Last May, I realized how vital knowing Spanish can be. I was in Romania on a mission trip, trying to communicate with the Romanian children. This proved difficult because I didn’t speak Romanian, and they didn’t speak English. Suddenly they switched to Spanish. I tried desperately to remember what I had learned in high school but could only come up with a few phrases like “¿Como se llama?” and “¿Dónde está el baño?” These were not helpful when trying to have a conversation. I realized that Spanish is not helpful in just Spanish-speaking countries or areas in the U.S. that are heavily populated with Hispanics. It can be a bridge over language gaps all around the world.
In fact, Spanish is the second largest language in the world, according to USA Today. It is spoken in at least 44 countries. According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 38 million Spanish-speakers are in the U.S. alone, with over 50 million Latin American residents. Spanish radio stations have more than doubled in the last decade to 533, and broadcast TV stations jumped 70 percent. Disney even made a Spanish website.
If Congress passes the new immigration laws, we will see a large influx of immigrants flocking to the U.S., which will only increase the amount of Spanish-speakers.
“There is nothing foreign about Spanish anymore. It’s the second language of the United States,” said Dr. Sam Slick, founder of Command Spanish, Inc., the nation’s largest firm specializing in teaching Spanish.
Those who know both Spanish and English will have an advantage in their sphere of influence, whether in careers, schools, or churches. The ability to communicate to more people gives a person greater platforms to influence. According to Huffington Post, being bilingual also makes a person smarter. It uses more of the brain and increases memory retention, which comes in handy the older a person gets. It can also reduce the chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
Bilingual professionals will continue to be in higher demand in the job market. Once a person knows both Spanish and English, he can communicate with an estimated 500 million people worldwide.
A person who wants to learn Spanish can do so in several ways. Enroll in a local university class or take one online. This website is specifically geared toward professionals who want to learn Spanish. It teaches you what you need to know for a specific job. Give it a try, and you’ll soon be on your way to speaking a new language!
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