spain in 1492 (now known as Ladino, that is still spoken in Israel and Turkey)
Although Spain is the country of origin, Mexico is the country that currently has the largest number of Spanish speakers (more than 100 million). Therefore, when we speak of Spanish, we have to think of a language that crosses cultural boundaries because, and despite the differences in the way of living between an Argentinian, a Guatemalan, a Cuban, a Mexican, and a Spaniard, they are all able to communicate and to understand each other perfectly.
Total immersion from the first day!
You now have the opportunity to learn Spanish at the Polis Institute in Jerusalem, using the Polis method. From the first day you will listen and speak only in Spanish, and soon, with effort and dedication, you will notice the progress!