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Over the past half-century, Quebec has strengthened its ties with Latin
America and concentrated on bringing the two cultures into closer contact and
cooperation. Much of this rapprochement has been due to the increasing
immigration of Spanish-speakers to Montreal and other major cities of the
province, where they have generally moved into the French-speaking sphere of
cultural and political life. Spanish is now the de facto third language of
Montreal and is the most widely taught foreign language. Quebec has also moved
to reinforce its ties with Latin America through cultural exchanges and
reciprocal artists’, playwrights’, and writers’ residencies with a number of
countries. The province’s publishing industry has also taken the lead in the
translation and publication of works from abroad in Canada, an activity that
Canadian publishers — traditionally oriented to domestic translation between
the two national languages — have in the past left to larger British,
American, and French firms, and most of the latest foreign works published
have been translations from Spanish. Quebec cultural agencies and artists have
been anxious to move beyond the 330 million English-speakers that surround
them and establish and promote ties with Latin America in order to assume
their own Latinité and even Américanité, or place in the Americas, and the new
Spanish-language literature that has developed in the province, la literatura
hispano-quebequense, has played a key role in bridging the two cultures and
literary traditions.

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