Why it’s high time to go beyond “Hola”
According to data from Ethnologue.com, the Spanish language is the second most spoken language in the world—used in 31 countries and spoken as a first language by more than 400 million individuals.
English, which is widely considered as a “universal language,” came in third with 335 million first-language speakers.
What do these figures imply?
For starters, it reiterates the importance of having a strong grasp of English especially for people who live, study or work in the US, UK or other Anglophone countries. Second, and perhaps more notably, it implies a growing need to learn Spanish especially in the US where Spanish is the most spoken non-English language.
In fact, a recent Fox News report stated that a 2010 research found that there was a 211 percent increase of Spanish speakers in 2007 compared to 1980. It’s the year 2013 and the figures are going nowhere but up. The U.S. Census Bureau revealed data indicating that, today, more than 38 million people speak Spanish in America—and not all of them are Hispanics. This makes US the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world behind Mexico, Spain, Colombia and Argentina.
The staggering figures are just the icing on the cake. Here are a few more reasons why it is time to expand your Spanish vocabulary.
1. Learning Spanish is a competitive edge in business and for employment. As an entrepreneur, a strong grasp of Spanish will open up more opportunities to tap into the rich potential of the Hispanic market. As a job-seeking individual or even as an employed professional, the ability to speak Spanish ups marketability and widens career options. In an era of globalization and merging cultures, the bilingual employee will always have an edge.
2. Learning Spanish will enhance your travel experience to Hispanic countries.Regardless of language, a visitor should always strive to learn the language of his host country. With Spanish, one language can take you through at least 31 countries. By learning the native tongue, travel experiences can be more fruitful and rewarding.
3. Learning Spanish is good for your mental health. Aside from making people smarter, studies have shown that learning a second language enhances mental development in children and helps reduce chances of developing dementia in adults.
In Orange County, California, Spanish learning company OC Spanish has started a “language revolution”—using customized modules to help students learn at their own pace. The fast-growing team of Spanish instructors, tutors, interpreters and translators is now taking their successful business and education model to San Diego county to spread the love for the Hispanic language.
OC Spanish general manager Salvador Ordorica said, “We’re starting with private tutoring, private Spanish lessons and other service-based work in San Diego. Our students can expect the same unorthodox and exciting teaching methodologies that we are known for. At OC Spanish, teaching and learning Spanish is never a chore so it’s bound to be a rewarding experience for San Diegans.”
OC Spanish offers a wide range of Spanish language services including private and group lessons, tutorials for all levels of learners, translation services for even the most technical and medical documents, executive training for corporate clients and an intensive Spanish immersion program. The company uses a flexible teaching methodology that adapts to the learner’s schedule, location preference, pace and learning style.