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UN Spanish Language Day – April 23 2024

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UN Spanish Language DayThe United Nations (UN)’s Spanish Language Day is annually celebrated across the world on 23rd April to raise awareness among the UN staff about the history, culture and use of Spanish as an official language.

  • The Spanish Language Day observed on 23rd April marks the death anniversary of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • He is known for his novel Don Quixote, which is often cited as both the first modern novel and “the first great novel of world literature”.

Note: 23rd April is also observed as the UN’s English Language Day.


i.In 2010, the United Nations Department of Global Communications established 6 language days (including Spanish) to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote equal use of all 6 official languages of the UN.

ii.The UN Spanish Language Day was originally observed on October 12, coinciding with the National Day of Spain, which commemorates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival to the Americas tracing the beginning of the spread of the Spanish language and culture.

iii.Later, the day was changed to 23 April, to pay tribute to Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who was thought to have died in 1616 on 23 April.

Spanish as UN’s official language: 

i.On 1 February 1946, UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 2 (I) established Chinese, French, English, Russian and Spanish as official languages, and English and French as working languages.

ii.In 1948 UNGA added Spanish as a working language and in 1969, Spanish was added as the working languages of the UN Security Council.

Significance of Spanish: 

i.Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese.

ii.Mexico is the largest Spanish-speaking country on the planet.

iii.As of 2023, 21 countries includes Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, the United States of America(USA), Peru, Spain etc.,have Spanish as their official language.