If you’re planning to move to Mexico to live, work, retire or establish a home—full or part-time—learning Spanish should be high up on your list of ‘to-do’s’. Every-day living in Mexico demands that you exercise at least a modicum of Spanish language usage and you will get much more from your experiences in Mexico being able to speak some Spanish. But even if you’re not planning to move to Mexico, Spanish is a smart choice as a second language for mono-lingual English speakers.
It has been thought for some years that Spanish is becoming an increasingly important language in the U.S. and the recent (2010) census has not only confirmed this, but revealed that Spanish is now a firmly established language there. The reach and numbers speak for themselves:
- Spanish is one of the European Union’s official languages (being spoken in Spain); it is one of the United Nation’s six official languages; and is predominant throughout Latin America (except Brazil, although Mercosur, of which Brazil is a member, uses Spanish as its official language).
- Recent U.S. census data also reveal that over 51 million people in the United States today speak Spanish, comprised of 45 million Hispanics and some 6 million students of the Spanish language. This makes the U.S. host to the largest Spanish-speaking community in the world, outside of Mexico.
- More people in the U.S. speak Spanish than those speaking Chinese, French and Italian combined. Nearly one in every seven people living in the U.S. speaks Spanish, and it’s predicted that by 2050, nearly 100 million people in the United States alone–one in three–will speak Spanish.
- Worldwide, Spanish is spoken by over 420 million people. Spanish is commonly spoken across four of our six inhabited continents and is the second most natively-spoken language after Mandarin Chinese.
Today, many people who learned English as their first language are beginning to appreciate the importance of learning a second (or third) language. Americans are leading the way with large numbers of mono and bi-lingual Americans now beginning to learn second and third languages in earnest. For mono-lingual Americans, Spanish is at the top of the ‘second language wish list’.
Throughout the ages, different languages have held varying degrees of influence and importance. While English has emerged as today’s dominant global language, and mono-lingual English speakers might be tempted to rest on their laurels, the recent U.S. census data—coupled with global language trends—suggest that the room for complacency in regard to this matter is quickly diminishing, with Spanish emerging as of the world’s most influential languages.
See Also: Learn Spanish
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