Why Spanish should be the dominant lingua franca over English
English is often touted as being the lingua franca, the most important language in the world. And let’s face it, English does remain one of the most popular languages to learn. Though that fact alone doesn’t mean that English is the most spoken language across the globe, or even the most important one. There are many contenders who could usurp it, like Spanish! Here are some reasons why Spanish should be the dominant lingua franca over English.
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So, what should we know about Spanish as a language?
Spanish is a phonetic Romance language belonging to the Indo-European language family.
It uses the Latin alphabet for its written form, and there is also a version of Spanish sign language as well as Braille.
Spanish evolved from Vulgar or Common Latin, with evidence of Old Spanish dating back to as early as the tenth century.
Numbers of speakers
Spanish is spoken by some 480 million as a native language, making it the second most widely-spoken native language in the world, after Mandarin. Around 75 million speak Spanish as a second language, and upwards of 22 million people around the world are learning Spanish. Spanish is the fourth most spoken language geographically behind English, French, and Arabic.
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An official language
Spanish is an official language in the following countries:
Mexico, Columbia, Spain, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Uruguay, and Equatorial Guinea.
Significant minority language
As well as those countries where Spanish is official, it is an important language for the following countries:
Andorra, Belize, Gibraltar, and the United States.
Here are some of the institutions around the world that have Spanish as one of their official languages:
FIFA, International Criminal Court, International Labour Organization, International Telecommunication Union, Organization of Ibero-American States, United Nations, World Rugby, World Trade Organization, African Union, Caribbean Community, Central American Common Market, Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, European Union, Mercosur, North American Free Trade Agreement, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Organization of American States, and Union of South American Nations.
These organisations also have their conferences with simultaneous Spanish translation:
International Monetary Fund, International Olympic Committee, Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the World Bank.
So, why could Spanish be the lingua franca of our future?
Well, aside from Spanish being spoken in so many places around the world, the growing importance of understanding Spanish in the United States can’t be understated. Whether you are interested in the crisis at the border and what is happening to Spanish-speaking immigrants, or are looking to attract the attention of the growing Hispanic market in the United States, Spanish is an essential language of the nation going forward. Turning to politics, Florida is a swing state that has turned the tide of many an election. With many of the voters in the state of Hispanic descent, appealing to Spanish speakers might be the deciding factor in which party gets voted in. In short, Spanish is of huge importance to those living in the United States.
Turning away from the United States, tourism to Latin American countries is on the rise, as trades between these countries and the rest of the world. There are a growing number of startup companies in these countries attracting investment from all over the world. Understanding Spanish will give us access, both personal and professional, to so many opportunities in this region.
Finally, as the thirteenth-largest economy by GDP in the world, Spain has a lot to offer the business sector, and it remains a popular destination for travellers from all over the world. A post-Brexit Europe might see the rise in importance for Spain on the world stage. The question, really, then, is why wouldn’t you want to learn Spanish?
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One final enticement as to why you should be learning Spanish, and why it is such an important language in our world. The growing success of Spanish-language music and film means increased exposure to the Spanish language, whatever your musical or cinematic interests. Whether you loved or loathed Despacito, or fell in love with Spanish through Y Tú Mama También or El Laberinto del Fauno, the Latin and Spanish entertainment markets are clearly on the rise.
Are you thinking of learning Spanish or looking for some guidance with where to go next with your Spanish studies? Our native-speaking tutors can guide you with a tailormade package of study that will suit your level and needs. Drop us a quick enquiry to see how our courses work.