Spanish is the fourth most important language in the world
Yesterday I bought the book Empires of the Word a Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler. I’m sure it’ll be a fascinating summer holiday reading.
Skimming the book’s index I found that the author lists in one of its last chapters the current top twenty languages of the world as spoken by native and non native users. According to his list only Mandarin Chinese, English and Hindi are above Spanish.
Ostler quotes the number of people speaking Spanish at 417 million.
Considering that Spanish is the official language in twenty one nations and that the birth demographic indexes in those nations are still growing very fast, the figure quoted above is only bound to get bigger in the foreseeable future.
Spanish with all its phonological advantages (i.e. simple sound patterns), rich and vast lexical repertoire, sophisticated verbal structures and tenses – and not to mention its Latin inherited charm – is a language with a bright future that has a lot to offer to its native and non native speakers.