City Guide: San Antonio's mother-tongue and list of where you can take Spanish classes (or Chinese, or Hindi, for that matter)

Are you making sure that your kids learn Mandarin Chinese, the “language of the future?” Cool! But, first things first. The Pew Research Center estimates that Hispanics will represent 29 percent of America’s population by 2050 (it was 16 percent in 2009). On top of that, Latin American nations have (so far) best survived the world’s financial crisis. “As the United States increasingly integrates economically with Latin America, Spanish will become more crucial in our lives,” The New York Times wrote in January. “More Americans will take vacations in Latin America, do business in Spanish, and eventually move south to retire in countries where the cost of living is far cheaper.”

That’s already happening, of course. If you go to Argentina, chances are you’ll meet several New York artists already living comfortably in Buenos Aires, where the standard of living is good and the rental spaces are much cheaper than Manhattan.

So learn Chinese (or even Hindi: India is the other up-and-coming superpower, btw), but keep in mind that Spanish is a much more immediate, practical choice. It’s San Antonio’s mother tongue, after all.

Spanish classes

New World Spanish, 1864 Nacogdoches, (210) 822-2804,

Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM/USA), 600 Hemisfair Plaza Way, (210) 222-8626,, (also Mandarin classes)

Spanish For Kids, 10004 Wurzbach #223, (210) 421-4584,

Mexican American Catholic College, 3115 W Ashby (210) 732-2156, (general and pastoral Spanish)



Alamo Chinese Language School, 7015 Wurzbach (Medical Center Baptist Church),

Confucius Institute at UTSA, One UTSA Circle, (210) 458-6242,



Hindu Temple of San Antonio, 18518 Bandera, Helotes, (210) 695-9400,

Read more from our 2011 City Guide here.