Top Ten Reasons to Learn Spanish
1. Learning Spanish is Way Fun! Especially if You Learn Spanish Abroad!
Yes, learning Spanish will enhance your job prospects. Yes, learning Spanish will help you with job security. Yes, Spanish will do you all sorts of good. But more about that below!
The first benefit of learning Spanish is that it is way fun! Anyone who has learned Spanish abroad will tell you how much fun it is. When you learn Spanish abroad, you not only learn Spanish – you also immerse yourself in a foreign culture, meet interesting people from all over the world, have the experience of your life (think study abroad) and open you mind to new, fun, and exciting horizons. Learning Spanish abroad also means that the world becomes your classroom. And what can be more fun than having a great time with interesting people from all over the world in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Salamanca or any number of other great cities as your classroom! It’s just too much fun!
2. Learn Spanish to Improve Your Employment Prospects
If you learn Spanish you will have more to offer potential employers. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is spoken in Spain, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and increasingly in the United States and Canada. If you learn Spanish you become more attractive to companies that serve Spanish-speaking market segments, companies that export or import products and services to and from Spanish speaking countries.
3. When You Learn Spanish, You Develop Cultural Competency
Think promotions and job security on this one!
Cultural competency is a set of behaviors and attitudes that allows cross-cultural groups to work effectively together. When you learn Spanish in Spain, for example, you become familiar with the Spanish language, Spanish customs, ways of doing business, attitudes and beliefs common to Spain. That acquired knowledge enables you to work with greater understanding and effectiveness in that cultural and professional setting. It also enables you to build relationships and gain trust. It makes you a more sophisticated, world citizen. In your professional career, cultural competency is an asset because it means that you can build relationships, create trust, and work effectively with your employer’s clients. As an added plus, you will find that if you develop cultural competency in one country or culture, you have in fact acquired the building blocks for cultural understanding across many cultures. You might have to experience it to know what we’re talking about!
4. When You Learn Spanish, You Get Some Unexpected Brain Benefits!
Learning Spanish is brain food, it seems!
Believe it or not, if you learn Spanish (or another foreign language) you are going to decrease your risks of suffering in the future from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This has been shown in several university studies. Learning Spanish will also enhance your problem solving abilities and overall cognitive function.
5. If You Learn Spanish, the World is Your Oyster!
Learning Spanish opens new worlds. It is one thing to travel in Spain or Argentina, or Costa Rica. It is another to travel throughout any country in the Spanish speaking world and be able to understand and communicate with the shopkeepers, in the train station, in cafes, restaurants, and with all the interesting people you will meet (some of whom you wouldn’t meet at all if you didn’t learn Spanish!) Each foreign language you learn opens an entire new world to you. Think film, theater, current events, etc.! If you learn Spanish you will be able to move more freely and with a greater sense of security in the Spanish speaking world. Travel will be easier – and more fun!
“He who knows no foreign languages knows nothing of his own.” – Goethe
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
6. Learn Spanish to Speak with the Koreans, Japanese, and Others!
Perhaps one of the oddest (and coolest!) benefits of learning Spanish is this: because Spanish is such an important language, many Korean, Japanese, and Chinese students learn it. Learning Spanish makes them extremely employable. Just think of famous Asian companies, like Samsung or Toyota. They need employees that Spanish! So an unexpected benefit of learning Spanish is the ability to communicate with Korean, Japanese, and Chinese students and professionals who have learned Spanish! Odd, but true!
7. Learning Spanish Will Help You to Better Understand English Grammar
Most people are not all that excited about grammar, even though it is key to learning Spanish or any foreign language for that matter. As you learn Spanish, you will unwittingly gain a better understanding of English grammar as well. An enhanced understanding of grammar will make you a more effective writer, speaker, and communicator. That’s a plus for friendships, relationships, and work!
8. Spanish is Easy to Learn!
Spanish is one of the easier languages to learn. It’s way easier to learn Spanish than to learn Chinese, German, Japanese, and a host of other languages. So when you learn Spanish you are making a great investment! For very little pain, you’re going to get a heck of a lot of gain! Remember again that Spanish is one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages and continues to be an important language in business and in commerce.
9. Film and Culture, Culture and Film
One of the nicest benefits of learning Spanish is the way it opens your eyes to other cultures by way of film, theater, and literature. Even if you consider only film – when you learn Spanish you can watch films from the Spanish speaking world, especially from Spain, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, all of which produce great films. Foreign films are not only entertaining, they are also eye-opening and educational. When you watch foreign films, you gain a much deeper understanding of how people think and live in other cultures, what is important to them, and how they see the world, both within their borders and beyond. Learn Spanish, watch films from Spanish speaking countries, and be prepared experience how thought-provoking and education Spanish language films can be!
10. Already Important, Spanish is Becoming Even More Important
There are over 20 Spanish speaking countries. And, as mentioned, when you learn Spanish you are learning one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages and giving yourself access to those countries. You are enhance your employment opportunities in companies that deal with Spanish speakers and the businesses of Spanish speaking countries. Spanish, then, is already an important language. But it’s importance continues to grow. As economies in the Spanish speaking world develop further, and as the number of Spanish speakers increase both abroad and within the US, those who learn Spanish will possess a sought after skill and advantage over those who don’t. So learn Spanish and reap the rewards!