by Silvia Mingarelli

In 2015, nearly 470 million people are Spanish mother tongue. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and is gaining increasingly importance over time. It is the official language in 21 countries through various countries around the world, and the second language in countries like the Philippines and the US. In total, including native and non-native, almost 560 million people speak Spanish.

Spanish is the power of language: It is slowly overpassing English in many regions of the world

It is also the most widely spoken of the Romance languages and today more than 21 million students study Spanish as a foreign language. Its importance in political and international affairs is indisputable and is recognized as an official language in many organizations and institutions like the United Nations and the European Union. Learning Spanish is more significant in the global economy because it is the language that provides access to one of the fastest growing markets, namely Latin America.

The Cervantes Institute estimates that 78% of the purchasing power of the Spanish-speaking countries is concentrated in four main countries: Mexico, USA, Canada and Spain. Today, the use of Spanish in business has increased considerably, because the bilateral trade with the Spanish-speaking countries amounted to 290%. The demand for Spanish teaching has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

As for international projection of the Spanish, United States, Brazil and France are at the top, in absolute numbers of foreign students studying in Spanish. More than 41 million students are native Spanish speakers and 11.6 million are bilingual. In the United States the number of university students enrolled in Spanish courses is the highest worldwide. The US is the second country with the largest number of Spanish speakers, behind Mexico, and it is estimated that by 2050 will become the first country.

More and more science articles in Spanish. But English is still dominating

According to a study carried out by the Telefonica Foundation in collaboration with the University of Alcala de Henares, with the exception of some unique contributions, the majority of the scientific and technological innovation at the international level is still produced in languages other than Spanish. In the case of natural sciences and technical disciplines, the use of English is widespread as the language of scientific communication. Spanish is the ninth in the ranking of world scientific material production. On the other hand, it is one of the countries that is most specializing in related sciences: space, physics, agriculture, zoology, ecology and the environment. 5% of scientific journals are published in Spanish. In turn, the Spanish has a considerable presence in disciplines such as paleontology, mycology, archeology, civil engineering, robotics and health sciences.

In Social Media Spanish is more and more running the Show

The volume of the international use of Spanish is very well settled in the case of cultural production-movies, music, literature and videoindustria. In addition, Spanish occupies acceptable positions in the presentation and dissemination of research in the humanities because the Hispanic community is already internationalized and uses Spanish as common language of communication. It is also the second most used language in the media, in newspapers and publications. In the field of culture Spanish covers high relevance: Spain, Argentina and Mexico are among the top 20 producers of books in the world. Spanish is generally the sixth most translated language and the third most translated works in the world are in Spanish. In addition, 7.9% of internet users communicate in the language of Cervantes. In fact, Spanish is the second most used language on Facebook and Twitter, especially in the cities of London and New York.