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the importance of Spanish in the future


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#1
Colonel O'Neil

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just how important do you think being able to fluently speak more than one language will be in the future? In other words how long before translators and such are rendered useless? With the exponential increase in technology, how long do you think that it will take to finally break down the language barrier? It seems strange that Spanish listed as one of the future lingua francas of the world, next to English and Mandarin. No major country speaks Spanish (major as in future economies). Brazil speaks Portuguese, and although there are many Hispanics in the USA, they are hardly the wealthiest or most influential citizens. With Mandarin, there is over 1 billion Chinese, and English is already the world's second language (it is also rising in usage in India). Thus I fully understand how these two can be considered important, but the same can hardly be said with Spanish. And for those who think Spanish and Portuguese are the same, they're not. They're two different languages. It seems to me that the importance of Spanish is a misconception. Don't get me wrong, is still an important language, but unless you wanted to visit latin america it doesn't seem vital to learn. what do you guys think?

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#2
SG-1

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It's probably important to me since I live in the USA.  It is useful for a surgeon to learn too, but not needed.  I may minor in Spanish just to look better in applying to Med School, any edge however small is still an edge.

 

I think learning those three languages will be important in any part of the world more and more until language barriers can be broken through augmentation.  I don't know about Spanish in Europe but it would be helpful for a business man I guess.  I would say learn French and German if you're European, and Spanish if you are an American.  I probably will never learn Mandarin but I have studied Japanese a little bit.


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#3
Italian Ufo

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Spanish is the most similar language to Italian. However, Italians dont put their tongue  almost  the theet when we they pronounce. I speak speak Spanish pretty well and I can understand 90% of it.  But I dont like this language so much. I prefer French.

In Europe Spanish is not so much important to be honest. The main language one should know are English and German. French is still kind of important but not like the 60s and 70s.



#4
MarcZ

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In reality there are only two languages which are spoken on most continents to a degree, and that is English and French. (Even Portugese may be able to be called a world language as I think it is more spread than Spanish is) Spanish is a big, big regional language in South and Central America, and even the U.S. to a degree, like Chinese is for Asia, Arabic is for the Middle East, and Russian is for Central Asia. 

 

Also I disagree with your comment that no major country speaks Spanish? What is Mexico? Mexico is projected to be one of the 10 largest economies in the world in the future. I think that in the future there will be the following important languages for business: The Grand 7: (English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Arabic and Russian) and if your are focusing on specific regions with fairly big economies I assume German, Japanese, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Indonesian, Turkish, Korean, and Persian will also be important. Which I think rounds off the major world languages. Though the latter are lesser so because they are either very, very regional or they are important in certain countries, but only those whose populations are shrinking dramatically therefore decreasing their importance particularly in the case of German, Japanese, Polish, Italian and Dutch. I think the biggest wildcard that could join the big 7 and make it a big 8 is Indonesian depending on how big it's reach gets. Notice I didn't add any Indian languages such as Urdu, because although it is very largely spoken, there are many different competing languages like Punjabi and Tamil in that area and thus the more defacto language of business there is English.


Edited by MarcZ, 26 February 2013 - 05:08 PM.

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#5
SG-1

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I think its clear that while maybe not the most spoken, the most useful language to learn is English.


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#6
MarcZ

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I think its clear that while maybe not the most spoken, the most useful language to learn is English.

 

Unless you already speak it, which means what is the most important after it. Which is French in my case as I live in Canada, although I have already learned that. (So I'm now eyeing Spanish and Mandarin) :)



#7
Kombaticus

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Knowledge of Spanish is a huge advantage is certain industries, such as mental health.  I have twice the number of clients as a result of being bilingual.

 

I think the real question isn't so much which are the most important languages to know...if anything being bi or trilingual may not be as important in the future with the advent of translator technologies.  Maybe eventually we will think it funny that we went out of our way to learn so many languages when we could just have a conversation with anyone using our cell phones as translators.


Edited by Kombaticus, 27 February 2013 - 09:05 PM.

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#8
tornado64

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I don't see it as that important because most people who have spanish as their mother language learn english now anyway. English is by far mor important than any other language and I hope this will even increase to become somewhat the lingua franca of the whole world. Mandarin is very important for doing business in Asia, as there are a lot Asian economies in fact are controlled by Chinese speaking people (Example: In Indonesia the ~5% Chinese minoritiy is controlling about 80% of the economy) and to date not many Chinese speak good English. In fact it's the most spoken language today.

So I hope to improve my Mandarin in the future.


Edited by tornado64, 27 February 2013 - 10:32 PM.


#9
José Andrade

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It's probably important to me since I live in the USA.  It is useful for a surgeon to learn too, but not needed.  I may minor in Spanish just to look better in applying to Med School, any edge however small is still an edge.

 

I think learning those three languages will be important in any part of the world more and more until language barriers can be broken through augmentation.  I don't know about Spanish in Europe but it would be helpful for a business man I guess.  I would say learn French and German if you're European, and Spanish if you are an American.  I probably will never learn Mandarin but I have studied Japanese a little bit.

Here in Europe Spanish is not very important, just like Portuguese. The 3 main languages for business are English, German and French.

 

About the future i think i am good. I know Portuguese ( my mother tongue ), Spanish that is very close to Portuguese, we can understand each other with minor effort and English. It's already 3 out of 7 of the current "main" languages.

 

I understand a bit of French and Italian, both of theme aren't that different from Portuguese and Spanish. I don't really like German but maybe i will learn it later together with Russian. Arabic and Mandarin are cool too but they are way down on my priority list. I think the next one i will learn is Japanese. I think it is a beautiful language.


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#10
MarcZ

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I don't think we will be seeing lingua franca of the whole world anytime soon, for all the optimism here from people about one world language I don't think it will ever happen, and this is due to one main reason: nationalism. Here in Canada we may know this more than anyone else. Our French speaking regions (Quebec in particular), have launched a fairly effective campaign to squash English in certain parts of the country, in fact to operate in parts of Canada, French is MANDATORY, be it Northern New Brunswick, Quebec City, or the Rest of the province of Quebec outside of Montreal. It is a very potent political tool as whole groups of people want to speak no more English than is required to associate with the outside world, meaning if you want to market to a certain area, you better damn well speak their language or you will be going nowhere. I also believe that French is probably has the most nationalism behind it in the world, which is why the French in France won't speak to you if you don't try to use their language, and is partially reflected in Quebec as well. Also I don't think French is going to die to English either, it's probably the most major business language in Africa and as Africa is growing and will undoubtedly be beginning to economically explode near the middle of this century, I assume French is going to come back with a vengeance from the lull it's in now. 



#11
tornado64

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I don't think we will be seeing lingua franca of the whole world anytime soon, for all the optimism here from people about one world language I don't think it will ever happen, and this is due to one main reason: nationalism. Here in Canada we may know this more than anyone else. Our French speaking regions (Quebec in particular), have launched a fairly effective campaign to squash English in certain parts of the country, in fact to operate in parts of Canada, French is MANDATORY, be it Northern New Brunswick, Quebec City, or the Rest of the province of Quebec outside of Montreal. It is a very potent political tool as whole groups of people want to speak no more English than is required to associate with the outside world, meaning if you want to market to a certain area, you better damn well speak their language or you will be going nowhere. I also believe that French is probably has the most nationalism behind it in the world, which is why the French in France won't speak to you if you don't try to use their language, and is partially reflected in Quebec as well. Also I don't think French is going to die to English either, it's probably the most major business language in Africa and as Africa is growing and will undoubtedly be beginning to economically explode near the middle of this century, I assume French is going to come back with a vengeance from the lull it's in now. 

 

Actually I hate French, I studied French for 6 years in school and can't even speal a word or understand anything. It's like I never had a Frenche class.


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#12
MarcZ

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I don't think we will be seeing lingua franca of the whole world anytime soon, for all the optimism here from people about one world language I don't think it will ever happen, and this is due to one main reason: nationalism. Here in Canada we may know this more than anyone else. Our French speaking regions (Quebec in particular), have launched a fairly effective campaign to squash English in certain parts of the country, in fact to operate in parts of Canada, French is MANDATORY, be it Northern New Brunswick, Quebec City, or the Rest of the province of Quebec outside of Montreal. It is a very potent political tool as whole groups of people want to speak no more English than is required to associate with the outside world, meaning if you want to market to a certain area, you better damn well speak their language or you will be going nowhere. I also believe that French is probably has the most nationalism behind it in the world, which is why the French in France won't speak to you if you don't try to use their language, and is partially reflected in Quebec as well. Also I don't think French is going to die to English either, it's probably the most major business language in Africa and as Africa is growing and will undoubtedly be beginning to economically explode near the middle of this century, I assume French is going to come back with a vengeance from the lull it's in now. 

 

Actually I hate French, I studied French for 6 years in school and can't even speal a word or understand anything. It's like I never had a Frenche class.

 

Lol well, it depends if you don't have the opportunity to use it classes won't help you, however some people may have a better knack for languages than others. I've been dabbling in Spanish myself lately, and I would like to learn Mandarin. I know everyone says translators will deal with these, but realistically translators these days aren't very good, and there are a lot of ambiguities and inferences in different languages that machine translators just could not even begin to understand these days.



#13
tornado64

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I don't think we will be seeing lingua franca of the whole world anytime soon, for all the optimism here from people about one world language I don't think it will ever happen, and this is due to one main reason: nationalism. Here in Canada we may know this more than anyone else. Our French speaking regions (Quebec in particular), have launched a fairly effective campaign to squash English in certain parts of the country, in fact to operate in parts of Canada, French is MANDATORY, be it Northern New Brunswick, Quebec City, or the Rest of the province of Quebec outside of Montreal. It is a very potent political tool as whole groups of people want to speak no more English than is required to associate with the outside world, meaning if you want to market to a certain area, you better damn well speak their language or you will be going nowhere. I also believe that French is probably has the most nationalism behind it in the world, which is why the French in France won't speak to you if you don't try to use their language, and is partially reflected in Quebec as well. Also I don't think French is going to die to English either, it's probably the most major business language in Africa and as Africa is growing and will undoubtedly be beginning to economically explode near the middle of this century, I assume French is going to come back with a vengeance from the lull it's in now. 

 

Actually I hate French, I studied French for 6 years in school and can't even speal a word or understand anything. It's like I never had a Frenche class.

 

Lol well, it depends if you don't have the opportunity to use it classes won't help you, however some people may have a better knack for languages than others. I've been dabbling in Spanish myself lately, and I would like to learn Mandarin. I know everyone says translators will deal with these, but realistically translators these days aren't very good, and there are a lot of ambiguities and inferences in different languages that machine translators just could not even begin to understand these days.

 

Well I speak some Mandarin and it's very hard to learn, but I can have a daylie life conversation and I understand half of some children books I bought in China. But Chinese language and culture interests me and I see my future in Asia. French...I don't know why they can't learn English like civilized people ;).


Edited by tornado64, 28 February 2013 - 10:47 PM.


#14
Zeitgeist123

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My mother tongue is categorized as 'creole spanish', im fluent in english, can speak spanish, understand a little bit of italian when spoken fast (from spanish), knows a little bit of german, fluent in tagalog plus one local language (which is pretty close to bahasa indonesia). i did have an opportunity to learn french but i despised the language due to its really nasal and airy vocalization. i am interested in learning japanese out of curiosity and planning to formally learn mandarin in the far future.

 

i still think that spanish will be one of the major languages in the future because if you group countries with spanish as the dominant language, it will equal the size of one of the largest economies of the world so it will play a significant part in the future world stage. i doubt if french will ever survive this (as one of the tops) as most of the colonized countries france invaded do not speak it as their dominant language today. 


Edited by Zeitgeist123, 07 March 2013 - 09:14 AM.

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#15
MarcZ

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My mother tongue is categorized as 'creole spanish', im fluent in english, can speak spanish, understand a little bit of italian when spoken fast (from spanish), knows a little bit of german, fluent in tagalog plus one local language (which is pretty close to bahasa indonesia). i did have an opportunity to learn french but i despised the language due to its really nasal and airy vocalization. i am interested in learning japanese out of curiosity and planning to formally learn mandarin in the far future.

 

i still think that spanish will be one of the major languages in the future because if you group countries with spanish as the dominant language, it will equal the size of one of the largest economies of the world so it will play a significant part in the future world stage. i doubt if french will ever survive this (as one of the tops) as most of the colonized countries france invaded do not speak it as their dominant language today. 

 

I have to disagree with that assessment of French, French is a very common language in most of former French West Africa, and is widely spoken on that continent. 



#16
IzzyIngleby

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I think the French attitude to the English language is ridiculous, they literally have a cabinet that decides what new objects and concepts should be called in the French speaking world. The English approach is much less original, but far more practical, if you have a word we like, we just steal it and move on to the next. It's an organic way of growing the language, a bottoms-up approach juxtaposed against the tops-down mechanistic approach used in France.

 

They're just sore that they lost the cultural war for dominance.

 

And as a wise man once said: "There's no French word for entrepreneur."



#17
Guyverman1990

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What are the odds that it could become a US official language?



#18
IzzyIngleby

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^ I don't think the USA as a whole has an official language, although most states have declared English the official language. If English can't be confirmed as an official language, then I wouldn't have high hopes for Spanish.



#19
MarcZ

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I think the French attitude to the English language is ridiculous, they literally have a cabinet that decides what new objects and concepts should be called in the French speaking world. The English approach is much less original, but far more practical, if you have a word we like, we just steal it and move on to the next. It's an organic way of growing the language, a bottoms-up approach juxtaposed against the tops-down mechanistic approach used in France.

 

They're just sore that they lost the cultural war for dominance.

 

And as a wise man once said: "There's no French word for entrepreneur."

 

France is not even bad when compared to Quebec.



#20
Alric

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There is actually a great many things in Spanish already. If you look at any government thing there is always Spanish writing whenever there is English and most things have instructions in Spanish, and a lot of projects have Spanish labels. At least there is how it is where I live. The US has no official language but if it did Spanish would probably be listed right after English.






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