495 Million Spanish speakers in the world may just be in luck; the language of Cervantes is now the second most spoken language in the US, falling just behind English, according to a recent study conducted by Pew – It’s growing importance has now been confirmed and seems to be taking advantage over languages such as Chinese, French and Hindi.
According to the study conducted by the Pew analysis centre based in Washington, the United States is home to around 37.6 million Spanish speakers, a staggering figure far superior to the 2.8 million Chinese speakers, 2.1 million French speakers and 1.7 Asian speakers.
Consequently, Spanish is no longer a language only associated to Latino regions, but has become the second most widely used in the USA, with politicians such as Mitt Romney and Barack Obama using it on more than one occasion, with the former stating “I would love to be able to speak Spanish fluently.”
“The number of Spanish speakers in the United States has grown rapidly in recent decades, reflecting the arrival of new Latino immigrants and the growth of the Hispanic population in general.” as noted by immigrant specialists. However, only 82% of Hispanics have retained the native tongue, as stated by the same research centre in 2012, meaning a significant percentage of non-Spanish speaking Hispanics do not hail from Latin America.
This can even be seen within the media; Ironically, the fourth most-watched television channel is Univision, which is entirely broadcast in Spanish. The ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and Fox have all been overshadowed by this channel, which is far from the leagues of the previous stated network giants.
Incomparable Growth of The Spanish Language
The studies as shown by Pew shows just how much of an influence the Spanish language is having; Last year it was ranked as the second most used language within business negotiations (Once again falling behind English), the second most used on Twitter, and third most on the internet, just proving how important the language is on an international level.
Surprisingly, the outlook for the future is even more promising for North America; In 2060, it is predicted around 48% of Americans will speak Spanish, representing no less than half the population, not to mention the fact that the United States tops the list of countries with the largest number of Spanish speakers.
The growing presence of Latino ethnic groups in states like California, Florida and Texas is the main cause behind this boom, although the impeccable management of the Instituto Cervantes has also contributed, not forgetting the many tourist attractions of Hispanic nations such as Spain, where football, cultural heritage and summer camps all attract eager new comers to embark on learning this language.
In recent years, being able to speak more than one language has become an almost indispensible requirement within the working world, and Spanish (Along with English) have become the most desired – It’s safe to say that Cervantes’ language knows no bounds.