Besides being the official language of 23 countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas, Spanish is spoken by nearly 500 million people all over the world. It is also one of the six official languages of the UN.
Spanish has become so prevalent in the US that it is considered the 4th largest Spanish speaking country in the world. According to the Census of 2000 there are 41.3 million Hispanics in the US. By 2050, they project this number to be 102.6 million, which will then represent 24% of the total US population.
The number of students who choose to study Spanish beyond the requirement has grown significantly in the last decade. For careers in the government, health care, law, media, NGOs, and education, understanding Spanish will put you in great advantage.
History of Spanish
With an origin that can be traced back to the 8th century, Spanish is a millenary language that has produced an amazing body of literature. Keep in mind that this language gave entity to universal myths that are essential. You already know some of them: like Don Quixote or Don Juan. Some are legendary, but there are a good number of real ones, like Moctezuma, Bartolomé de las Casas, Túpac Amaru, Bolívar, Pancho Villa, and Che Guevara, among others.
Spanish Language and Rich Culture
Spanish will round your education as a student and open opportunities for fellowships and study abroad programs. As a professional, Spanish will make you competitive among your peers and attractive in front of potential employers. Also very important, as a citizen of the world, Spanish as your second language will assist you in your experiences with many peoples and places other than your own and make you more receptive in a world in urgent need of peace and understanding.
Learning the language will open up a rich and amazing world to you. ¡Bienvenido!
Please read more about the value of knowing Spanish: NY Times Article "Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen." By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Published: December 29, 2010