“English is very common, and more and more people know it,” says rising video star Lulu Yang. “Without Spanish, I feel I’d be a very ordinary person.”
Yilin Ye, a student from Anji, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, China, is spending time abroad at the University of Zaragoza in Spain.
Ye, 25, said she first started learning Spanish after having heard about its “excellent reputation.” She said she feels she takes on a slightly different persona when she speaks Spanish.
“It’s a really beautiful thing, really fascinating,” she said. “When I’m speaking Chinese, I’m more calm. When I’m speaking English, I’m probably a bit more open, and when I speak Spanish, I’m very ‘wow.'”
In addition to reading comics by the Argentine-Spanish cartoonist Quino, Ye enjoys keeping up with Spanish-language TV shows and movies, like “Tres Metros Sobre el Cielo,” “Ocho Apellidos Vascos,” “Diarios de Motocicleta” and Netflix’s “Elite.”
A scroll through DouYin, the original Chinese version of TikTok that launched in 2016, shows lots of users who aren’t shy about flaunting their language skills. They include Chinese millennials lip-syncing videos and mashups in English — and showing their growing love of Spanish and Latino culture.
Just how popular is the world’s second-most-popular spoken language in China? The numbers speak for themselves.
There are about 50,000 Spanish speakers in China, a figure scholars say is growing by the year. The language has become more popular as students enthusiastically share their new knowledge on social media. Click to read complete article