Let’s get going with a few facts that highlight the reasons why Latin American Spanish is becoming increasingly relevant:-
- Spanish speaking countries of Latin America have a population of some 400 million people. In addition there are some 55 million Hispanics living in the United States, which would be equal to about 17% of the population.
- Spanish is the primary language of 20 countries worldwide.
- Worldwide, Spanish is the third most spoken language by total number of speakers (after Mandarin and English), while it is the third most commonly used language for internet content (after English and Russian).
- It is estimated that the combined total number of Spanish speakers is between 470 and 500 million, making it the second most widely spoken language in terms of native speakers.
- In recent years, trade between the USA and Latin America has risen from $132 Billion in 2004 to $272 Billion in 2019, an increase of almost 105%. The trade figures between Canada and Latin America have also risen by a similar amount.
- From an employment perspective, as the Latin American region is becoming more integral to our businesses in the USA and Canada, one of the major skills that employers look for now is the ability to speak a second language. A company or organization carrying on business in Latin America, or even many parts of the United States with a large Hispanic population, such as California, Florida, Texas, New York, Arizona, and more, needs Spanish speaking employees.
- Living in North America today (the English speaking part), we are increasingly coming in contact with people and businesses of our neighbouring countries in Latin America. For many of us it is through tourism, particularly to Mexico, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, and several others.
- The increase in tourism to the region has resulted in many visitors buying property there, and more and more Americans and Canadians now choose Latin American countries to live in when they retire. If you wish to buy a property in a resort town in Latin America, you can “get by” with only your English language skills. If your dream is to reside outside the tourist zones (where you can often buy property and live for a fraction of the cost), to live as one of the locals, and especially if you wish to operate a business there, then a knowledge of the local language is essential.
The above are just a few examples that demonstrate the influence Latin America is having in North America, and this is why I feel it is increasingly important for any of us to gain a knowledge of the Spanish language.
My Motivation And My Reward
While, above, I have highlighted predominately economic reasons why you should learn the language, I was initially influenced by my desire to communicate better on my vacations in Mexico, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, and other countries in the region. I am not someone who just likes to sit on a beach or by the pool at the resort all day; I believe that when I travel a long way to a foreign country, I want to see something of it.
It is not only a beautiful and diverse part of the world, but those trips opened my eyes to the multitude of economic possibilities available there.
First however I needed to learn Spanish.
Ultimately I was able to work in a couple of those countries and later I was also able to assist businesses and individuals in my own country who wished to pursue commercial interests in Latin America.
I will go into more detail about my work experiences there later, but there is no doubt that without my ability to speak Spanish, it would not have been possible.
Whatever your motive is to learn this increasingly important language, I hope you will take the next step and learn it for yourself. It is not just a language, it is effectively a new skill.
How To Learn To Speak Spanish
I will review and discuss elsewhere on this site what are considered by many as the finest methods of learning Latin American Spanish – some quicker and easier than others.
The Pimsleur Method, which I have discussed in detail, is the major reason for my success in learning the language and if you decide to take the same course of action as I did, then you too will be rewarded with having a whole new world opening up to you.
In the meantime, click the banner below and check out a free lesson for yourself….
Since I learned Spanish, there are now several more options on the market for learning languages, some expensive, some cheap, some even free. I will be recommending ones that I know will help you. You don’t need a free course that ends up trying to upsell you in order for you to advance.