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So, Why this language in particular?
Today, many languages are increasing in importance, so why Spanish in particular? There may be tons of answers to this question, but for me, the reasons I chose Spanish for were this:
1- Alphabet and Letters: same as english that I'm already very fluent at, if you don't think alphabet is a great assesst, then you can try to look at the russian alphabet for example (which is called the Cyrilic alphabet by thw way) it looks very tough to memorize, specially that upper case letters and lower case letters are very miss-leading, not to mention cursive handwriting. Spanish and other Latin-using alphabets have a point for their common alphabet.
2- Minor pronounciation changes: just know how couple of letters are pronounced and you are good to go.
3- Very Easy Grammar: try to compare it to another language that uses the same alphabet; German for example, and you'll find how easy Spanish Grammar is.
4- Large Speakers' base: nearly all Latin American countries (except Brazil) and spain speak spanish, we'r talking about nearly a continent that speaks that language!! of course there is some changes between the language in each country, but most probably you will be understood everywhere if you spoke the main "Castellian Spanish".
5- Thinking a third Language: if you are thinking of going further in your language learning that just another language, then spanish is also an excellent choice, Spanish and Portuguese share around 80% of vocabulary and grammar structure, thinking Italian? Spanish and Italian share around 70% of vocabulary and grammar structure, what about french? also they share around 50%.
6- Second language in the US, Definitly Spanish: even the governement agencies started publishing their websites in spanish in addition to english. The Hispanic community in the US is growing every day, and their growth as a consumer market renders many business oppertunities open to those that can communicate with them.
7- I SUCKED at french: this was my most important reason, even I got an A+ at my French in High school, I can't put couple of words together to form a sentence. I tried taking a german course but found it to be a too tough language to be learnt over a short period of time.
So, how to start out of nothing? I just want you first to take a look on how I started. Last Summer, I was thinking that I should master another language before I graduate, but I had no time to go into a course as the Spanish Cultural center was far from where I stayed. This happened to be at the same time I was already having an internship at a big pharmaceutical company, So I thought if I found a good audio course then I can use my time going to the company from home ( about 45 mins and another 45 going back home ) as this time is already wasted doing nothing.
I searched online for audio spanish courses, and after reading some reviews, I decided to purchase Pimsleur's Spanish course, for more than a one reason, 1- It's composed of 30 mins lessons, so I can take about 2 lessons a day 2- It got excellent reviews from many users of being an excellent method for those starting spanish on their own.
So, after around 10 days I had already finished around 21 lessons from "Pimsleur's Spansih I" and I was able to use some cool spanish words and phrases, I started contacting hispanophones from skype and talking to them in spanish, and I felt like I have accomplished alot and that I've started mastering the language, so I decided to take an online test to assess my skills. I searched for an online basic spanish skills assessment test, found one, took it, but the results were a little disappointing :(, I scored 28% in the basic test. so I kept on thinking, there must be something wrong.
I started re-evaluating what I have already learnt and tried to look again at Pimsleur's lessons, I discovered that pimsleur's has an excellent advantage of being able to get you speaking the language really fast, but has the disadvantage of not building your language skills, just limitedconversational ones, this means you learn what to say in a SPECIFIC situation, if you faced any slightly changed situation, it will be very hard for you to think of the answer.