Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

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aokoye
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby aokoye » Thu May 24, 2018 6:26 pm

Cavesa wrote:Spanish has the advantage, that should any of the hispanic countries start doing this, it will work. Two or three countries together could produce more than majority of europe together. France is just one country, the others are smaller, or plurilingual, or poor. And Spanish is becoming more important in the US. Once the growing number of natives there fulfill their american dreams, we might even see a part of the Hollywood switching to Spanish.

I am not really prepared to say that Spanish has the advantage in part because a number Spanish speaking countries are extremely unstable at the moment and have been through most of the past 100 years (it's that instability that makes their history interesting to me but that's a different topic). You could, of course, say the same way a number of countries in which French is spoken. I suspect that Spain or France would have to take the lead on making either language economically powerful.

I also disagree with the "we might even see a part of Hollywood switching to Spanish" because of the sheer amount of racism, xenophobia, educational, and economic inequality in the US when it comes to latinos (among other people). I mean ok, we might see that that happen, but I doubt it would be within my lifetime. That of course I would like it if there was a realistic representation of Latinos in Hollywood, but that is simply not what is going on.

/end me dancing precariously close to the line of politics. I can PM you more about the last bit if you want.
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Speakeasy
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby Speakeasy » Thu May 24, 2018 7:24 pm

aokoye wrote: ... I would like it if there was a realistic representation of Latinos in Hollywood, but that is simply not what is going on ...
Sincerely wishing not to derail this very interesting discussion thread, I would say that Hollywood, Bollywood, Britwood, Pariswood, and all the woods put together very rarely offer a realistic representation of any identifiable group. The vast majority of us lead mundane lives, while we might find our private dramas engrossing, our stories rarely make for very good cinema. Which visual media is more popular and which generates greater revenus, dramatized fictional accounts of the flavour-of-the-month or realistic documentaries? A recent study of "fake news" on social media and specialized media outlets versus "genuine verifiable facts" in all media outlets suggests that former is more popular simply because it is much more engaging and entertaining than the truth. Why should the film industry be any different?

EDITED:
Tinkering.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Thu May 24, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cavesa
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby Cavesa » Thu May 24, 2018 7:37 pm

I think focusing too much on the future and political situation is exactly a part of the problem in the "languages' marketing".

We've all heard those "Japanese will be the most important language in a decade", "this or that country will become superrich" and other predictions. They have always been unreliable and why should people invest so much time, efforts, and money in a language they might have a use for in a few decades, if someone's crystal ball is correct?

I'd say focusing on what is available now and working on stuff fixable almost immediately would be a much better strategy. A rather rich country like France can improve the budget of the ministry of culture from the next year on, if the parliament agrees with this investment. The EU parliament could have removed the geoblocking already and still hasn't. Not opening any new university programs in English also doesn't require decades of political stability. Making sure the state owned language school networks (Alliance Française and Cervantes) don't make their courses twice as expensive as the local language schools in any city with the AF or Cervantes presence, that would be another tiny bit of encouragement.

Really, it seems obvious to look at the huge things. The overall economical situation, the overall number of natives, the number of countries, and so on. But I think striving to catch lots of individual hearts and brains goes much further. I think the rising popularity of Spanish, and the reasons behind it, illustrate this.
Last edited by Cavesa on Thu May 24, 2018 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aokoye
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby aokoye » Thu May 24, 2018 8:15 pm

Speakeasy wrote:
aokoye wrote: ... I would like it if there was a realistic representation of Latinos in Hollywood, but that is simply not what is going on ...
Sincerely wishing not to derail this very interesting discussion thread, I would say that Hollywood, Bollywood, Britwood, Pariswood, and all the woods put together very rarely offer a realistic representation of any identifiable group.

I suspect that you didn't understand what I was saying when I wrote "representation". If i were at a my computer I'd give you names of documentaries and articles that make what I was saying more clear. In the absence of that I suggest looking up coverage on say, the NY Times or the BBC (which doesnt have a paywall) about recent (as in within the past three or four years) race related controversies in the Oscar awards and the organization that is in charge of them. I also suggest that we stop this line of discussion given this forum's guidelines and what is and isn't considered political discourse here.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby nooj » Fri May 25, 2018 7:42 am

I am skeptical of Spanish's future in the USA, given that 1) linguistic assimilation works too well and the children of immigrants are often heritage learners 2) the USA has tens of millions of Spanish speakers already but it hasn't tipped the linguistic balance yet. You see a linguistic sub-culture in Spanish (Univision, songs in Spanish etc) but that hasn't become mainstream enough for all Americans, regardless of their ethnic origin, to claim Spanish as a primary or even secondary language. People who do learn Spanish usually do so because it is important for their jobs, but these jobs are in customer service, food services etc. When Spanish becomes necessary and obligatory to become a high paying chef, an executive of a bank, a successful musician or author...or even the President, then we can expect to see that change. When Spanish becomes necessary for socio-economic success, then I imagine Americans will start learning Spanish en masse, as opposed to what happens now where Spanish speakers living in the USA learn English.
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