Monday, September 17, 2012

Language Profile: Spanish

Spanish, the second most spoken language in the world (in terms of native speakers), evolved from Latin around the ninth century. Since Spain's conquest of the New World, Spanish has dominated the Western Hemisphere, making it the most widely understood language in the Americas. It is the official language of 21 countries, including most of Central and South America, several Caribbean island nations, and Spain, obviously!

Spanish is also quickly gaining speakers in the United States. 37 million Americans report that Spanish is the language they speak at home, and it is also the most widely-taught foreign language in U.S. schools. Will Spanish one day overtake English as the primary language in the United States? Only time will tell...

Maybe someday all Americans will know more Spanish than just "Yo quiero Taco Bell"!

Spanish is often considered easier to learn than other languages given its lovely phonetic structure. There's rarely any doubt how to pronounce things as letters usually represent only one sound. If only English was so kind! However, it does have its difficulties as well. Verb conjugation can be a nightmare, especially with many of the most commonly used verbs being irregular, and memorizing six verb forms per tense could give anyone anxiety, except the Spanish, who have never suffered from anxiety. Except when they run out of sangria.