Spanish: A must-learn language
As more and more people make the move to learn another language because of globalization and the increasing importance of being able to communicate with those from other countries, more often than not, the second language they are choosing to learn is Spanish. Wondering why? Then, consider the following facts:
- As of 1999, Spanish had approximately the same number of native speakers as English (Spanish leading English by 332 million people to 322 million people). With population growth projections taken into effect, the lead for native speakers of Spanish is even more today, and the lead is only expected to increase further in the coming years.
- If you include the number of people who are fluent in Spanish as a second language, the total number of Spanish speakers in the world is well over 400 million people.
- The are about 30 countries where Spanish is either the primary language or the largest secondary language – Andorra, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gibraltar, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.
- Although most of the countries outside of Spain that speak Spanish are located in the Western Hemisphere, there are some notable exceptions. Spanish and French share the role as the official language of Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatoria), making it the only country on the continent of Africa with Spanish as a primary language. However, Morocco and Gibraltar also have many Spanish speakers. In Asia, the Phillipines is the lone representative as far as Spanish-speaking nations is concerned. In all, Spanish is the primary language in countries across four different continents.
- Approximately 5.8 percent of Internet users speak Spanish, making it the 4th most common language among the Internet community, trailing only behind English (about 50%), Japanese (about 8%), and German (about 6%).
Most people who choose to learn Spanish do so because of its popularity, especially in the Western Hemisphere and in Europe. They figure that they are learning a language that will give them practical use – both in their daily lives and in their jobs/professional lives.
By learning Spanish fluently you can often also understand enough Italian and French to get by in communicating with people who speak those languages. Also, overall, Spanish is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world. Besides English, the other two languages ahead of it are Chinese and Hindi, which are limited mainly to China and India respectively. So the numbers make learning Spanish a good choice, as well as the fact that as a romance language Spanish can open the door to many millions of other people who speak one of the other Romance languages. It can enable you to become fluent in those languages in much less time than it would take somebody who is learning their first Romance language, because of the similarities in grammar and vocabulary.
Also,a s countries in Latin America are strengthening and expanding their economies, they are becoming more important as trading partners. Hence, learning Spanish is becoming all the more important.
The knowledge of Spanish is an important add-on in tourism, airlines, hospitality and even the publishing industry. HP, Oracle and Thomson are the big companies which are scouting for Spanish-speaking Indians. Most students prefer Spanish over French and German in view of the exposure they get in private companies, especially BPOs.
A variety of courses are usually available, including part-time and full-time courses, short intensive courses and courses leading to qualifications. If you look around, you can probably find a course that suits your requirements. Here is a list of some top colleges/institutes for language studies.
- Amity School of Languages.
- School of Languages - Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
- Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad.
- Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
- University of Delhi, New Delhi.
- Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Jawaharlal Nehru Academy of Languages, New Delhi.