There are over 500 million people on the earth who already speak Spanish. These are interesting, dynamic, and energetic people with unique backgrounds. Whether you are expanding your business, making new friends, or moving to a new country, learning to speak Spanish will open the door to this new world. Not only will you be able to meet and interact with new and interesting people, you’ll also be introduced to new cuisines, cultures, lifestyles, and entertainment.
Recently, Business Insider published 6 more reasons why it's important for everyone to learn to speak Spanish. The full article can be found here, but I'll summarize:
1. Spanish isn't a foreign language anymore
2. Learning Spanish will help your career
3. It will unlock a world of travel destinations
4. You can enjoy amazing books and movies
5. Spanish is easy to learn
6. Even the British are swapping French for Spanish
These reasons from Business Insider are interestingly similar to my top 10 reasons you should learn Spanish that I have been publishing over the past year and goes to show that knowing how to speak Spanish will do so much for you.
To this list I would add something along the lines of building relationships with wonderful people, enjoying a wider variety of cuisine, and opening your eyes to unique history and culture. Simply put, learning a new language, especially Spanish, is one of the best ways to enrich your life.
There's no doubt that learning a second language forces the student to understand the language structure of that second language. Language structure includes using correct grammar, forming sentences properly, making compelling arguments, and bringing life to the conversation. As you learn to do this in Spanish, this part of of your education will have a direct impact on your ability to communicate in English.
I frequently see native English speakers who aren't interesting speakers or who struggle to communicate complete thoughts in English. Many of them are also boring to listen to and lack the energy required to captivate their audience or whomever they are speaking to. As they learn to speak Spanish, their confidence grows and their English language speaking skills begin to improve. Over a short period of time, these people evolve from being boring and dry to lively and engaging.
Learning to speak Spanish is not difficult. It requires understanding some basic language principles combined with consistent practice. In my Beginner Spanish language course, you'll get a lot of both and be well on your way to mastering the Spanish language. Find out more here.
Learning Spanish as a second language will help you understand English better. The reason for this is that both English and Spanish have rules that come from latin origins and it's easy to use your understanding of English to support your Spanish language study as well as using Spanish to reinforce your understanding of English.
As you begin to familiarize yourself with the structure of the Spanish language—namely subjects, verbs, and object—you’ll start to see how the various parts of speech all come together to create a coherent message. You'll start to see how communication between two people is not just a string of random thoughts, rather a structure of organized word combinations. As you do this in Spanish, your understanding of the English language will increase. You’ll start to see how adjectives must agree in number with the nouns they modify and you’ll notice how verbs are conjugated differently with each subject. If none of this makes sense to you, don't worry because you aren't required to know it in order to speak Spanish properly. Your increased understanding of both languages is actually a result of you speaking Spanish, not a requirement.
In the end, this knowledge will reinforce your understanding of both languages and make you a better Spanish student. Not only that, you’ll be better equipped to understand the more complex parts of the language, such as the Spanish subjunctive, that are crucial in order to speak Spanish fluently.
Nothing helps a resume like a second language, especially in the service and retail industries. If you are interacting with people, whether clients, employees, or customers, having a line in your resume that reads “Bilingual English & Spanish” will help you stand out far above the other applicants.
Speaking a second language tells a potential employer that you have a high level of comprehension, that you have strong listening and communication skills, and that you can dedicate long hours to study and practice in order to develop a skill. More than just knowing how to conjugate verbs, speaking Spanish "speaks" volumes about your character and work ethic.
Have you ever been flipping through the channels and come across the Spanish soap opera channel? These shows are called "novelas" in Spanish and believe me when I tell you that you are missing out if you haven't spent a few minutes watching one. These television programs can be addicting. A bit cheesy, yes, but addicting nonetheless. They may look silly, but they are very popular in Spanish-speaking countries. Also, the quality of these shows has really improved over the past 5 years as production companies are getting better exposure in the USA, which brings more advertising revenue, and allows them to put more money into producing a program with high entertainment value. The actors are a bit over the top sometimes, but that's why they are so great to watch. There are some intriguing story lines too.
On the feature film side, a lot of great movies come from Latin America and Spain, too, as well as many talented up-and-coming actors. One great thing about movies is that most DVDs in your house today have the option to watch in Spanish. And because you already know the story line, watching a familiar DVD in Spanish doesn't detract from the experience. In fact, it helps you pay more attention to what and how the actors communicate.
It’s proven that learning a second language boosts performance in other subject areas. If you take a close look at languages, particularly those that are Latin-based, you’ll notice obvious structure and patterns that are discernible and predictable.
The patterns and structure in the Spanish language are a lot like a math equation where a+b=c. For example, subject + conjugated verb = clause. This basic formula is the foundation of the Spanish language, something most textbooks fail to explain. If you’ve ever looked at even a high school Spanish textbook, you’ll notice that it’s filled with complicated terminology and lessons don’t seem to fall in any logical order. I can only guess why professors at the college and university levels don’t do a better job of explaining the language in a more user-friendly way, but my beginner Spanish CD course is logical and makes the concepts easy to understand.
The more you understand how these formulas work to create ideas and sentences, the better you’ll be at understanding both right and left brain elements of education. Improving brain functionality this way directly translates to the increased capacity when learning the principles of mathematics, reading music, composing your next family photo, arranging furniture, and learning other languages.
This is where we chat about all things Spanish. Feel free to ask a question, challenge me, passionately disagree, or rant about whatever. Just make it interesting.