Sunday, February 27, 2011
An article here in Spanish today on the future of Spanish in the United States goes over some ground that we've seen before: in 2050 the US will have the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, knowledge of Spanish will go from about 5.7% worldwide to about 10% by then. There is one number in the article that is new to me though:
Respecto de Estados Unidos, el académico explicó que si bien “el 23% de los inmigrados y exiliados ha perdido su lengua materna”, en la mayoría de los casos, “la lealtad lingüística es un hecho” y “encontramos situaciones bilingües perfectamente equilibradas”.= "In the United States, though 23% of immigrants and exiles have lost their mother tongue, the majority of the time people are "loyal" to their language and perfect bilingualism is often encountered.
I assume this 23% is over a generation, but there is no source given and a quick search on Google doesn't turn one up. Then again, the article is a bit sloppy. It ends with:
...por ejemplo, si bien el 25% del mundo es hispanohablante, apenas el 5% de las páginas web están en español.= "while 25% of the world speaks Spanish, just 5% of web sites are in Spanish." So let's hope that the percentage of people in the world that understand Spanish will increase to 10%, but 25% of the world understands Spanish.
Either that or it means "even if" 25% of the world speaks Spanish...but in that case it would make the 5% number meaningless as there is no way to predict how many pages on the internet would be in Spanish in such a hypothetical situation. Or perhaps I'm missing something.