The US of A: A Multilingual Nation

There have been recent studies showing that the Spanish language has become the most important and most spoken language in the United States aside from English. According to the findings, by 2060 the USA could become the first Spanish-speaking country in terms of actual speakers with over 160 million of them, surpassing Mexico which now leads the ranking with approximately 121 million speakers. This obviously has to do with the amount of native-Spanish speakers who have sought the American Dream and have been establishing themselves in the US for a few generations now.

This fact will undoubtedly switch the balance in terms of foreign minorities populating the USA. This upcoming 2016 Presidential election is proof that the Latin/Hispanic vote is a major determining factor and that the Latin American community, currently living in the US, is the largest of all the foreign minorities.

But this is not the only time we have seen languages (foreign communities) populating the North American territory. Looking back, when Europeans first arrived to the Americas, many languages converged in a new-found territory, making their way through a new beginning in a new-found land. As time went by, the English language established itself as the main language in the United States, but let’s not forget that there was first a large community of languages which also populated the territory from the very beginning. First, there existed the various Native languages of the tribes who lived all across the continent. Later, when the Europeans arrived, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Italian and Spanish came along, and the multicultural scene started to form.

Obviously, geographical proximity made it easier for Spanish to become the second most spoken language in the US. But we also have to remember that at some point in history, several states, as we know them today, were actually part of Mexico. The Spanish language was the official language in what we know today as Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, most of New Mexico and Arizona and even parts of Colorado and Wyoming before these territories became part of the United States. We could say that it was there and then that the Spanish language began to climb its way to the top. The USA was founded over a multicultural platform, so from the point of view of languages, we can say that it was a multilingual country from the very beginning, and it will remain so for as long as its multicultural values live on.