Spanish: the first foreign language for business
Spanish is set to become, along with English, one of the key languages to reach success in business. Want to know why?
Over 572 million people in the world speak Spanish (7.8% of the world's population) making it the second most spoken language after Chinese. The Cervantes Institute predicts that this figure will reach 754 million by the year 2100. With these figures, it's clear that Spanish will shortly become the undoubtedly become the first foreign language in schools, universities and the world of business.
In a globalized world like the one we live in, multilingualism has become a fundamental asset to achieve success in business. Why? While the Internet now provides companies with the opportunity to reach clients anywhere in the world, these companies also face the challenge of being able to speak the same language as their customers. After all, communication is probably the most important detail when closing trade deals and, therefore, is the backbone for international success.
Spanish sweeps the language trends
There are about 6,500 different languages in the world and, although we used to be happy speaking just the one we were taught as kids, it is becoming increasingly common to start learning at least one other language. That’s why, when it comes to choosing which language to go for, it is important to maintain a strategic approach and focus on existing language trends.
As previously mentioned, there are more than 572 million Spanish speakers worldwide, and their global spread across several continents makes the Spanish market one of the largest.
Taking this into account, this language is the access key not only for the 20 countries in which it is spoken officially (most of them concentrated in South America); but also for many others. A key example of this would be the United States of America, where 41 million people speak Spanish as this is their native language (approximately 13% of the population).
As you can see on the map, Spanish is spoken a lot more countries than one would expect. With this in mind, mastering this language in a business world where borders or distances no longer exist could be a game-changing opportunity.
First foreign language in the US and United Kingdom
International trade is seen as a key ingredient for companies seeking growth, so building and maintaining profitable connections with partners around the world is essential. However, these relationships simply cannot exist without effective communication.
There is a lot of evidence to indicate that English and Spanish will be the languages to dominate the business scene in years to come. As a result, many students are choosing to study Spanish, progressively making it the first foreign language in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. According to recent news, the number of students at the Cervantes Institute in London (one of the world’s top places to learn Spanish) has grown by 10% since 2017. Similarly, 70% of British public schools now offer Spanish classes and 89% in the case of private ones.
In the case of the United States, we also see that Spanish is the first foreign language and additionally the most learned language in the country. 50% of university students prefer to learn Spanish, compared to 12% who prefer studying French.
Taking this all into account, we can see that Spanish is becoming increasingly important not just for closing deals, but also in order to reach customers through content or actions adapted to their language. If we want to put the customer first when devising a strategy, it is essential that we can communicate with them effectively.