Thursday, November 8th, 2012 In Fun stuff
In the United States, Obama has won his second term in the White House. Just 4 years earlier he was the first black president in the country’s history. That reminded me of the multicultural population of the US and the growing Hispanic population. Almost 12% of the American population now speaks Spanish as their first language. According to polls, most of them voted for Obama. Analysts say that the Hispanic population is also the fastest growing minority in the country. So will Spanish perhaps become a de facto second language in the US?
Our resident American provides some clarity:
Short answer: English will prevail…and not because it’s been legislated or pushed through. In fact, in some areas of the US, Spanish could arguably considered to be a de facto first language (surprise!) like in some neighborhoods of Miami or New York City, but in terms of the whole nation, I’d have to say no. Although almost all would agree that a push for more bilingualism in America would undoubtedly be a good thing, I can’t see Spanish spreading to the extent that it would become a de facto second language (at least in my lifetime), nor can I see a push for bilingualism that would spread Spanish amongst Caucasians to that extent. In addition, one major factor against Spanish reaching that status is that most Hispanics learn English quite quickly, especially 2nd generation immigrants. Hispanics speak English well, are in fact happy to do so, and they don’t see it as oppressive that they “have” to speak English. For these reasons, I believe English will maintain it’s firm hold as the standard language of the US.
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