4 Dec, 2013 @ 13:41
1 min read

Spanish the most important language for Brits to learn

spanish flag

SPANISH is the most important language for Brits to learn, according to the British Council.

It topped the list of those deemed ´most economically vital to learn, followed by Arabic and French.

The study, Languages of the Future also revealed 75% of Britons cannot speak any of the languages listed in the study.

John Worne, director of strategy at the British Council said the UK stands to lose out economically and culturally if it doesn´t act to tackle the shortfall.

He said: “Schools have their job to do but it’s also a problem of complacency, confidence and culture – which policy makers, businesses, parents and everyone else in the UK can help to fix.”

Italian, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish and Japanese also featured in its top 10.

Claire Wilson

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  1. The British Council must know something no one else does. Who do they see us trading with? Surely Mandarin Chinese should be top of this list, if we are talking economics. Culturally, well, we will probably continue to shout a bit louder to make ourselves understood by all these other foreign types…

  2. I’m semi-fluent in Spanish and speak it whenever I can.

    Apart from the sheer pleasure and beauty of speaking the language, although I still struggle a bit with verbs and having two types of “to be”, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that knowing some Spanish has also helped with my understanding and enjoyment of English.

    I know English is classified as a Germanic language but my subjective experience is that it has more in common with Spanish.

    Now I feel I can understand enough Spanish, I also feel more confident about visiting other Spanish speaking countries, so learning it has really helped open up the world to me.

    It’s such a great language too, full of subtlety and nuance but also a lot of power and passion. I much prefer it to wussy French or robotic German!

  3. Christopher,
    what a load of rubbish your post is. Spanish is constructed from two totally different base languages – Arabic and Latin and was created around the 10th century because the Aryan invaders were hardly past ug and og.

    Nuances – don’t make me laugh. There are so many words that have 6-7 completely different meanings.

    French is a beautiful language that sounds wonderful to the ear, indeed when French became the universal language in France (around 1850) they deliberately changed certain words and phrases so that they would sound nice – listen to a French woman speaking her language – it’s musical and very sensual.

    Now listen to a Spanish woman speaking – it’s all screeches and jowling. Spanish is spoken in bursts and have you noticed how awful the Spanish sound – good example of what I mean is the drug cheating cyclist Contador _ I could’nt stand to be in a room listening to him speaking for more than a few seconds.

    German I do not like but High German (equivalent of castillano) is far more detailed and there is no room for mis-interpretation.

    BTW in Andalucia the locals don’t speak Castillano at all, neither do the Gallegos, Euskadi or Catalans.

    Did you know that in Central/South America they don’t speak castillano with a stupid lisp as the conquistadores left Spain before the lisping idiot Filipe 11 was born – far easier to understand and they don’t talk with a nasal whine but still a stupid language.

    English – it is French/Latin with some Dutch and Norse thrown in, then there are the Celtic languages – Gaelic/Gallic and Britonic. These truly are full of nuances colour and form – ever received a telling off by a Gaelic speaking woman – be strong.

    Stefanjo – Mandarin yes along with Urdu and Korean.

  4. Christopher may no mind to the tirade that was posted. You were merely stating your love of learning and knowing the language, not to be attacked for doing so.

    My word that latest rant speaks volumes once again we get it, Spain is bad and France is all good blah, blah, blah.

    Geez and I swore while away I would not let these things bother me, my mistake. I’m off to enjoy my time in the States,until then let me call my screeching neighbor to check on the place.
    In the meantime, I’m sure another condescending rant about that sure will follow.
    Be well.

  5. Hi Christine,

    I hadn’t actually seen Mr Crawford’s bile before, but each to their own.

    He probably hasn’t read this interesting article about the origins and usage of the language “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_language”, which clearly shows it is considerably older than 10th Century, to say nothing of its popularity.

    I don’t understand the comment about it lacking nuance followed by the assertion that there are so many words with different meanings, a feature of many rich languages.

    I’d agree that French sounds very feminine, which may be why he likes it so much, but I don’t find Spanish at all screechy personally.

    I’m in Andalucia and speak both Castellano and Andaluz every day, so he is totally mistaken to say it isn’t spoken here.

    I am very well aware of the variances in how Spanish is spoken around the world, although it is a popular myth that the Castellano pronunciation has anything to do with a lisping royal. See “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonological_history_of_Spanish_coronal_fricatives” for a more detailed explanation of differing pronunciation.

    It’s personal taste of course, but I for one am not fond of either Chinese or the Gaelic languages, despite having many Welsh and Scottish relatives and a liking for Chinese food!

  6. If Mr Crawford, in his tirade about the ceceo andaluz, were to suggest (for example) to a Glaswegian that his accent was “stupid”, then the infamous Glaswegian kiss would be swiftly bestowed upon him. And deservedly so.

    And the last time I visited London, I could hardly understand a word….. “Screeching and jowling” eh Mr Crawford??. A bit like the British houses of parliament then.

  7. Don’t worry Christopher, Stuart is just one of many on here that like to try and suck the life out of you. Maybe the pomposity of the French language fits ha ha

    Ser/Estar.. tell me about it! Keep it up and good luck!

  8. Not one intelligent retort just insults,why am I not surprised

    I stated historical facts about the origin of the Spanish language and the stupid lisp that defines castillano – retort – a myth – prove it – you can’t.

    Andalucian people do not speak castillano, only outsiders. As for your comments about French – how silly you look.

    Wikipaedia is only useful as a source when it deals with science.

    As to not finding that the Spanish have awful scheechy voices – are you deaf or mendacious – probably both.

    You show your ignorance when you talk about ‘Gaelic languages’ – there is only one, you really need to do some proper research before mouthing off.

    Egosteve – French is’nt pompous it’s beautifully constructed. In fact many on this forum think you suck the life out of this forum – it is you who is the pompous know-it-all and it shows. Many thought you had disappeared for good – what a shame.

    Christopher you show your ignorance when you talk about ‘Gaelic languages’ – fool there is only one.

    Amparo you have no idea how the Glasgow accent came about do you – time to do some research.

    I telephoned some friends (Spanish) in Granada the other day, they now eyeball this forum, like my Dutch and German friends they think this is wonderful and hilarious and for free.

  9. Crawford: “French is a beautiful language that sounds wonderful to the ear…”? I bet you have never heard a poor Haitian citizen or an uneducated French woman speaking French.

  10. maybe britain should learn the languages associated with its own cultures.. e.g the celtic languages!.

    After all britain get its name from the “britons” who were the celtic peoples..

    what happends when there’s no on in britain who talks even english anymore?, well i guess they’ll suffer the same fate as the cornish,welsh gaelic languages!.

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