So today The Daily Post asked us if we could wake up one morning and be fluent in any language what would it be?
For me, that answer is very very easy. SPANISH! 100% SPANISH!
WHAT? You live in California and don’t know how to speak Spanish? Well, yes and no.
In high school we were required to take 2 years of a foreign language to graduate. Fine. No problem. Done. Went to college and took 4 more semesters of Spanish. Why? Because here in California it is NEAR impossible to get a job if you are not bilingual in Spanish.
So yes, I know some Spanish. Here is the thing about language . If you don’t use it, you LOSE IT!
Well guess what happened with me. I went on to find a job(s) where I didn’t need my very limited Spanish skills, and so yes, you guessed it. I lost it!
Now I’m looking for a position that is closer to home, and my options are slimmed down to very very little because I’m not bilingual. Yes, you can find positions that do not require you to be bilingual, however look at it from an employers point of view.
You have an office where the person you will be hiring will be in constant contact with the public. The area has a high concentration of Hispanics ( as does most of California ) who for whatever reason have not learned conversational English. Most likely because well, we are an agricultural area, and they bounce between the Salinas Valley and Yuma, and just about everyone they interact with speaks Spanish.
Now you are have narrowed down your candidates to two virtually identical candidates. Both have the same experience, education, social skills, and both interviewed very well. The only difference, one speaks Spanish, and one does not.
Which candidate do you suppose is chosen for the position? You guessed it. The one who can speak Spanish.
That is just the way it is here. There have been multitudes of positions that I have wanted to apply for, but I do not because they state in preferred skills “Bilingual in Spanish strongly preferred”. While they can’t have it as a requirement for the position, they can put it in the preferred skills and then just “accidently” make my resume end up in the infamous round file.
So … YES. If I could just wake up one morning and be fluent in a language, Spanish would be it. Hands down, no questions asked.
( To be fair, I would love to it to be Castilian Spanish. However, Mexican Spanish is what is spoken in this area. I just find Castilian to be much prettier sounding, maybe because of the use of vos verses the nos. Mexican sounds very harsh to me after learning Castilian and having a friend who learned Castilian Spanish through emersion in Spain.)