Useful Links >>
Why learn Spanish? >>
- Spanish (general) - Spanish Language Sites
- Spanish (Latin America) - Latin American Network Information Center
- Michigan World Language Association - MFLA
- American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese - AATSP
Numbers point to the answer. More than 425 million people worldwide use Spanish to communicate. It is the world's third most used language. It is the primary language of most of Latin America (except Brazil) and holds the distinction of being the second language of the United States as well.
Abundant evidence attests to the important impact of people of Hispanic heritage on United States culture. An obvious example is the current widespread popularity of Latin music and dance (tejano music, salsa, tango, etc.). Hollywood stars of Hispanic heritage (Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, and others) are similarly popular. Numerous Hispanic baseball stars (Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, etc.) enjoy wide public admiration. Internationally successful novelists, poets, and other literary figures (Isabel Allende, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, etc.), and major figures in many other areas of endeavor (Carlos Santana, Ricky Martin, etc.) underscore the impact of Hispanic peoples on U.S. and world culture.
All of this Hispanic presence nourishes our economy to a massive degree. International trade with Spain and Latin America is a very important component of the U.S. economy. When we consider further that U.S. Hispanics control more than $630 billion in purchasing power and that this figure is growing at three times the national average, it is clear that this portion of the marketplace offers rich opportunities for those prepared culturally and linguistically to participate in it.
For questions or advice, please contact:
Department of World Languages
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Voice: (734) 487-0130
FAX: (734) 487-3411