The importance of Spanish is undeniable. Spanish is spoken by over 420,000,000 native speakers plus people that speak Spanish as a second language.
The importance of the Spanish language is undeniable. Spanish is spoken by over 420,000,000 native speakers –add people that speak Spanish as a second language and that figure grows to 530,000,000 speakers world-wide.
This last statistic makes Spanish the second most spoken language in the world, ranking higher than both Hindi and English. Spanish is also the world’s third most used language in the media in its various formatting: radio, television, paper and internet. Spanish also makes up 10% of the language used on the internet.
Despite the current financial crisis, Spain is still ranked as having the thirteenth highest GDP (gross domestic product in the world). Also among the 50 countries with the highest GDPs are Mexico in 14th place, Argentina (24th), Colombia (27th), Venezuela (28th), Chile (33rd), and Peru (45th).
The importance of Spanish as a language of business has been increasing in the last few decades, due in large part to the constant economic growth Latin American countries have been experiencing –many of these countries have taken huge leaps forward in terms of their international economic positions. Latin America is a rich source of raw materials, which has helped make knowledge of Spanish a necessity in seemingly distant countries such as Japan, where international trade is done with Spain and Latin America.
Spanish-speaking culture has been steadily attracting greater interest on all different levels in the last twenty years, particularly in the arts: distinguished Spanish language writers have revolutionized the narrative world through their writing, Spanish language music is no longer only heard in Spanish speaking countries (where it’s still heard more than English language music), and dance academies teaching salsa, merengue, and flamenco (Spain is also a part of the Hispanic boom)have been filling up around the world.
530 million Spanish speakers from around the world make up a group of consumers that no company can ignore. The increase in this group’s buying power, slow but steady, makes it a market that is just too attractive to overlook, which is why Spanish and Spanish speakers are increasingly being considered by companies when promoting their products.
Another pertinent phenomenon has also occurred in the last few years: the Spanish language itself has become a significant economic resource. The various courses that cater to the different needs of Spanish learners have helped elevate the number of people studying Spanish around the world to nearly 20 million, including study on an official level in high schools and universities, as well as education on a private level in schools that specialize in Spanish as a foreign language instruction and study abroad experiences.
The United States, the European Union, and China are all placing great interest in Spain and Latin America (including Brazil). Investment in these regions is increasing rapidly.
While English has been, and continues to be, a language of fundamental importance in terms of international communication, it is also true that in our constantly globalizing world Spanish has become an obligatory second language for anyone who wants to be “someone” in the international business sphere.
It may be a fact that today the international community speaks English, but considering the latest estimates from the U.N. and its various organizations on population and economic growth in Spanish speaking countries, in the future it will also speak Spanish.