With approximately 45 million Spanish speakers in the U.S., Spanish is fast becoming the de facto second language of the nation.
With a 2004 U.S. census putting the number of Spanish speakers in New York State at roughly 16% of the population, there are clear cultural, economic, and personal benefits to learning this vibrant language.
Mayor Bloomberg started the tradition of addressing New Yorkers in their second language and Mayor De Blasio is continuing using Spanish in his public speeches.
The facts are there. The Latin market in the United States has become an essential component for a brand’s growth. In the last few years, the purchasing power of the Latin community has substantially increased, making the community appealing for any brand that is looking to tap into a great resource.
That’s why executives in major cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles are taking corporate Spanish lessons to understand better the needs of the market at the same time they enjoy the benefits of learning a new language and eventually becoming bilingual.
Moreover, by encouraging residents to learn Spanish, the most commonly spoken language in New York City after English, hospitals are signaling the increasing importance of the skill in overall medical training. In some cases, hospitals are even encouraging residents to receive “medical” Spanish instruction that focuses on the terminology they will need to examine, diagnose, and treat patients. “If you can’t elicit what the patient is feeling, you’re going to lose a lot,” the director of a medical Spanish program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Maria Marzan, said.
If you take a look around you realize that perhaps Spanish isn’t “foreign” to the United States.
The names of many of our states and cities are Spanish, in New York it’s rare not to hear people speaking in Spanish in the trains, streets, restaurants or bodegas. Many of us use Spanish words when speaking English, often without being aware of what we’re doing. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the country and many people, both immigrant and native-born, are raised speaking it.