English is a truly global language, and has become a requirement for employment all over the world. The reason for this? It is a common form of communication for many countries, making it extremely useful for both business and social settings. It has become common in places such as the UK and North America that the learning of languages isn’t taken seriously, because it is assumed that English is spoken everywhere. However, bilingualism represents a cultural shift for many native English speakers – it is increasingly common in the globalised market that only being able to speak English is no longer sufficient, and a second language is required, especially in international business, banking, trade and telecommunications.
Global companies look for people who have global skills, and being able to speak Spanish is becoming an important global skill.
The importance of the Spanish language is undeniable. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries and is spoken by over 420,000,000 native speakers. The figure grows to 530,000,000 speakers world-wide when people who speak it as a second language are also taken into account.
The Spanish language is becoming increasingly globalised and is regarded as the most commonly understood language in the western hemisphere, due to its prominent use in South America.
In recent years, it was recorded that there are now more native Spanish speakers in the USA than in Spain; demonstrating it’s increasingly widespread nature.
It has been cited as a ‘growth language’ due to the financial progression and population increase in Spanish speaking countries. For example, South American countries have undergone huge economic growth, meaning the continent is become more prominent in terms of its international economic position due to exports of its rich source of minerals and diverse agricultural products.
Because Latin American countries are only surrounded by Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, it means that English isn’t widely spoken; making the knowledge of Spanish a necessity for countries who want to trade.
530 million Spanish speakers from around the world make up a group of consumers that no company can afford to ignore, which is why Spanish speakers are increasingly being considered by companies when promoting their products. They also form a huge community that shares products, services and culture, offering many international businesses huge growth potential.
For many years, English has been (and continues to be) a language that is fundamental, internationally. However, taking into account the increasing population and economic success in Spanish speaking countries, it could be argued that Spanish is also becoming a compulsory second language for business.