I always wanted to speak a second language, but I could never motivate myself to learn one, nor could I decide which language to learn. That was until I visited Cuba, and that’s when I knew I wanted to learn Spanish. Since then I have visited several countries in South America and I have realised the significance of learning a second language. If you are looking for a language to learn, I would recommend trying Spanish. It is relatively similar to English, making it an easier language to learn than say German, and also due to its popularity across the globe it makes it a good choice.
Here are 5 reasons to learn Spanish:
1. Spanish is Everywhere
Spanish is popular. Incredibly popular. The United States alone has over 35 million Spanish speakers. It’s not just popular in the US either, in Europe Spanish is the second most popular language. Only being beaten to the top by English. With around 400 million speakers worldwide, it is also the fourth most popular language in the world. Only Mandarin, Hindi and English have more speakers. Making Spanish a useful tool on your travels.
2. Expand your Mind
The Hispanic population is growing worldwide and the culture is propping up on all corners of the globe. South America is attracting more tourists every year, and in 2016 even Cuba got invited to the table. Learning Spanish will truly broaden your mind and knock down barriers. Even businesses are using the language as first choice.
3. Transform your Travel Experience
Travelling without knowing Spanish in a Spanish speaking country is definitely doable, but it will in no way compare to experience you would have with knowing the language. If you only speak English for example, you will be confined to tourist resorts and lack that edge that allows you to mingle with locals. This then prevents you from truly experiencing the cultures of the country and the learning of little gems. Even reading signs or menus will become a task. You will become an observer to the adventure, rather than a participant.
4. Appreciating the Culture
Learning Spanish will help you to better appreciate the Hispanic contributions. From learning a language you will develop a deep understanding of the importance of culture and diversity, and the Hispanic culture is becoming more and more important. I have a slight obsession with Spanish cuisine for example. Paella, burritos…I couldn’t live without them. I couldn’t imagine not being able to order these dishes, and my understanding of the language helps me to appreciate the culture. Even it only means ordering some tapas. I even took salsa lessons In Colombia to exprerience the culture from learning a new language. Knocking down barriers and opening up gateways to new experiences.
5. It’s FUN!
Learning any language is fun, but with Spanish it is even more so. Being able to enjoy movies, books, and music in the native language gives you a sense of accomplishment. Especially considering how popular Hispanic TV shows are becoming…and chart singles. Learning Spanish is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life.