Spanish is the second most spoken language by native speakers in the world, with more than 400 million Spanish speakers in 21 countries: Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Spain have Spanish as its national language; other places such as the USA has adopted and integrated Spanish into culture and everyday life due to the huge presence it has commanded in many states.
Spanish has emerged as the most important language for the UK in an analysis made by the British Council.
It is considered one the easiest languages to learn. Spanish vocabulary is similar to other Romance languages, it’s completely phonetic and its pronunciation is relatively straightforward.
Spanish can be used as a ‘gateway’ to learn other languages. Being a Romance language, it has many similarities to other European languages such as Italian, French and Portuguese.
With an ever increasing presence in the global market, emerging economies in the Americas mean that the chance of work and business opportunities from Spanish knowledge (whether working directly for or dealing with such companies) is increasing. For example, Mexico is seen as one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with a booming consumer market – knowledge of Spanish is essential to ‘tap in’ and access this market.The vast range of countries that speak Spanish makes an understanding of the language very useful for those who want to travel and experience such countries. Knowing the local language can greatly enhance one’s experience, allowing them a greater understanding and appreciation of culture, history and the physical environment.
Plenty of aspects of culture in the Spanish-speaking world have become world-renowned and famous. Artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero and Frida Kahlo have produced some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the modern era. Writers from Cervantes to Vargas Llosa and García Márquez have enriched the world literature. A total of 11 Spanish-speaking writers have won the Nobel prize for Literature: five from Spain and six from Latin America.
Spanish and South American sport has consistently been among the best in the world in sports such as football (Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and European Champions in 2008 and 2012, Argentinian player Messi has won the FIFA Ballon d'Or three times) and tennis (Rafael Nadal has won 13 Grand Slam titles).