Top ten reasons to learn Spanish
To be able to communicate with 400 million native speakers worldwide!
In Europe; Spanish is the second most popular language, after English. With some 400 million speakers, Spanish is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world. Only Mandarin, English and Hindi have more speakers. If you count only native speakers, Spanish outranks English. Spanish is an official language on four continents and is the mother tongue in 21 countries. It is the sheer number of Spanish speakers and their rate of growth that makes learning Spanish a smart choice. But it is not only in Europe where Spanish is popular, with well over 38 million, and with over 40% of the population growth being among the Hispanic people, the stage is set for an enormous increase in Spanish usage in the United States.
- Widen your employment opportunities.
Since Spanish is becoming more and more important with regards to business, for many, learning Spanish is rapidly becoming a business necessity. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to offer your product or service to the 400 million people whose mother tongue is Spanish? In many countries, Hispanic consumers are the fastest-growing market segment. As far as job opportunities are concerned, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have Spanish on your CV. In many areas such as: healthcare, education or building trades, knowing Spanish can be particularly helpful to get a job. One thing is certain, if you know Spanish, you will be more marketable and have more career choices, you will take up a more favourable and competitive position.
- It helps to understand English better and makes acquiring other languages easier.
Spanish is what we call a “Romance” language, meaning that it is based on Latin, the language of the ancient Roman Empire. Many English words are also of Latin origin, and so when you learn vocabulary in Spanish you will simultaneously be expanding your English vocabulary. You will also find that your understanding of the deep meaning of these Latin based English words is greatly enhanced. Also, as you study the grammar of Spanish, you will notice how it is similar to English, as well as how it is different. This will raise your awareness of the grammar of your native language. And, when it comes to learning a third language, such as French or Italian, already knowing Spanish will be a huge advantage because these languages are also Romance Languages.
While it is certainly possible to travel to a Spanish speaking country without knowing any Spanish, your trip will in no way compare with the incredible adventure that awaits the traveller who speaks Spanish. If you only speak English, you will be forced to confine yourself to popular tourist resorts where nearly everyone speaks some English. But if you want to explore the area and get to know the local people, you need to know Spanish. Even simple things, such as reading signs and menus, asking directions or telling a cab driver where you want to go requires some knowledge of the language. Hispanic people are amazingly generous, and if you speak Spanish you will find yourself being welcomed in a way that would never happen if you spoke only English. Simply put, when you travel to a Spanish speaking country, knowing the language will allow you to move from the role of observer to that of an active participant.
- It is not a difficult language to learn. It is very phonetic.
Because Spanish is very nearly phonetically perfect, you can look at almost any word and immediately know exactly how to pronounce it. This characteristic makes Spanish a language very easy to learn.
- Bilingualism and multilingualism can prevent diseases!
Research has revealed that your chances of developing Alzheimer´s Disease, other mental illnesses and dementia are drastically reduced by knowing and using languages. Earlier studies indicated that bilingualism and multilingualism not only enhances your mental abilities but also can improve your memory and slow age-related decline in mental acuity. It has also been proven that analytical, critical and creative thinking skills will increase. You will learn to view things from a different perspective.
- Make new friends.
As the Hispanic population continues to grow at a disproportionate rate, it becomes more and more likely that you might have Spanish speaking friends or encounter Spanish speaking people in your trips. Wouldn’t it be nice to say hello and chat with them in Spanish?
For many people, developing a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture is becoming more and more important. There is no more certain way to gain this insight than to learn to speak Spanish. Reading Spanish or Latin American magazines or newspapers will open a window into the Hispanic culture and mind. You will be better prepared to appreciate the great Hispanic modern and classical contributions. Hispanic literary contributions are monumental from Miguel de Cervantes to Gabriel García Marquez. On the fine arts, Spanish influence has been substantial, from the royal portraits of Goya to the surreal depictions of Picasso.
And let´s not ignore gastronomy! Learning Spanish can be the perfect excuse for enjoying the cuisine of Spanish speaking peoples. Paella, tortilla, gazpacho, burritos, papusas…..Is it any wonder then that more and more people want to partake of these cultural delights?
- Learning Spanish will expand your mind and universe and will enable you to help others.
According to Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, “the limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have word” “The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world” Undoubtedly, learning Spanish will expand your own personal universe.
Unfortunately, the standard of living in many Spanish speaking countries is rather low by normal Western standards. Sometimes, it is appallingly low. Without stereotyping Latin America as a poverty stricken region (in many cases that simply is not true) there are nonetheless a lot of people in serious need. Learning Spanish will prepare you for taking the next step, — actually going there and making a difference!
- Learning Spanish is fun!
Learning Spanish opens up lots of opportunities to have more fun. Who doesn’t enjoy reading a good book or watching a good movie? Music? You bet! Food? The best! The satisfaction of accomplishment? It’s there waiting for you to grab it!
For all of the reasons mentioned above, and a whole lot that have not been mentioned, learning Spanish can be one of the most enjoyable things you will ever do. Whether your motivations are practical, intellectual or sentimental, learning Spanish is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life!