Spanish: The Key To Opportunity Essay

823 words - 3 pages

The twentieth century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said that “The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.” Despite the truth in that statement, it is still common today to hear people say, “I speak English, so I don’t have to learn a foreign language.” Although English has become increasingly important in global communication over the past few decades, the direct benefits of learning a foreign language are plenty. Among the various foreign languages pursued by American students, Spanish is by far the most popular, as competency in the Spanish language is a powerful resource that can increase one’s opportunities in the U.S and globally by tenfold. Therefore, it is extremely essential that Americans learn Spanish, as knowledge of the Spanish language opens the door to cultural appreciation, breaks the barrier between two cultures, and sets the stage for successful diplomacy.
Most importantly, the Spanish language allows the learner to identify with the Spanish-speaking culture and analyze matters from that culture’s perspective; lack of understanding of the Spanish language bars effective communication with the 329 million people in the Spanish-speaking world and encumbers true access to their culture. Today, as the United States and many Spanish-speaking countries become more dependent on each other economically and politically, cultural sensitivity becomes increasingly necessary. Failure to consider the reasoning of Spanish-speaking cultures could result in futile negotiations and jeopardize foreign relations. Nevertheless, understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures is crucial in solving social dilemmas in the Hispanic world such as poverty, domestic strife between indigenous groups, and illiteracy. Furthermore, comprehension of the Spanish language allows individuals to gain insight about current situations in the Spanish-speaking world; in-depth understanding of these issues could undoubtedly lead to peaceful resolution of political disputes such as the ongoing separatist movement in Cataluña. Knowledge of Spanish bridges the gap between Spanish and American cultures and promotes world peace and international security by means of global awareness.
Additionally, knowledge and mastery of the Spanish language opens the door to the appreciation of Spanish literary and artistic works. Several of the world’s finest and most elegant works of poetry, prose, and drama, including Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s Cien Anos de Soledad, and Federico Garcia Lorca’s La Casa de Bernarda Alba were penned in Spanish. Although a translation of the work may facilitate comprehension of the main idea, one must not...

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