Many students who choose to do acourse in New York to learn English in summer find that when young New Yorkers discuss with their place of origin, they have pretty confused ideas about our country. One of the most common errors It is the geographic location: many young Americans put Spain near Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries.However, this finding is not surprising, since it seems that geography is not the strongest of American youth: according to a National Geographic survey , half of US teenagers are not able to locate on a map or Iraq … or New York.
Regarding the idea they have of us, a study by the Real Instituto Elcano entitled ” The image of Spain in America “ sheds much light on this. According to data from this study, Americans consider us a fun and authentic country. In one of the parts of the study participants are asked to describe the concept that most associate when they hear of Spain. The results are most predictable: bullfighting takes the cake . And is that despite the changes that have occurred in Spanish society in recent decades, the idea that many young Americans remain in our country is directly linked reflected by writers like Ernest Hemingway or Washington Irving in his works: bulls, sanfermines, sun, music, wine, flamenco …
As for the best-known young American Spanish characters, the list is as varied: Columbus, Penelope Cruz, Cervantes, Placido Domingo and Pau Gasol.
The study also shows that the valuation of Spanish products is quite positive: 44% of young Americans aged 18 to 29 years show enough interest in buying clothes, food or Spanish wines. They are also young people who show more interest in knowing more about our country (41%) and visiting (55%)
Students who are doing a language course abroad and have chosen the United States to carry out will not have excessive options to find Spanish speakers (something positive from the point of view of language learning), since only 18% Americans speak Spanish and 24% said talk “a little”.
With regard to the economic situation, both this research as others made thereon suggest that US is not perceived to Spain as a country with a strong economy, although many young Americans are perfectly aware of some of our brands ( Zara, Custo Barcelona … ..).
The authors of this research, very interesting as documentation for those who are planning to take a course in New York, reached the final conclusion thatAmericans have an image of Spain and Spanish positive but diffuse .