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Author Topic: How common is Spanish as a second language worldwide?  (Read 289 times)
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« on: June 16, 2016, 06:57:23 pm »

This question may be best answered by people outside of the US and Latin America.

Particularly, where in Europe is Spanish commonly learned?  Or even in Asia or Africa?

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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 07:06:24 pm »

Primary in the Phillipines, I believe.

Equatorial Guinea in Africa.

Maybe Morocco.

Maybe some in Israel.

Maybe some in Guam and a couple other Pacific islands.

As for Europe, I remember hearing the French have to learn 3-6 European languages, so I'm assuming Spanish would be common along with French, English, German (and possibly Italian/Portuguese/Dutch/Russian/Polish/Romanian).

According to Wikipedia, it's Portugal/France/Italy:

« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 07:17:19 pm by Blue3 »Logged
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 07:43:44 pm »

Primary in the Phillipines, I believe.

Doubt it. Spanish isn't even a compulsory subject in the education system (it is only voluntary), and while there doesn't seem to be many solid numbers on Spanish/English as second languages, I feel that Spanish is not widely spoken (certainly far less common than English).

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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 09:30:50 pm »

It is very rare in Russia and ex-USSR in general. Typically, a Russian middle/high school would offer just one foreign language starting in grade 5 or so. I do not believe any of them offer Spanish. Then, again, a graduate of such a school would, typically, barely "read with a dictionary" whichever language he would be taught. There are, however, a few schools where the foreign language starts in the primary school (these are known as "special foreign language schools"). These do provide a somewhat better language training - again, typically in just one language on offer in the whole school (very rarely you could get some choice there). Among these "special schools" Spanish is the distant fourth language, after English and German/French. In pracitce, I believe, in my time there were, perhaps, 2 or 3 schools in the entire city of Moscow and, perhaps another 2 in Leningrad where Spanish was taught. I doubt there were many such schools in other places. Still, the government did prepare a full set of official textbooks, etc. There were pretty much no other foreign languages taught in regular schools in my day, so, still, Spanish was on a very exclusive list here (there may have been a boarding school where Chinese was taught, though - at least I do remember vaguely hearing about it).
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 02:27:21 am »

In Austria, Spanish is part of a "third-tier" of languages being taught, together with Russian. English is obviously taught in all schools, followed in frequency by French and Italian as a sort of "second-tier" languages. Spanish and Russian then follow, and they are either taught as third languages from grade 9/10 on, or, in fewer schools, as second languages from grade 7/8/9 on. But as said, French and Italian are both far more common, and especially Italian is increasing in popularity (which might have to do with the fact that most Austrians live, like, at most three hours from Italy).

Interestingly however, the Slavic languages surrounding Austria are, with the expection of bilingual schools for the minorities (Slovenians, Croats, Hungarians), practically not taught at all, and I doubt many Austrians speak Czech, for instance, even though it's so close to Austria. Russian is basically the only Slavic language being taught, and that almost exclusively as a third language.
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 03:55:45 am »

In France first foreign language is taught from the 1st year of middle school  (11 years old usually) and 2nd foreign language from 3rd year (13 years old).
I quickly looked for statistics and 1st foreign language is English at more than 90%.
2nd foreign language is 71% spanish, 15% German, 6% English and 6% Italian.

Except for english most of these people won't practice at all after leaving school so they will forget most of it.
From next year, 1st foreign language will be mandatory English.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 03:57:20 am by swl »Logged
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