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Why You Should Learn Spanish in America

Updated on June 28, 2012
The USA is the #3 nation where Spanish is spoken-like it or not-learn it.
The USA is the #3 nation where Spanish is spoken-like it or not-learn it.

Como estas mi amigo, habla espanol? Si o no? Por que?, Ay, caramba!

Spanish in America remains and will be a sore issue with many Americans, maybe even some Hispanic-Americans born and raised here but never learned Spanish. It happens more frequently than you might think (I'm thinking of my daughter's Hispanic friend. Although her family is Mexican and Spanish is spoken between her grandparents and mom, she never learned it. Her grandparents speak no English, her mom is bilingual).

Spanish takes about 800-900 hours of study to learn for a beginner. In comparison, Mandarin takes 2000+ hours to get to this level. Spanish is not a hard language to learn, many of the words can be spoken easily by anglos (some are impossible), spelling is not that hard. I think Spanish is the easiest of foreign languages to learn with Rosetta Stone or Fluenz.

The reason to learn it is because the trend is set in stone across many parts of America. Like it or not, whatever reasons you have, it is still going to occur. While Spanish will never become America's language, it will be use the language to learn for Americans. Learning German or Russian is pointless. The same with Mandarin. Just where would you even encounter these languages in America in daily life? Spanish is encountered as soon as you shop at Kohls, when you go to McDonalds, when you need childcare, landscaping, house cleaning. Many Spanish words have been Englishized, so Americans can pronounce them.

Spanish is commonly heard in America's school grounds between friends, even those anglos who refuse to learn it, sprinkle their conversation with Spanish words at times, for example, "dude, what are you up to"? Many might respond, "nada", meaning, nothing. Resistance in learning Spanish is usually with the adults and not the teens who think knowing it is cool or id normal.

Most adults, including myself, sometimes think it is a method of discrimination of employers because many think they will lose business if their personnel cannot speak Spanish. Statistics do not show this at all, but the mindset is very prevalent. Nurses and doctors who work at Kaiser HMO hospitals in the western states will tell you that some hospitals have full wings of Hispanic medical staff, all bilingual. Those who have a problem with it have options: quit, complain with no results or learn basic Spanish. Kaiser even promotes its staff to learn Spanish with incentive programs.

The Spanish issue it directly tied to the immigration issue. The logic is that because so many illegals have invaded the western and southern states, they are the reason why businesses feel they have to cater to them. Well, it is only partially true, many are legal.

The demographics of America from 2012 to 2040 indicate that Hispanics will be the majority by a narrow margin. That may scare many but that does not mean Spanish will become the dominate language and it is highly unlikely it will happen.There are so many Hispanic tweens and teens who, despite their heritage, think and act like Americans and know very little Spanish. Many Spanish kids in American schools rebel at home where Spanish is spoken. They refuse to speak Spanish and force their parents to learn English. Why? Because most of their lives are away from home and in school where English is spoken all the time. They want to fit in.

Nearly in all schools, only two languages are offered to learn. One is Spanish and the other is French. Of the two, why would you learn French, unless you plan to live in France or Quebec. So, the trend is not going to change. Businesses will prefer bilingual employees because it has to do with economics, not national pride. Manufacturers will continue to print packaging in Spanish and English. Hispanic population will continue to rise. In daily life, the need to know some Spanish outweighs any other reason especially at garage sales. Spanish is spoken in much of North and South America.

If you are resisting because 'This is America and English is spoke here" you are still right, but in parentheses, there is Spanish.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      I agree totally. Spanish has many variants in usage and terminology. I suppose it is possible for a a citizen who lives in Spain having some difficulty speaking in Mexico.

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      I love Spanish and Spanish speaking people! Most of us will use Spanish in our lives whether with friends, coworkers or clients. There are so many reasons to learn the language but it is also important to learn about the 21 countries that speak it! This is not a homogenous groups--even with the languages there are lots of differences, just like the differences spoken between the USA, England and Australia.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Yes, I agree. I just wish employers would not discriminate on knowing Spanish.

    • Johnkadu123 profile image

      Johnkadu123 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great hub. You are dealing with a very sensitive subject here because some people feel as if they are losing their American heritage if they learn a 'foreign' language. However it is good for citizens to have multiple languages so that they can deal with an international market. From that point of view, it seems that learning Spanish in the USA is a good thing.