College students should learn Spanish

Cary Crocker

There are many advantages to learning Spanish

There are many advantages to learning Spanish

Because of the growing population of Hispanic people in the United States, every college student should learn basic conversational Spanish. Spanish is everywhere, whether it’s spoken by people around town, written on food labels or posted on buildings. In southwest Missouri alone, the percent of the Hispanic population, compared to the entire population, raised 20-100% by county between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. censuses.

According to the 2010 U.S. census, more than half of the population growth was due to Hispanic immigration, and more than 50 million people, or 16% of the whole population, were Hispanic, which increased by 3% since the 2000 census. Spanish is the fourth-most spoken language in the world, and the second-most spoken language in the United States. Right now, America is only second to Mexico as the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world and is ahead of Colombia, Spain and Argentina; also, it is estimated that by 2050 the United States could become the top Spanish-speaking country.

Some might say that this is an English-speaking country and that we should only speak English. First of all, the United States does not have an official language. Secondly, there is a large melting pot of cultures in this country, which means every group of people brings their culture, food and language with them.

Since there is such a large group of Hispanic people here, there is good reason to communicate with them. Imagine going to another country where most people did not speak English. Would it not feel good to find someone who spoke English?

In addition to being able to serve the Hispanic population by speaking their language, learning Spanish helps with logical thinking skills, getting a job, understanding this nation’s history and understanding English itself. Over half of English words come from Latin, which is the predecessor for Spanish, French, Italian and other Romance languages, and many more words, such as adobe, alligator, mosquito and even some state names (like Nevada, Montana and Florida) come from Spanish itself.

Also, it is so easy to find a way to learn Spanish, whether it’s from a course, online or in a class, or from being immersed in the language right where a student is. The best way to go would be just to learn a few basic phrases and then go from there. Why not start learning today?