Is Spanish expanding?
Well, there are in this reports several interesting things:
Spanish is spoken by 441 million people. It is the second most studied language Worldwide (after English) and the third in Internet (after English and Chinese).
It is also very studied in USA and Brazil. In 2050, there will be over 132 million of Hispanics in USA (in a country of 400). In Brazil, there are 11 million of Spanish students because it is compulsory at schools from 2005. Besides, it will be also compulsory in Philippines in 2009.
That's a lot of money. The Spanish language business is now a 15% of the Spanish GDP.
Finally, the Spanish language tourists go, above all, to Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina. There were 237,000 Spanish students only in Spain in 2007 (German, American, French, Italian and British people, by order)
PD. You say that Spanish needs more prestige. If Spanish had more prestige, the numbers would be amazing!
I also read the article of el pais. But they still make some erros, which different spanish from other languades such as English.
First: They assume that it's spoken equally through out South America, which is not. The % of people speaking it as mother language differs greatly in which country.
Second: Except for romance speaking people (and I have my doubts for French and Romenian speaking people) they assume spanish to be as easy to learn as english.
Thirdly: There's a need for a lighthouse to light up spanish speaking world, saying a major university, a major world city, a major cuture trend, and so on, which spanish has not.
Fourtly: Spanish in ths US, is on good wealth, but not as good as many people tought it would be.
Spanish is official in all the bodies of the UNO, but the Secretariat. French is official in all of them, but it is used in the Secretariat while Spanish not. Spanish speakers have no choice but to use either English and French because they couldn't use Spanish even with fellow hispanic diplomats in that body. because So, I see very important differences between French and Spanish.
Anyway, Spain and Hispanic America have no chance of using Spanish with other non-hispanics in international organizations but to use French, it is not very good tendency for Spanish.
Spanish is not an international language just regional, everybody knows this and I find rather surprising that it ned so many messages to arrive to that conclusion . English and French are the only international languages not Spanish. Case closed.
It would be nice if everyone stuck to the topic, instead of these endless French vs. Spanish flame wars. (There are plenty of other threads for that.)
So back to the original question. I can't speak about the situation in Spain--I hope more Spaniards can comment on that. Or even on the situation in Latin America, Spanish vs. indigenous languages. (Although I really doubt that Spanish is going away, or that it is fragmenting--with international media like telenovelas and the Internet, Spanish varieties, like English varieties, are probably getting closer.)
I just want to mention the situation in the States. Whether one likes the language, whether one likes the speakers, whether one thinks it is expanding worldwide, is beside the point. The presence of Spanish in the U.S. is huge, and growing rapidly. I think foreign visitors would be surprised. Not only in the obvious places, where there are tons of immigrants. It is hard to call a major business without getting the option to proceed in Spanish. You can walk into many major stores and see Spanish on the signs, and get a Spanish speaker for assistance. Or go to many websites and get a Spanish version. You can get access to all government info in Spanish, and most educational resources, too. It is by far the most studied foreign language at all levels, elementary, high school, and college. It is a huge plus if you know it for business, even if you only answer the phone, with both immigrants and foreign customers. The Spanish section in major bookstores is almost always the largest, and may be the only section with a good number of non-language learning books. There are radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers everywhere, and sometimes the biggest ones in their local market. There are native speakers now in more and more places, not just the Southwest and big cities.
Again, I don't see Spanish being a lingua franca at the moment. But it's use in the States--the major English speaking population in the world--is rather evident, and growing.
Spanish is the fastest growing language in Quebec.
Once again, Francophonie is not an organization like the shitty Hispanidad so it's impossible for a country to join an organization that does not exist. What the dung beetles don't undestand is the fact that languages don't expand only because there is an of a large number of countries and native speakers called HisPANIC America full of BOBOocrats, corruption and third world countries willing to join only to receive money from the IMF, World Bank, and even from the French government but in reality, they don't speak correct/real/standard Spanish. The importance of languages is the reflection of the importance of the languages that speak them, and among Spanish speaking countries only none is really important, not even Spain. All are third world countries in deep Hispanic America.
Spanish will never be more studied than French in Africa. Real Spanish only has Castilia and Antioquia, Colombia to spread cause in Spain there is too much competence and important languages. In Asia Spanish is practically dead as in the case of the Philippines, where the mestizos and pure Spanish descent are more likey to speak Chinese than Spanish. Guam and Marianas Islands have a Spanish based Creole known as Chamorro but Spanish is not even spoken but all of the people of those 3 countries carry Spanish surnames and Spain ruled them for 300+ years which ended in the late 19th century.
If you're gonna compare the situation in Mauritius, French is the preferred language than English there by the Creoles, Indians, and Chinese. It's the DE FACTO official language. English is official only in constitution but in reality French is much widelyy used in government. Evangelical missionaries who preach on TV in English hire interpreter to translate their preaching in French because large number of Mauritians are not that fluent in English and it would be much easier forthem to get the message in French since it would be much more precise.
FrancoPHONY is pointless. Haha, that's all there is to it! Napoleon is long dead, get used to it!
Now why would I watch my tongue when I'm just telling the truth?
If Spanish is an offical language of AU then French is an official language of mercosur too.
Both Spanish and French are only spoken on 3 continents by any SIGNIFICANT amount of speakers. English has 5 continents. English beats out French and Spanish in any neutral country. English is the first choice for international communication in neutral countries. English is only TRUE global language.
<< Both Spanish and French are only spoken on 3 continents by any SIGNIFICANT amount of speakers. English has 5 continents. English beats out French and Spanish in any neutral country. English is the first choice for international communication in neutral countries. English is only TRUE global language. >>
French is spoken in 5 continents while Spanish in 4 not just 3 as what you said.