More evidence of increasing popularity of Spanish in Europe

And a quick trawl of Spanish collections of phonetic equivalents, the closest many of the natives get to learning a foreign language.

Trebots @ Sunday August 16th 2009 13:11

Re a comment thread where “el Primo” swore blind on the basis of some bad statistics that Spanish was dying out as a second language in Europe, news just in from Scotland:

Figures released this week by the Scottish Qualifications Authority show that Spanish has overtaken German for the first time to become the second most popular language at Higher after French. A shortage of German teachers and a feeling that the language is unfashionable, despite its economic importance in Europe, has led to greater numbers of schools switching from German to Spanish. At the same time, there has been a corresponding pressure from parents who holiday in Spain, in both the independent and state sectors, to offer Spanish, as well as other languages.

Meanwhile, a Spanish girl I know sporadically is making little progress with her English because every time something is said to her in that language she improvises the nearest amusing phonetic equivalent in Spanish. A brief search reveals a minor industry dedicated to this entertaining way of disguising the traditional Spanish lack of interest in other languages. You may prefer the German, the Chinese, the Zulu [sic]..., but my favourites on this page are mock-Arabic:

  • beso: saliva-va-saliva-viene
  • divorcio: se aleja la almeja
  • Señorita, bájese de la moto: Maja, baja la raja de la Yamaha

And so on and so forth. Bite that wax tadpole, people.

  • Arabic language (44) From a page move: This is a redirect from a page that has been moved (renamed). This page was kept as a redirect to avoid breaking links, both internal and external, that may have been made to the old page name.
  • German language (46) German (Deutsch [ˈdɔʏtʃ]) is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and (co-)official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein; it is also an official, but not majority language of Luxembourg.
  • Second language learning (2)
  • Spain (1683)
  • Spanish language (407)
Categories: Languages, Les bourgeois

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  1. “el Primo”
    September 3rd 2009 12:23

    This means fuck all. The article doesn't mention the actual number of students learning Spanish, which could be in fact pretty insignificant given the fact that in Scotland studying a foreign language is not mandatory, as far as I know.

  2. Trevor
    September 3rd 2009 16:32

    Don't swear on my blog, bollockbreath.

    Just out of interest, do you also refuse to believe that cars are more popular than horses as a means of transport?

  3. “el Primo”
    September 4th 2009 12:32

    Of course not. Why would I do a thing like that?
    Do you refuse to acknowledge that Spanish is only the 5th most popular language in the EU, right behind Italian, French, German and English?
    And besides, don't be such a sissy.

  4. Juan Kerr
    September 4th 2009 12:44

    Yeah, but you have to account for Newcastlers learning English as a second language.

  5. Trevor
    October 14th 2009 12:28

    http://www.elpais.com/articulo/tecnologia/Casa/Blanca/hace/bilingue/elpeputec/20091014elpeputec_2/Tes#

  6. Trevor
    January 25th 2010 07:34

    Spanish is now more popular than German in British schools. Spiegel says it's down to popular culture aka Shakira http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/ausland/0,1518,673525,00.html

  7. Trevor
    January 29th 2010 19:52

    5 million Brazilians now learning Spanish, 400% increase in 3 years http://www.brazzilmag.com/component/content/article/81-january-2010/11760-five-million-brazilians-are-learning-spanish-soon-theyll-be-41-million.html

  8. kalebeul » Spanish, most popular elective extra-curricular language in English higher education
    April 7th 2010 13:36

    [...] This kind of neutral observation, particularly when accompanied by doubts as to the wisdom of banning Spanish from Catalan schools, tends to lead to bouts of hysterics from Catalan nationalists. Maybe the latest unemployment statistics will give them pause for thought. [...]

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