Over 40% of New Mexico’s population is hispanic, with many speaking Spanish as their primary language, according to The Economist magazine, September 11, 2010, pg 35 "The law of large numbers: the hispanicisation of America"
Similarly, 30% to 40% of the population of California, Arizona and Texas is latino.
Suprisingly, 10% to 20% of the population of Washington, Illinois, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey is also hispanic.
Many hispanics tend to prefer Republican politics as of late, but anti-immigration sentiment is pushing many back towards Democratic candidates.
Now, human migration is something that is difficult to contain. Eventually, people just migrate. Fences, attack dogs, barbed wire, guard towers and infrared equipped helicopters may slow down migration, but eventually, if people have to move they just move, is my take on the matter (you are free to disagree!).
In late 2005 (contemporaneous with the birth of my first child) I decided to "fix" my Spanish abilities. Learning Spanish will make you "recession proof", I believe. I think that a bi-lingual person will always be able to find employment, even if not "translator" fluent.
Spanish is a wonderful language. I often now prefer to speak Spanish. It is logical and regularly follows its own gramatical rules. It is straightforward to spell and write in Spanish. I like to say that Spanish promotes literacy, whereas English almost discourages literacy.
Here is my recipie for Spanish:
Spend one month in either Antigua, Guatemala or Granada, NIcaragua, studying four to six hours per day, one on one with a teacher at Ixchel Spanish School (Antigua, Guatemala) or Roger Ramirez’s One-on-One Tutoring, in Granada, Nicaragua.
Usually, it is about $100 per week for twenty hours weekly of one-on-one teaching, or about $150 weekly for six hours daily totaling 30 hours per week. This is really the best way to learn.
You can arrange (sponsored and arranged by the school) for room and board with a local family, wherein meals are usually provided six days per week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cost for room and board is usually $75-$100 per week, room and board (no joke! it really is that inexpensive!). However, you should tip your homestay family and your teacher at the end of your stay maybe 10% to 25% of your expenditure, but tips are not required.
If you are a big eater, or want a bit more meat, you can arrange to pay a little more to your family, or supplement a bit by eating out.
After you return home, you should search out a local tutor for weekly two hour sessions for about a year. I would write short stories in Spanish, and then my teacher and I would correct and re-write the stories.
You should also subscribe to National Geographic in Spanish, and force yourself to read every issue and define the words you do not know, writing the definitions in the margins.
For fun, you can pick up "people en espanol" magazine.
Pike Place Market in Seattle has a newstand which usually carries a nice selection of foreign newspapers. ISimilar my use of "people en espanol" magazine, I used to buy one every month and read it – looking up and writing in the margins the definitions to unfamiliar words.
I know that many of the readers of this blog might find this far-fetched – after all, there are mortgages and car payments to pay and if facing unemployment, funds can be thin.
However, I can think of no schooling course or training course which will help you to better "stand out from the crowd".
Anglos (caucasians) who can speak Spanish do so well in the workplace and interview process because they are not "immigrants" to the American way of doing things. Spanish speaking Anglos fit well into business organizations and understand employers’ expectations and can provide nuanced service. Clearly, an immigrant speaking Spanish as a first language and later learning English can learn to fit well into an enterprise, but Enlish is so darn complicated and hard to read/write that immigrants struggle with English.
Spanish is a great language – it has a huge and rich vocabulary, and can express many things better than can English.
Challenge yourself to meet the demographic demands of a changing America – learn Spanish – you will never regret it….and say goodbye forever to the unemployment line.