A projection from U. Census Bureau researchers predicts that the vast majorityupward of 41 million out of the 43 millionwill be Latinos. While the growth in the actual number of Spanish speakers aligns with the increase in the size of the Latino population, further research shows a drasticbut not entirely unexpectedchange in the way Latinos raise their families.
Between and , a time when immigration was the primary factor in the increase of the Latino population in the U. Now, that gap is shrinking significantly: By , more than one-third of Latino families are expected to make English the sole language in their household. The reason for this seemingly contradictory fact The source of population growth. These second-generation children have greater exposure to English in the media and entertainment, as well as in social situations.
History suggests that the decrease in the shareof Latino households that speak Spanish is to be expected. For example, German- and Polish-speaking Americans have dropped by as much as 55 percent since , despite an increase in the number of people who can trace their heritage to the region. Latino families do hope to be different, though. A Pew report found that an overwhelming number of Latinos believe that future generations should be, at the very least, bilingual.
Despite the prevalence of English in media, entertainment and everyday life, 95 percent of Latinos, whether they were born in the U. Your email address will not be published.
The rise and fall of the English language
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Both include many English speakers, but cultural regionalism encourages the use of local dialects. Silicon Valley may still be the economic powerhouse of the planet, but paradoxically, because we live in a more connected world than ever, the Valley is helping languages and the regional identities they represent to flourish. It might not have been the most spoken language in the world, but if English had a GDP, it would dwarf any other language on the planet.
But, particularly online, the strength of the English language is dwindling. This gentle decline in the use of English should be discussed in terms of the economically-driven success of other countries. Whilst China for its sheer size has hogged the headlines, large parts of Asia and Africa are starting to assert themselves on the world stage.
This has consequences for business. David Graddol, in his prescient analysis for the British Council, concluded that:. The sentiment is important: it recognises that we live in a global world, where competition for jobs and customers comes not from people we went to school with, but people on the other side of the planet.
The Rise and Fall of the Spanish Language in America
McKinsey counts more than languages spoken across the management consultancy, and offers a bursary to those who wish to learn another language before joining. Standard Chartered seeks out bilinguals for its international graduate training scheme. But plenty of modern businesses have no salespeople or human interactions with their customers at all. Would you have signed up for Google Drive; would you have even been capable of signing up for Google Drive, if the process was presented to you in a different language? Almost every business now has an online component; almost every online business wants to leverage global reach and scale; and to leverage global reach you need localisation of language.
Businesses must monitor Twitter for feedback i. All of these are text-based, and most businesses find it hard enough to monitor every channel and triage enquiries or support requests, let alone deal with multiple languages. Suddenly, it makes sense to print the part for a stranded aircraft at the airport where it sits, rather than flying it in from an international hub. It makes sense to print accessories for consumer goods at the till, in real-time. Typically, for example, back-office functions like payroll are national or even global; whereas customer-facing functions can be regionalised to local tastes.
It does, however, demand that they are capable of working internationally, sensitively to global cultures. It demands that you are responsive to customers globally. It will become unacceptably disappointing to sell to consumers in their own language, but then fail to provide support as effectively. The customer experience is not an English-only affair. Software, hardware, new business models and the interconnection of billions of humans of being are disrupting, rebuilding and eclipsing entire sectors: language cannot remain as the final barrier to capitalising on these opportunities.
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