Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world, making it an invaluable skill to obtain as it offers many advantages. Aside from allowing you to travel the world and communicate with millions of people, having skills in Spanish greatly improves your job prospects. Currently, Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Japan have become much more eager to have Spanish speakers in their nations as a result of it becoming a major language of business and trade in recent years.

The demand for Spanish has vastly increased over the past decade, especially in countries like China where the need for Spanish teachers is becoming very high. This means that having a good knowledge of Spanish can open up many new job opportunities, not only in careers such as teaching and translation, but also for international trade. Furthermore, Spain is an important trading partner with Vietnam, with the countries having celebrated 40 years of diplomatic ties in 2017. These two nations are therefore strongly linked and have mutual interests with regards to business and growth, making it important for Vietnamese companies to have an understanding of Spanish, and vice versa.

This seemingly new-found desire for the Spanish language appears to have derived from the fast-growing Latin American markets. In 2012, Latin America received an outstanding total of $174 billion of foreign investment, showing that there is huge potential for business and trade in countries like Argentina and Chile, as well as other countries that are rapidly developing. Spanish is an essential language for this development because it is the common language of trade, therefore Asian investor companies need to have proficient Spanish speakers on hand to aid with business deals, and therefore be able to expand their companies.

Furthermore, Spanish is now a language of major importance in the US, where over 41 million inhabitants are native Spanish speakers and a further 11 million are bilingual. This means that for international trade deals with the US it is important to be able to communicate in Spanish in order to have better relations with clients. Careers in medicine or even media constantly require proficient Spanish speakers to be able to communicate best with clients and appeal to larger audiences. Therefore, knowing Spanish gives you an advantage over others when applying for jobs in the US or working with American companies.

As for wider international prospects, people in Asia who desire to have more European business contacts may wish to learn other Romance languages such as Portuguese or Italian. In this case, Spanish is arguably the best base for acquiring these other languages, as it is simple and easy to learn, and Spanish grammar and vocabulary allows the learner a good foundation for picking up neighbouring languages with a similar Latin base. And, of course, having a good knowledge of Spanish is a great help when travelling because it gives you access to a huge variety of countries with many different cultures, making it one of the best languages to learn!

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– Chloe Downes