Ten Reasons to Learn to Speak Spanish

Chichen Itza, Mexico
Chichen Itza, Mexico | Source

#10. Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world.

Mandarin Chinese is the number one most widely spoken language in the world, with 825 million native speakers, and Spanish comes in second place with 329 million native speakers. More people speak Spanish as a native language than English! And with all of the people who speak Spanish as a second language included, you could converse with 500 million people!

Ok, so you could technically learn Mandarin Chinese, but let's face it. You already speak English, so learning Spanish is going to be a cinch compared to Chinese! Which brings me to my next point...

Afro-Colombian culture displayed through dance.
Afro-Colombian culture displayed through dance. | Source

#9. It is VERY EASY for english speakers to learn!

Spanish comes from the Indo-European language family, just like English does. It uses the same alphabet, and follows similar phonetic patterns. Technically, English is a Germanic language, and Spanish is a Romance language, but English was heavily influenced by Latin and French in the past, two Romance languages! Which means that English has many words in common with Spanish! In modern times, Spanish has taken heavy influence from English, adopting words like "cool" into its vocabulary.

Compared with other languages, Spanish grammar follows some very basic, easy to understand patterns, making it a piece of cake to learn.

The United Nations General Assembly Hall
The United Nations General Assembly Hall | Source

#8. It's one of the six official languages of the United Nations

Let's think about this. There are between 3000-6000 languages currently spoken today. Of all of those thousands of languages, Spanish was selected by the U.N. as one of the six most important languages to understand. That is a pretty lofty title!

#7. The phonetics and pronunciation are easy.

Unlike English, spelling in Spanish ALWAYS follows the same rules, meaning you can avoid the confusing "dove-cove-move" dilemma. Once you learn how to pronounce each individual letter, that's it. You're set for life.

Plus, there's no fancy spelling, like in French (for the longest time I thought hors d'oeuvres was pronounced "horse doo overs"), and no coughing up phlegm, like in German.

Spanish in the United States. Darker shades indicate a higher percentage of Spanish speakers.
Spanish in the United States. Darker shades indicate a higher percentage of Spanish speakers. | Source

#6. It's the second language of the United States

For you U.S. citizens out there, haven't you ever been walking through the supermarket and passed a family rattling off to each other in Spanish? You probably started wondering if the kids are saying something like "Mommy, look at that man, he's so fat," and the parents reply, "Yes dear, and he smells terrible."

Or what about you young ladies who have found yourselves in a quandary simply walking down the street? You know how it goes- you pass a group of men, who begin talking among themselves in a foreign language. You're sure they're making crude comments about you, but you can't understand or respond! How degrading!

Well, here's the solution: Obviously, based on lessons of history, the Spanish speakers are here to stay, so go ahead and LEARN SPANISH! You'll be able to tell off the snotty little kids, make the guys think twice about who understands them, and impress all of your friends and family!

#5. Learn Spanish and you'll be able to understand other languages.

Ever since learning Spanish, I have easily understood people conversing in Portuguese, Galician, Italian, Catalan, and French. Of course, I don't pick up every word, but I can easily get the gist of the conversation, and I can understand everything that is written in these romance languages. It is wonderful, and friends of mine who have learned Spanish report the same thing!

Characters from the famous Spanish novel, Don Quijote, by Miguel Cervantes. Don Quijote is way more fun to read in Spanish!
Characters from the famous Spanish novel, Don Quijote, by Miguel Cervantes. Don Quijote is way more fun to read in Spanish! | Source

#4. It is as useful as Latin, but it's a living language.

How many times did people tell you when you were a child, "You should learn Latin because it's important to your life for this and that and all of these things an yes it's dead but oh, you'll be a doctor someday..." ?

Well, I'd like to officially challenge this point of view. Spanish, as it so happens, descended directly from Latin! By learning Spanish, you are able to learn all of the roots of so many words, which is precisely why Latin is advocated in schools! For example:

Spanish "to write: escribir --> as in scribe

Spanish "body": cuerpo --> as in corpus, corporal, corpse

Spanish "green": verde --> as in verdant, verdancy, verdantly

And so on, and so on! Once you know Spanish, you can easily look at Latin words used in science and medicine, connect it back to the Spanish word, and understand its meaning. This is extremely useful for reading comprehension, SAT's, GRE's, and studying sciences, PLUS, you can use Spanish every day!

Satellite image of South America
Satellite image of South America | Source

#3. It is spoken on FIVE CONTINENTS!

1. Europe

Spanish origninated in Spain, where it is an official language. It is also widely spoken in Andorra and Gibraltar, and it is a common second language across Europe.

2. North America

Spanish is the official language of Cuba, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. It is a co-official language of Puerto Rico, and is also widely spoken in the United States, Belize, and Trinidad.

3. South America

Spanish is the #1 language is South America, and is the official language of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It is closely related to the language of Brazil, Portuguese, and is commonly spoken in Brazil.

4. Africa

Spanish is an official language of Equatorial Guinea, and an official language of the African Union. It is also common in Western Sahara (a disputed territory between Morocco and Algeria), Spanish cities of North Africa (Ceuta and Melilla), the Canary Islands, and it is spoken by groups in Morocco, Angola, South Sudan, and Nigeria.

5. Asia

Spanish has heavily influenced the languages of the the Philippines, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Chabacano is a Spanish- Phillipine pidgin, and it is mutually intelligible.

Map showing where Spanish speakers are located
Map showing where Spanish speakers are located | Source
A shaman in the rainforest of Peru
A shaman in the rainforest of Peru | Source

#2. It opens up a world of travel.

Ever dreamed of island-hopping through the Galapagos, trekking through the Amazon rainforest, hiking up to Machu Picchu, climbing to the top of the Mexican Pyramids, smoking a cigar in Cuba, watching flamenco in Seville...?

There are countless attractions for tourists all across Spanish-speaking countries. By learning to speak the language, you will enjoy much more cultural interaction with the people of Spanish-speaking places, which can be the greatest joy of travel, and knowing the language just may open up doors for you to make your travel experiences more fun and more meaningful. You could enjoy a cooking lesson from your friend's grandmother, ride horses on a country man's farm, or fully understand the benefits of a tour by a native, non-English speakng guide who really knows the area. Because Spanish-speaking countries are so diverse culturally and physically, you could travel to new places for years while enjoying the benefit of understanding the language.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu | Source
"The Blue Marble" No one saw nations from Apollo 17!
"The Blue Marble" No one saw nations from Apollo 17! | Source

#1. It's just really freaking cool.

Anyone who has gone through the hassle of really learning a foreign language will tell you that as difficult as it may be at first, it more than makes up for the effort in the end. Learning a foreign language opens up an intellectual arena, leading to a better understanding of your own language, but it also opens you up to new friendships that you never could have enjoyed without understanding the language. You will come to understand, on the deepest of levels, that healthy relationships are possible between all human beings.

You will even learn fun cultural things, like the fact that Spanish-speakers sometimes call their loved ones "fatty" (gordito or gordita, something that would never fly in English!).

And you will impress your friends and family to no end by easily conversing with others who you bump into every day. You will inspire others to learn new languages, which will further enrich their lives, leading to a sort of butterfly-effect.

I have to confess: this rule can be applied to any foreign language. Taking the time and trouble to learn a foreign language is probably one of the highest-return investments you will ever make.

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Comments 45 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thanks for share this information. I thought Spanish is one of the best language among other languages. I learn much from you and I really enjoy all stunning pictures above. Well done and vote up!

Prasetio


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thank you Presatio, that is a really nice comment you left me! Spanish is so useful for people from all over the world.


Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 5 years ago

I can speak spanish and is fun! Gracias Stephie, You did a wonderful hub.

LORD

VOTED UP!


Brooke Lorren profile image

Brooke Lorren 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

Good hub. I'm learning Chinese right now (it's pretty challenging), although I did take three semesters of Spanish in college.

I'm all for learning multiple languages though. Good job presenting your case as to why people would want to learn Spanish.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

@lord de cross- that's great that you speak more than one language! Now all we have to do is get hubpages to allow us to write in foreign languages...Thanks for the great comment.

@ Brooke Lorren- Yes, I'm sure Chinese is challenging. I've never tried to learn it, but I've heard it can be a nightmare to try to memorize all of those characters. I wrote this hub about Spanish, but really, I'm all for learning any language. Thanks for leaving a comment!


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Try Hindi or nepalese!!!! =P


waes-hael profile image

waes-hael 5 years ago from The Netherlands

Great hub. My reasons for learning Spanish are somewhat strange. I am in a distance relationship with someone whom doesn't speak English.

I should agree with you that Spanish is not that hard to learn for a speaker of English.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

My o my waes, don't do it love(my own personal experience)

Your story sounds similar to mine. :S


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

@Bharatthapa- Gladly! Maybe you can help me with those two though. A friend once tried to teach me Hindi, she said its not complicated, but she was a native speaker, so I'm not sure if I should trust her!

@waes-hael- That is a great way to learn a foreign language. A lot of people I know have done it that way :)

Thank you both for commenting!


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Why don't you try downloading FSI files they are extremely good!!

You would be not only able to learn it but you would be thinking in this language.

(But after completing it.)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

That sounds cool, where can I download FSI files for hindi?


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

here it is http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php?page=H...

but it needs lot of patience and it's one of the most boring language course but you don't pay anything for it.

I have downloaded their files to learn spanish and it sure helps a lot.

but let me tell you one more thing...audio files are not available currently.

so you would be able to download pdf file only.

Memorize them everyday and practice them in the indian chatroom.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

I think they removed the audio files for drilling practice.

But you can also download other hindi self learning materials from torrentz.com such as rosetta stone hindi or pimsleur hindi but at your own risk..because i am not encouraging anyone for piracy here.

0=)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

So, I got on this site tonight to write a hub, but instead I've been browsing this site. This is great, thank you! They have rosetta stone at my local library, though I've never checked it out. It is encourage to speak with someone who speaks multiple languages and has a real passion for it. Congratulations on all you've learned, and again, I appreciate the link.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

=) de nada


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Before i leave from here, i must say that you write pretty well(Reality bites but it's one of the skills that i don't have =P) and now you have something in which you can write as well.

The materials which are available on this website they are the best(boring also) but without pain, there is no gain.

True!!

Promoting FSI would definitely help the website and language learners too.

Buenas noches....estoy cansado ahorita....hasta luego!!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thanks for the compliment, I really appreciate that. And I believe that these materials are really accurate. I liked that they really got into specifics in the Arabic files. They had Levantine and Saudi Arabic, whereas other Arabic programs that I've seen only had Egyptian Arabic. I'm glad you found me on here! Hasta luego!


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

These are the best, reason being these files were developed by the American govt. for their diplomats language training(now i believe they don't use it anymore, maybe they are equipped with much advanced training methods of learning, not sure.)

But these files and books are for serious language learners not for them who just want to learn language for travelling purpose.

FSI courses they bring learners almost near to the fluency but requires lot of hardwork and dedication.

If you'll give up then ofcourse you're not gonna learn anything.

If you're already aware of publishing companies such as barron's or platiquemos(my favourite is platiquemos, heard a lot about them, and i would be starting their course after completing rosetta stone.)

they are using the same files with their own books.

Some of the language learning institutes they are also teaching languages by using these files(especially for spanish and french courses.)

Here some of the files maybe are missing but most of the language courses they have all the sets available.

Spanish course course goes upto Advance level(if you compare it RS, fluenz, etc etc than this would be 10times more.)

And if you combine it with other supplements than it'll be overkill. :D


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Great hub. Since I live in Texas I have always wanted to learn Spanish. One of these days I just might have to find the time. You made me think about it in a whole different way, especially about it helping you understand all the other languages you were able to get the meaning of their conversations. Thanks for a really good hub. And the pictures were wonderful.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

(Oo) Oops!! see i told you, i am not good at writing stuffs...silly typos!!! =P


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

..to be honest........Maths is the most hardest jajajajajajjaja o-O? tengo miedo con matematicas!!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

@homesteadbound: The only place I've been to in Texas was El Paso, and I found it to be a really comfortable mix of English and Spanish. I'd love to return and travel all over the state, though, because I've heard there is a lot of natural beauty, variety, and that Texans are for the most part friendly people. I'm glad you enjoyed this hub, I always enjoy getting comments from you and it makes me really happy that people are able to see things differently after reading it.

@Bharatthapa: I can see that these are a great level, and don't worry about the typos! Every time I moderate comments on my hubs, I spot about 5 of my own!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Your ten reasons to learn spanish make me wish I took a couple more years of it. In the couple years I had though, I did learn a good "base" of words and so it is often not too difficult to interpret the gist of it in written form even though I cannot speak it or write it. This is a great article - voted up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This is a very well written hub and I agree with you. I took Spanish in school but have forgotten all but the basic phrases. I have thought about studying it again and you give many compelling arguments.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

@ktrapp- thank you for this nice comment and the vote! The good thing is that a lot of people know at least a little bit of Spanish, so, like you, they have a good base to start from when they seriously decide to become fluent. I'm sure that if you were to pursue it you wouldn't regret it!

@Pamela99- I really appreciate the compliments from you. It is easy to remember the basic phrases again when you decide to get back into it. I hope you do study it again-- there are tons of options, and also tons of travel opportunities.


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

Está bien!! entendí. creo que habla español? si es verdad entonces déme unos avisos. por favor =)

(and i write pretty bad spanish, perdóname)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Si tienes dudas, pregúntame!


Bharatthapa profile image

Bharatthapa 5 years ago from NEW DELHI

ahorita no, pero por cierto le voy a preguntar!! =)


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago

The way you've put it; it seems like Spanish can be learnt in a day :D

I'm pretty bad at languages and I know just English and can somewhat speak Hindi


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Well, I certainly wouldn't say you could learn it in a day. Maybe in a week (joking)

I think it is really interesting that you can have the international experiences that you've had (read your bio- india, kenya, etc.) speaking English. English really is the best language to know.

So, I guess you grew up in India with English as your first language?


lobobrandon profile image

lobobrandon 5 years ago

Hey Stephen you got it a little wrong

I'm from India and yes English is my first language. But the Kenya thing - that's my team of writers on elance. I've never been out of India as I'm still in university. Other than for a week or so of holidays


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

Oh, of course! I assumed you had worked or traveled there. See, even people who work online forget about how convenient the internet is :)

Well, still. You're working with people from all over the world using English, which is very amazing to think about.


lisa42 profile image

lisa42 5 years ago from Sacramento

I love this hub! I studied Spanish for three years in school and then spent a month studying in Costa Rica. I never became fluent, but it's still on my bucket list. You've inspired me again. :-)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US Author

@Lisa- Thanks for the comment. I'm sure that the time you spent in Costa Rica was wonderful, I'd love to go there someday. Nowadays, there are so many options for learning Spanish, it isn't so difficult anymore. I hope you're able to speak it, just don't give up and keep on trying. Good luck!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Haha. Nicely written. As a Spanish teacher myself, I might have to show my students your hub!! :D Voted up.


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

@cclitgirl- Thanks for the compliment. I would love it if you showed it to your Spanish students. When I was in high school, I really felt like one of only a small handful of students that actually cared about Spanish. The rest seemed to be mad that they were forced to take a subject that "didn't matter". Maybe if they heard these reasons, they'd have a little bit more faith in their Spanish class!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

And...you gave me hub ideas. At first, I was a little scared to use any Spanish. But now, I see that I can incorporate "mini lessons". I'm gonna do it!! Another vote for you!! WOOHOO!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

Yea, go for it! And thank you!


AnesaK profile image

AnesaK 4 years ago from USA

Great hub, and so true. I started taking Spanish in graduate school and am trying to keep studying on my own for the time being. I want to visit my sister in Mexico next year and would love to be conversational by that point, so I manage to interact with the locals. I really can't wait to visit the famous pyramids, volcanos and cultural sites and be fully immersed in the Mexican culture, ahhhhh. And, of course, I am really looking forward to sampling the local cuisine :P!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

Hey there AnesaK- Thanks for the awesome reply to one of my favorite hubs (that is, of the ones I've written). Check out the hub linked at the bottom-- it lists ways to learn Spanish that many people commented on and said they hadn't thought of many of them. Maybe it will give you some good ideas. I also have 2 hubs on the Aztecs, which you might like to read since you're so interested in the pyramids and cultural sites.

I'm really happy for you that you get to take a trip to Mexico and soak up some of that country. I went once, but only to Juarez for 1 week and that was a few years ago. I had fun, but it is still a dream of mine to travel around and see the entire country. I hope you write hubs about your experiences. Good luck. I like your comment so much that I've read it several times now. You sound very excited :)


AnesaK profile image

AnesaK 4 years ago from USA

Stephaniedas, I'm glad you liked my comment...I really am excited! I love to travel, but have only travelled around Europe and would love to visit other parts of the world when I get the chance. I will check out the websites, definitely, and also write about my travel experiences soon enough. Keep on writing!!


CrazedNovelist profile image

CrazedNovelist 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

Well crafted article!! :)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

Thank you, Crazed Novelist!


donmanual profile image

donmanual 4 years ago from Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Muchas gracias!!! Great article about Spanish. I even got proud that it's my native language. :))


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US Author

Donmanuel- De nada! I'm glad it made you proud. You should absolutely be proud of your native language :)

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