Spanish class bueno for business

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By Susan Nerberg

Increased demand and a surge in trade with Latin American countries are bringing Spanish courses to Ryerson this fall.

The French Department will start offering day and night courses in Spanish starting this September.

Jean-Paul Chavy, chair of the French Department, said there’s a natural relation between Spanish and French.

“Spanish shares the same base as French,” he said, adding the languages share Latin roots.

Spanish will be offered as a liberal studies elective. Students in all programs will have the opportunity to enroll in a lower-level introductory course that will also be offered in the evenings.

The plan is to phase in six levels over three years. Spanish 101 will serve as an indicator of how big the interest is and it will “lay the groundwork” for the future levels, said Chavy.

Ryerson students will be able to learn more than uttering the words like burrito and siesta.

Mexico is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Chile is likely to become the fourth amigo of that same trade tie. At the same time Canada is getting more involved in trade with Cuba.

Michael Mayo, associate dean of the faculty of business, said the School of Business is “very happy the service will be available” to Ryerson students.

“It’s hard to do business in other countries if you don’t know the language and the culture. It’s important to understand the customs and rules and how to work people,” he said.

“Our [Canadian] trade is more vertical than horizontal,” said Mayo, who explained there are more Spanish speaking people in the regions where Canada is conducting business.

“By learning a language you’re learning the culture, because it’s embodied in the language,” said Chavy.

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