Why learn Spanish?
¿Hablas español? (Do you speak Spanish?)
Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world, and one whose importance is on the rise. With nearly 400 million speakers worldwide, it lies behind only Mandarin, English and Hindustani but, for English speakers, is a much easier language to pick up and master. If you’re considering learning a second language, here’s why Spanish should be top of your list.
Consider that there are well over 35 million Spanish speakers in the United States alone, and then add this to the fact that over 40 per cent of the population growth in America is coming from the Hispanic community. The result is that we can expect to see a huge increase in Spanish usage in the USA. It’s predicted that the Hispanic population of America will hit 50 million by the year 2015.
Elsewhere in the world, Spanish is the second most popular second language in Europe, trailing only behind English. Spanish has some 400 million speakers worldwide and, if you count only native speakers, Spanish actually outranks English. Spanish is an official language in countries on four continents and is the mother tongue in 21 countries.
It’s the sheer number of Spanish speakers, and their predicted rate of growth, that makes learning Spanish a smart choice for the modern world.
As the Hispanic population across the world grows, it’s increasingly likely that you may marry into a Spanish speaking family, have Spanish speaking neighbours or just meet Spanish speaking people in the course of your daily life.
Of course, you can travel to Spain, Guatemala or Argentina without knowing any Spanish but you will also miss out on so much. You will be confined to popular tourist resorts and your contact will, by and large, be with those working in the tourist industry.
In so many ways the heart of the culture and interaction with its people will not be in your grasp. The generosity of many Hispanic peoples is readily apparent to those who get to know them through speaking Spanish. When you travel to a Spanish speaking country, knowing the language will allow you to become one of the people, rather than just another tourist.
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is not to dip your toes in the water from afar but to immerse yourself in the language by studying it where it is spoken. Schools like Clic Seville in Spain can help you to learn the language whilst exploring Spanish culture and enjoying all Andalucia has to offer.
Whether you’re a beginner or looking to master the language, your Spanish level test results will be greatly boosted by a spell studying Spanish in a Spanish speaking country.
Travels are also enhanced by being able to read Latin American or Spanish newspapers and magazines. The wonderful world of Spanish cuisine is best appreciated by those who can navigate the menus: burritos, tamales, paella, papusas, arroz con frijoles, ceviche...the list goes on.
Hispanic artists have made major contributions to both modern and historic culture. You can appreciate the writings of Miguel Cervantes and Gabriel Garcia Marquez and better understand the art of Goya and Picasso.
¿Por qué no (Why not)?
Spanish will boost your CV and business opportunities, improve your travels, enhance your cultural appreciation and allow you to communicate with 400 million people on four continents across the globe. Why wouldn’t you learn to speak it?
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