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 Feb 28, 2019 11:41 pm

romeo.alpha wrote:
aokoye wrote:With regards to lines of work in the US I can easily, think of a number of fields of work where spanish would be an asset (and it's not even 8am yet). Any medical field that involves communicating with patients, education (including at the administration level), culinary fields, landscaping, agriculture, various public administration jobs that are forward facing, really any customer facing job, law enforcement, journalism, and business. When push comes to shove, "learning the local language" isn't as easy I think a lot of people realize (for a whole host of reasons) and there are going to be situations where immigrants who don't speak that language are going to have to communicate with people outside of their immigrant community. It's not an simple or clear cut "well they aren't going to want to talk to you" situation.


It's not as much as you think. In the US Spanish is valued less by employers than French and German, and this is even more pronounced in areas with many Spanish speakers.

By "an asset" I wasn't referring to it being helpful in getting a job or getting a raise. I was referring to it being helpful with regards to functioning in a job that would potentially involve being in contact with people who primarily speak Spanish. But yeah, Spanish is not really a prestige language in the US as a whole, not over French at least. I think it might become one, but I would hesitate to say that it already is.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby romeo.alpha » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:47 pm

aokoye wrote:By "an asset" I wasn't referring to it being helpful in getting a job or getting a raise. I was referring to it being helpful with regards to functioning in a job that would potentially involve being in contact with people who primarily speak Spanish. But yeah, Spanish is not really a prestige language in the US as a whole, not over French at least. I think it might become one, but I would hesitate to say that it already is.


But the reason you don't get a raise is because in areas with lots of hispanics, you'll have bilingual co-workers who can deal with Spanish speaking clients better than you ever could. If you're working in a hospital, it's actually not going to be much of a factor at all, as there will always be a native Spanish speaker around. If you've got your own practice, and work with just one other doctor, then yeah, it comes in handy. But the situations where learning Spanish is of tangible benifit that you can actually make use of it is going to be less than what you first think.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby zenmonkey » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:15 am

aokoye wrote:
romeo.alpha wrote:
aokoye wrote:With regards to lines of work in the US I can easily, think of a number of fields of work where spanish would be an asset (and it's not even 8am yet). Any medical field that involves communicating with patients, education (including at the administration level), culinary fields, landscaping, agriculture, various public administration jobs that are forward facing, really any customer facing job, law enforcement, journalism, and business. When push comes to shove, "learning the local language" isn't as easy I think a lot of people realize (for a whole host of reasons) and there are going to be situations where immigrants who don't speak that language are going to have to communicate with people outside of their immigrant community. It's not an simple or clear cut "well they aren't going to want to talk to you" situation.


It's not as much as you think. In the US Spanish is valued less by employers than French and German, and this is even more pronounced in areas with many Spanish speakers.

By "an asset" I wasn't referring to it being helpful in getting a job or getting a raise. I was referring to it being helpful with regards to functioning in a job that would potentially involve being in contact with people who primarily speak Spanish. But yeah, Spanish is not really a prestige language in the US as a whole, not over French at least. I think it might become one, but I would hesitate to say that it already is.


Languages won't get you the job but in any sector, when used right they are a great advantage in positioning and differentiating yourself, if you've also successfully trained yourself well in your competencies.

As an engineer, ex-scientist, marketeer and technical dude I've had opportunities to make the most of languages.

Spanish in the US is definitely not the prestige language that French is. I speak both with my daughters and father when we are there (French is my daughters 1st and Spanish is my fathers 1st). With one, because it is rarer, etc I get comments like "oh, I love to hear xxxx I never get to hear it." "It's beautiful that you speak xxx" with the other I get almost no comments. However, I am seeing a lot more Americans that want to practice Spanish with us, something that was really not present 10-20 years ago. It's definitely become more mainstream to interact positively as an American learner with someone speaking a foreign language. And it is lovely.

Just this last winter I had the nice experience of an American waiter in Tahoe that was learning Spanish practice with my us. I had to explain that a few of the phrases he had learned (apparently at a previous job) couldn't be used in front of my sister in law or nieces. He was definitely in love with the language and languages in general but that kind of sincere desire for Spanish just isn't as common as the spontaneous love of French, as far as I can share in my small corner of Northern California. YMMV.

At the same time, I've also seen love and fascination for ANY language in certain corners -- since we code switch a lot when my daughters and nieces are together -- we also get to be the circus freaks or performing seals when we run through our languages when someone finally asks what we are speaking and how many languages we speak all together. It makes people happy. I expect to have someone throw fish from a bucket someday. I mean that in the nicest way.

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edit: That's an otter, not a seal.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby aokoye » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:53 am

romeo.alpha wrote:
aokoye wrote:By "an asset" I wasn't referring to it being helpful in getting a job or getting a raise. I was referring to it being helpful with regards to functioning in a job that would potentially involve being in contact with people who primarily speak Spanish. But yeah, Spanish is not really a prestige language in the US as a whole, not over French at least. I think it might become one, but I would hesitate to say that it already is.


But the reason you don't get a raise is because in areas with lots of hispanics, you'll have bilingual co-workers who can deal with Spanish speaking clients better than you ever could. If you're working in a hospital, it's actually not going to be much of a factor at all, as there will always be a native Spanish speaker around. If you've got your own practice, and work with just one other doctor, then yeah, it comes in handy. But the situations where learning Spanish is of tangible benifit that you can actually make use of it is going to be less than what you first think.

It seems like you're trying to say that I'm saying or thinking things that I haven't written. Again, I'm not talking about the monitary value of speaking Spanish. I'm not sure where you got that from any of what I've written this calendar year.

Say you work at ain airport. It would be very useful to know, among other languages, Spanish. Sure there will likely be other Spanish speakers around, but who is to say they won't be busy (they probably will be - it's an airport). The same is true of hospitals. Given the sheer demand for interpreters, it's very likely that there won't be one available at the drop of a hat - especially in situations that involve people having/trying to be mobile, like physical therapy. It is impracticable to have an interpreter over the phone in a physical therapy gym. An additional factor with health care is that your trying to make an effort will likely make the patient-provider relationship stronger, even if an interpeter is needed.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby javier_getafe » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:42 am

Cèid Donn wrote:
zenmonkey wrote:
Ser wrote:
zenmonkey wrote:[response to my post]

I am simply saying that this is a thing you'll find whenever you speak with English speakers, because, in the language of the majority of English speakers, "North America" refers to the US and Canada and "South America" refers to Latin America.



I've never seen a major reference source (recognised dictionary, etc... ) that supports the idea that Mexico is in South America?



What? No dictionary would, because it's geographically incorrect


I'm afraid that this is not about gregraphy.

zenmonkey wrote: I am simply saying that this is a thing you'll find whenever you speak with English speakers, because, in the language of the majority of English speakers, "North America" refers to the US and Canada and "South America" refers to Latin America.



Exactly! ++++1

And for Americans (USA), America is USA as they usually call to its own country. I think "make America big again" doesnt refer Canada or Mexico. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby romeo.alpha » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:34 pm

aokoye wrote:Say you work at ain airport. It would be very useful to know, among other languages, Spanish.


Most people whom you will meet in an airport will know another language already. Most likely English. If there's another language you're likely to encounter in an airport it will be French before it's Spanish. Most native Spanish speakers don't have the money to just leave the country they live in, and it's even more pronounced for native Mandarin speakers.

Sure there will likely be other Spanish speakers around, but who is to say they won't be busy (they probably will be - it's an airport). The same is true of hospitals. Given the sheer demand for interpreters, it's very likely that there won't be one available at the drop of a hat - especially in situations that involve people having/trying to be mobile, like physical therapy.


There are many reasons you might have to wait in a hospital, someone who speaks the language would just be one. But sure, if you get a lot of Spanish speaking patients you might as well learn Spanish. On the other hand, if you have a bunch of native Spanish speaking co-workers, it might be better for everyone involved if you learn some other language that isn't spoken already by your coworkers. And what language is of most benefit to you in a hospital is going to be very regional, if it does happen to be Spanish after all, it's not going to have an effect on Spanish's position as a global language.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby aokoye » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:18 pm

romeo.alpha wrote:Most people whom you will meet in an airport will know another language already. Most likely English. If there's another language you're likely to encounter in an airport it will be French before it's Spanish. Most native Spanish speakers don't have the money to just leave the country they live in, and it's even more pronounced for native Mandarin speakers.

I can assure you, there's a lot of Spanish being spoken at various airports in the US, especially if any of them have direct flights from Mexico. The likelihood of that, in the US, is likely higher than an airport having a direct flight to France (or frankly any other European country).
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby Lianne » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:57 pm

I'm very puzzled by the suggestion that English speakers consider Mexico part of South America! That is just not true. It is common for Canadians and Americans to be confused about Central America, whether it's part of North America, whether Mexico is in North America or Central America, etc. But I've never seen anyone suggest that all of Latin America is in South America. That's just ridiculous.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby zjones » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:52 pm

zenmonkey wrote:Languages won't get you the job but in any sector, when used right they are a great advantage in positioning and differentiating yourself, if you've also successfully trained yourself well in your competencies.

As an engineer, ex-scientist, marketeer and technical dude I've had opportunities to make the most of languages.

Spanish in the US is definitely not the prestige language that French is. I speak both with my daughters and father when we are there (French is my daughters 1st and Spanish is my fathers 1st). With one, because it is rarer, etc I get comments like "oh, I love to hear xxxx I never get to hear it." "It's beautiful that you speak xxx" with the other I get almost no comments. However, I am seeing a lot more Americans that want to practice Spanish with us, something that was really not present 10-20 years ago. It's definitely become more mainstream to interact positively as an American learner with someone speaking a foreign language. And it is lovely.

Just this last winter I had the nice experience of an American waiter in Tahoe that was learning Spanish practice with my us. I had to explain that a few of the phrases he had learned (apparently at a previous job) couldn't be used in front of my sister in law or nieces. He was definitely in love with the language and languages in general but that kind of sincere desire for Spanish just isn't as common as the spontaneous love of French, as far as I can share in my small corner of Northern California. YMMV.

At the same time, I've also seen love and fascination for ANY language in certain corners -- since we code switch a lot when my daughters and nieces are together -- we also get to be the circus freaks or performing seals when we run through our languages when someone finally asks what we are speaking and how many languages we speak all together. It makes people happy. I expect to have someone throw fish from a bucket someday. I mean that in the nicest way.

Image

edit: That's an otter, not a seal.


Whenever my husband and I travel to a big city, we hustle to the aquarium just to see the otters. They are our favorite animals (if you're talking about my husband and I as a single unit, of course). Anyway, that's beside the point. Stop distracting me with otters.

I think you're spot-on about the status of French and Spanish in America. When choosing languages for school, the advice I hear the most often in Western America is "Choose Spanish, it's more useful". However, if you choose to learn Spanish, nobody cares because they assume you're just learning it for the utility aspect. If you choose French, German or Italian, people will be impressed and ask you questions about it. (In fact, I think there's a widespread belief in the US that French is much more difficult than Spanish.) Spanish is low-brow, French is high-brow. I think it has everything to do with the history of Spanish-speakers in the United States. I'm really glad to hear that the situation is changing.

FYI my sister says that you are much more likely to be hired in Portland, OR for entry-level jobs if you speak Spanish in addition to English.
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Re: Spanish against French: the fight to be the second global language

Postby aokoye » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:46 pm

zjones wrote:FYI my sister says that you are much more likely to be hired in Portland, OR for entry-level jobs if you speak Spanish in addition to English.

Russian and Ukrainian have also become increasingly important in PDX. After Spanish, those two foreign languages are likely the most desirable. I suspect some, if not most, people who aren't in hiring positions here or don't know much about the migration patterns seriously underestimate the importance of Russian and Ukrainian.

edit: I'm also right there with you on the otters :D
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