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LANGUAGE: The Spanish language--Alicante



Alicante is the Mediterranean province of Spain just south of Valencia. The capital, also named Alicante, is a pleasant beach resort with an excellent climate. I have just received an advertisement encouraging students to go to its university to study Spanish. The university, founded in 1979, did not exist when I was there. The university of neighboring Murcia was notorious when I lived in Madrid. Students at the University of Madrid who wanted to avoid its demanding examinations would go to Murcia for a few days, since the examinations there were easier. The university of Alicante has "a campus with extensive grounds, green areas and an artificial lake". The trouble is that I should have said Alicant, since the heading is in Valencian, unless Alicant claims its language is not Valencian. Why would a student go to Alicant to study Spanish? If he wants to enjoy an attractive sea resort, fine. But if he wants to learn good Castilian and come in contact with the great cities of Spain, go to one of the beachless cities of the interior, which have historic universities. The heat may make you want to go to Alicant for the weekends.

Ronald Hilton - 11/2/02


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