• Hispanics in the
United States have the youngest average age and are the fastest growing
• In many service professions you will only be hired if you can speak Spanish?
• Spanish is spoken in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia?
• Spanish is a main language in 23 countries and is spoken by 352 million
people, or by 417 million including nonnative speakers?
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USA Today; Arlington, Va.; May 9, 2001
By Deborah Sharp
Si usted no habla español, puede quedarse rezagado (If you don't speak
Spanish, you might be left behind.)
It's increasingly difficult to ignore the spread of Spanish in the United
States. Bank ATMs offer instructions in Spanish. The Yellow Pages in many
cities adds a Spanish-language insert. And Spanish is working its way into
everyday use. Is there an American left who can't order fajitas with spicy
jalapeños using the proper Spanish-accented flair? (Say the J like an H:
If you want to get on in today's modern world, using just English is not
It really pays to learn at least one more language. The obvious choice is
Spanish, the next most widely spoken language globally.
By learning Spanish, you can communicate with another half billion people.
Let's look at some facts:
Spanish is the second world language as a vehicle of international
communication and the third as an international language of politics,
economics and culture (1).
About 330 million people in the world speak Spanish as their first language
The demand for Spanish courses has doubled worldwide in ten years (3).
Spanish is the official language in 21 countries (4).
Approximately another 100 million people speak Spanish as second language.
In the United States 13% of the population speak Spanish as their first
In the United States and Canada, Spanish is the most popular foreign
language to learn (6).
The Latin-American countries are experiencing constant economic growth and
because of that, are becoming more important as trading partners. A number
of large Latin-American countries are on the verge of signing the NAFTA
(North American Free Trade Agreement), set up by the United States, Canada
Given the facts above, you stand a better chance in the labor market if you
speak Spanish. There are, of course, many other reasons to learn Spanish.
And don't forget that Spain is a very popular holiday destination. One more
reason: Spain rose from a world ranking of 11 to 3 in only one decade, as
one of the best countries in which to live(7).
(1, 2, 3, 4) Source: Instituto Cervantes.
(5, 6) Source: La Vanguardia.
(7) Source: The Economist.