Anyone who’s ever enrolled in a Spanish class knows that schools generally refer to it as a “foreign language.” Most of us repeat the phrase uncritically, as if it were actually true.
But is it?
Take a look around. Spanish isn’t “foreign” to the United States at all. The names of many of our states and cities are Spanish -- a testament to the fact that Spanish-peakers colonized many areas that later became part of the United States before English-speakers. Many of us use Spanish words when speaking English, often without being aware of what we’re doing. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the country and many people, both immigrant and native-born, are raised speaking it.
The growing presence of Spanish in the United States makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Groups like ProEnglish and politicians like U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) want to make English the official language of the United States.
Whether or not you agree that’s the right solution to navigate the country’s linguistic diversity, one thing is certain -- Spanish is no more “foreign” to the United States than English.
Check out 8 reasons why Spanish isn’t a foreign language in the slideshow above.