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View Poll Results: yes or no
Si! 40 48.78%
No way Jose 42 51.22%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,847,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonbauknight View Post
@X14. I must agree. Sheer numbers of language speakers do not make a language a world language (Spanish) or a country a superpower (China). Most Spanish-speaking nations are too economically and politically challenged for Spanish to become an international language. That said, I think Spanish is very important in the Americas and the logical foreign language to learn in the United States, unless you have a specific goal of living/working in a specific country (Russia, Brazil).
I think that right now, for business, English and Mandarin Chinese are the most important languages to know; Spanish isn't far behind either, though. Mexico, among other Latin American countries, has a growing middle class and is making an effort to woo manufacturing and commerce. The combination of low labor costs, proximity to the US, a large number of US-born and -educated Latin Americans who are bilingual and can bolster business between the two nations.

Quote:
I must disagree with Tom's pearl: "North Americans have a love-hate relationship with the Spanish language. To many it represents the illegal alien sub-culture of the poor and uneducated." That is absolute bullfeathers. Whereas my generation typically studied Latin, French or German, all of my younger relatives--every last one of them--has decided to take Spanish in high school and college. All their friends (almost without exception) study Spanish. (French, German, and Russian have fallen on hard times in the U.S. Latin is holding its own, and Mandarin is expanding.) Americans are very open to learning Spanish.
Yeah, although you do have the ignorant-hick, "THIS IS AMERICA SPEAK AMERICAN" crowd, most of the people who have this attitude are people who are middle-aged or older and likely wouldn't be learning a new language anyways and don't have much to do with a growing global economy - in other words, they don't matter. Most US schools teach Spanish these days; I started learning in middle school... it was part of the curriculum. When I got to high school, I chose to take Italian instead - although I have a basic ability to speak, read, and write Spanish, I've never been interested in learning it on a conversational level simply because I'm just... well... not interested in it. Most of my classmates continued to take Spanish in high school because they already knew the basics. I went on to learn Japanese instead, and will be taking Mandarin shortly. I just find those cultures more interesting personally and would rather devote my efforts to learning languages I'd be interested in using.

 
Old 03-16-2013, 12:53 PM
 
1,265 posts, read 2,354,728 times
Reputation: 1224
Quote:
Originally Posted by X14Freak View Post
In regards to the original post, I would not consider Spanish to be the second most important language in the world because of the relative poverty of most Hispanophone countries. Most Hispanophone countries are not economic powers and do not really dominate in any economic niches. The only powerful Hispanophone companies I can think of right now that dominate their particular niches are Inditex and Cemex and even those two companies are facing challenges. Hispanophone countries are also lacking in high tech. I can't think of any cutting edge high tech companies coming from Spain or anywhere else in Latin America. Unless the Hispanophone countries improve their economies and develop a well educated workforce, the Spanish language will never really gain the prestige to be an important language to learn for business.
Are you saying latin Americans are poor? Because you can find plenty of information on the internet showing that latin Americans get paid more and enjoy a high standard of living than the chinese. Shoot, why do you think companies are moving to China instead of Latin America? Because labor cost is cheaper. Heck, if you say latin americans are poor in comparison to Americans, then french africans are suffering from starvation.
 
Old 03-16-2013, 07:09 PM
 
1,363 posts, read 1,735,239 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by Almeida93 View Post
Are you saying latin Americans are poor? Because you can find plenty of information on the internet showing that latin Americans get paid more and enjoy a high standard of living than the chinese. Shoot, why do you think companies are moving to China instead of Latin America? Because labor cost is cheaper. Heck, if you say latin americans are poor in comparison to Americans, then french africans are suffering from starvation.
I made no mention of China in my previous post except criticizing a post and I haven't commented on what the second most important language may be. However, China is well represented if not dominant in manufacturing which is why its language is rapidly gaining currency as an important business language. Furthermore, China is also a centralized unified market of 1.2 billion people while Latin America is composed of dozens of different countries with different laws and policies that make them disparate markets. Also, can you name me a single business niche that Hispanophone countries dominate? I mentioned Zara and Cemex although Zara is facing fierce competition from Forever 21 (American) and H&M (Swedish) while Cemex has been losing market share to different cement companies. Hispanophone countries are virtually absent in high tech fields and are irrelevant when it comes to R&D.

In regards to what I think might be the second most important language, I think there are too many languages in contention after English that make it difficult to choose which language may be the second most important language. It really depends on the field and niche of the business. English is such a dominant lingua franca that all languages that come after it cannot really compete with it.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 312,800 times
Reputation: 163
If you're a businessman in Asia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
Chinese.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 312,800 times
Reputation: 163
If you're doing your business in China, yes it is important. In America it is important since many are importing from there, setting up sweatshops to save money and run business, outsourcing to save money. China is becoming an economic powerhouse cause of the US.

And why would the decision makers, most likely presidents, in spanish speaking countries speak English instead of their own language? Last time I went to latin america more than half the plane was filled with people from China and Korea. I felt I was going to Asia. Yet these spoke Spanish and were conducting their business there. So for some Latin Americans it's not important to speak Chinese.
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Money makes the world go round, and it's far more important to know English and Chinese to do business. The decision makers in Spanish speaking countries speak English.

Last edited by sweet_kiss1; 03-17-2013 at 07:41 AM..
 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:54 AM
 
950 posts, read 1,466,444 times
Reputation: 468
I do NOT think this "Is Spanish the second most important language in the world?" is a proper question, because every country's "second most important language" is different depending WHERE you are on this world(Earth).
 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 312,800 times
Reputation: 163
Disagree.. Chinese is only relevant to conduct business if you're a business man doing business in China. The hispanic population is rapidly increasing in the US. Also many Asians are doing business in Latin America.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldawg82 View Post
English & Chinese are the commercial languages with Korean, Japanese, French, German, and Spanish on a lower tier IMO. Spanish - however, is one of the most useful languages to know in the western hemisphere.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 312,800 times
Reputation: 163
Depends if the Arabic, Hindu, or Mandarin speaker decides to conduct business in latin america or with latin americans. Chinese, german, english are business languages. To add to that, Mandarin is especially difficult to learn for a person of any other nationality who didn't grow up with it.

Now if you are talking about living in a society and learning a new language then Spanish is the best choice especially in the US where the population of these is rapidly increasing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
What you have described only applies to you and your neighbors. Spanish is studied by a very tiny number of people as a second language, except by people who speak English as a first language. The number of people who study Spanish as a second language after English is practically zero, and is the second language only of English-first speakers.

Spanish is not at all easy to learn for an Arabic or a Hindi or a Mandarin speaker, unless they already know an Indo-European language that uses the Roman alphabet.

Spanish is one of the languages of the Western Hemisphere, but 85% of the world lives in the other hemisphere, and have no interest in Spanish at all, and probably go their entire lives without ever hearing a Spanish speaker or seeing a Spanish language text.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 312,800 times
Reputation: 163
It's an economic powerhouse for fault of the US who is outsourcing jobs there, setting up sweatshops and gaining cheap labor.

Chinese is a difficult language to learn to those that didn't grow up with it for that reason many don't learn it. Chinese is more useful in business settings if conducting business in China. However, in American society, not just business, Spanish is going to be a useful necessity to learn because of the rapidly increasing hispanic population. There are many more bilingual schools popping up that teach in English and Spanish. I personally think this is a great idea.

To the hicks it represents the illegal alien sub culture of the poor and uneducated. Racist stereotyping at it's finest but that is how shallow the US can be. Last I checked the true North Americans are those of indigenous ancestry which many Mexicans, Central, and South Americans have a heritage of as well. The country is home to the immigrants from decades past hispanic children who are very much North American because they were born in the US. Spanish is a beautiful language and is a means to keeping the Hispanic culture intact. Not saying this personally to you but to those that may be reading this and have that perception.

The one difference Hispanics have with other North Americans is that they actually have a rich culture and history they haven't lost touch with. The smarter ones anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom9 View Post
Yes to the first part of that because China already is a super power and IMO no to the second part of that statement because, as I mentioned earlier, the writing system will prohibit that. The Chinese language is very streamlined except for the wring system. Most people I know who have studied Chinese for business have given up when it comes to the nitty-gritty if writing it. That takes a special interest and a special effort. Spanish at the same time is also a language that is streamlined by the efforts of Spanish speaking nations to afford the best communication possible between them. The so called "Royal Academy of the Spanish Language" has made monumental conscious efforts to hone the language. If you have really studied the language you will know what I mean. North Americans have a love-hate relationship with the Spanish language. To many it represents the illegal alien sub-culture of the poor and uneducated. To others it represents a great world-wide culture with a great history and a great literature. If you don't believe me look at who has taken a negative stand toward the Spanish language just on this thread.
 
Old 03-17-2013, 07:17 AM
 
1,487 posts, read 1,997,702 times
Reputation: 934
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet_kiss1 View Post
Disagree.. Chinese is only relevant to conduct business if you're a business man doing business in China. The hispanic population is rapidly increasing in the US. Also many Asians are doing business in Latin America.

What ever country you are in the better you know the local language the better business you are going to have. You can do business in English in China, Japan Spain, France Brazil etc etc. However that is only when you are dealing with the largest firms. But if you are going to really get to the nitty-gritty you will have to deal with middle industry and sub-contractors on your own because that's where the real profit is...then you are going to have to know the local language because at that level there is not much of a reason for those people to delve into foreign languages. If you don't want to do that you are going to have to have a superior group od trusted interpreters and they will have to be people from your country to assure that you are getting the best deal possible.

That said Spanish is the most practical compared to English and Chinese. English is a very difficult language to learn because it is anarchic compared to both Chinese and Spanish which have, in modern times, re-tooled their language.

The way to see this clearly is to get two books from the library in English "A Concise GRammar of English for Foreign Students" and "501 Verbs in English". Now check out similar books in Spanish and Chinese. You local librarian can help you. After a quick comparison you will see that English grammar has as many exceptions as rules and the system of verbs is all over the map...irregular verbs make little sense without a deep study in English.

Spanish grammar rules are more logical, spelling is more logical and the conjugation of verbs is less complicated. This is all due to periodic and detailed review of the language by the nations that speak Spanish.


Chinese has the most streamlined grammar of the three but the writting system is a big big stumbling block.


I am only talking here in general and relative terms. Of course as organized as Spanish appears it is of little use in an office in Nanking or Boise.

English becomes the choice because it is spoken by the Anglosphere which at this point dominates the business world. Again "money talks and logic walks."
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