May 13, 2007

Toastmasters C2 Speech

“Spanish—Something You Need to Know”

Rebecca Chou 07/19/06

Can you imagine that some day our national song will be sung in Hakka or Taiwanese? According to the news report, the national song of the U.S., Star-Spangled Banner, is going to have Spanish version. Although it still has a long way to go, this tendency comes up for reasons. Based on the estimated U.S. population, the Latinos who have origins of Latin America including Mexico to Central and Southern America are going to be the majority in 2050.

We all know that the majority is Anglo Americans and the second largest group is African Americans. However, in the twenty-first century, the Latinos are more important than before because it is the first time they become the largest minority group. Today, I’d like to suggest you to take your chance to learn Spanish because it is possible to be an official language in the U.S. Besides that, due to the below facts, Spanish is something you need to know.

Fact I: Geographic Dimension
There are over thirty countries speaking Spanish, that is, almost one fifth of the world using the same language. Most of them are in America; however, some are in Europe and Australia. The most surprising one is the United States because more and more Latin Americans moved out of their homeland and go to a better place for living. So far there is approximately one forth of them in the U.S. as so-called the “Latinos”. Observers and Experts think it is possible that they will make this country becoming Spanish-speaking in the future.

Fact II: Population Growth
The Latino population growth is far beyond you can image. Recent years the average birth rate is less than 1.2 children in the world. Most countries are worried of aging population and the only growing area is in Africa, Latin America and some Asian countries. Due to the human movement, more than forty million Latinos, which is almost one time of Taiwan population and becomes the largest minority in 2000. This is the first time that Africans Americans are no longer has the same influence as before. Experts even predict that in 2050 the Latinos will be the majority and the Anglo Americans will be minority. If we can live longer, we can definitely have chance to see a Spanish U.S.A.

For instance, right now in New Mexico state, the 53% of the whole population is Latinos and according to the statistics, over half million of Latinos are gathered in 13 states. They are from right to left New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and California.

Fact III: Economic Potential
The economic power of Latinos is obvious from the advertising, media channels and remittance amount. No matter the outdoor or press and TV advertisements all have Spanish to attract the Latinos because of their strong buying power. The remittance amount to their homeland is also amazing. Based on the research, scholars found that several Latin American countries depend on this money for survival because it is the prime source of foreign currency. Even the current U.S. President Washington Bush would take actions to limit this money flow out once but failed because nothing can stop it.

The Latinos also build up a new atmosphere. Since 1976 every year in mid September, they will celebrate “Hispanic Heritage Month” because five Latin American countries became independent in this month, for example, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. They will show their traditions of dances, songs and other cultural ceremonies in the U.S. society. We all heard of words like tango, salsa, samba, bossa nova very often and some would like to learn these kinds of dances in their spare time.

The upcoming Spanish singers and media channels provide us a better answer of this Latin trend. You can watch Latin Grammy Award and several Spanish channels, such as, Telemundo and Vision, the top two national TV channels. The audience rating is even higher than CNN or Discovery. Right now the Latin American soap operas “telenovelas”, novels on TV, are the hottest programs for the Latinos. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and so on make more money from selling their albums. If you have not noticed this, you had better catch up with it now.

Learning Spanish will never be too late. My university professor had told us her trip in New York and because she could speak Spanish, the waitress in the restaurant gave her better service and more food. After showing your language ability to the Latinos, you will find how it works for reducing the gaps between each other. Want to learn it? Try to attend courses immediately or you will miss it, a whole new Spanish America!

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