Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Top 5 Reasons to Learn Spanish

With around half a billion speakers world wide, you wouldn’t expect Spanish to be the subject of a “Why learn” type of article. Still, numbers aren’t always everything and some of you might want some more specific advantages of learning Spanish. Personally, I had great advantages from my Spanish language skills and throughout time, I noticed that a few patterns apply to people who learn this language. Most non-native Spanish speakers are people who travel a lot. Some of them learn it because they want to, others learn it due to necessity. But let’s assume you’re learning for fun, for the time being. What would be the main 5 reasons that could convince you to start up on Spanish? Let’s see:

1. Spanish is Easy – No, seriously, it is. It’s actually one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers. Spanish is quite common throughout the World and ever since you were a child, you were exposed to the Spanish language on TV, radio or, in some parts of the United States, in the community. This makes it a lot easier to learn the language later on, since you already have the “ear” to learn it.

2. Spanish opens the door for other languages – it’s true, once you learned Spanish it will be a lot easier to go for another language with a Latin substrate. Italian, French, Portuguese, Romanian, anything that’s related to Spanish will be a walk in the park. These languages can be learnt using the same language patterns, so once you got the hang of how Spanish needs to be assimilated, you will find it quicker to adapt to its cousins.

3. Travelling – Obviously, if you travel to South America or Spain, you’ll need to speak Spanish fluently if you want to make it a pleasant stay. Otherwise you’ll be going to your hotel room with your arms aching every night, due to the extensive body language that you used throughout the day. People in Spanish countries aren’t particularly keen on learning English and you can’t ask that from them anyway. It’s you who’s visiting their country, so it’s you who has a duty to perform in learning their language.

4. Business Opportunities – Regardless if you’re from Europe or North America, there are some very rich neighbors standing right next to you. Mexico for the US and Spain for Western Europe are two markets that need to be tapped, because they offer huge potential. If you want to conduct business in Spain, Mexico or any other Spanish speaking country for that matter, you’ll make a great first impression if you can speak the language of the persons you’re dealing with.

5. Cultural Understanding – The Spanish culture has been incredible throughout history and Spanish authors have left behind hundreds of thousands of books filled with interesting information. However, information is lost during translation, so if you really want to enjoy a book from a Spanish author, you’ll learn the language and read the book the way it was meant to be read: in the Spanish language.

I hope I made my point with these advantages of learning Spanish. If you need a starting point for your language efforts, visit Internet Polyglot and start the ride!

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