With 41 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. and many Spanish-speaking countries lying only a short plane or boat ride away, it’s no wonder Spanish is the most popular language to learn. However, those aren’t the only reasons to start a Spanish-learning journey. It’s difficult to wrangle the many reasons to learn Spanish into categories, but we did our best. Here are six reasons to learn Spanish. ¡Adelante!
Work your way up
It’s not just a rumor that speaking Spanish can bump a résumé to the top of the pile or result in a promotion. It happens every day in the U.S. Millions of people who speak Spanish as a first language need services. In a globalizing economy, Spanish speakers are well-positioned for the international present and future.
Have a positive Impact
Speech therapists who learn some Spanish can positively impact clients in professional settings. For one, education is a great field, where even less-than-proficient speakers save the day. They can enable students to live up to their full potential. Healthcare is another rewarding field for Spanish-speakers, both professionally and personally. Allied professionals like speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists and psychologists can quickly establish rapport by acknowledging Spanish-speaking clients’ language and culture.
Invest in your mind
It’s no secret that learning another language helps keep your mind and memory in tip-top shape. For native English-speaking Americans, there’s one language you can reach proficiency in faster than most. You guessed it, ¡español! When enrolled in a language class, the average English speaker can learn Spanish six weeks faster than French and twelve weeks faster than German. In the U.S., you probably know words like hola, gracias, bueno, San José and quesadilla. So you already are on your way, José.
Travel quickly & inexpensively
Since we already mentioned how close Spanish-speaking countries are to the U.S., we’ll just paint you vacation or workcation visuals this time. Beaches as stunning as Cancun are woven throughout Latin America, where you can kick it and practice with locals. Put your number skills to work buying fresh mango, papaya and pineapples at an open-air market in Costa Rica. Climb up ancient Mayan pyramids in Central America. See colonial Spanish architecture in most capital cities. Or just zip down to Puerto Rico or Miami. They’re still America, but with that special sabor latino (Latin flavor) and beautiful scenery.
Best of all, traveling to and within Latin American countries can be very affordable. The cheapest places in the world to get dive certified and hit the coral running are islands like Utila and Roatan off the coast of Honduras. Both Latin America and Spain are a whirlwind of landscapes, art, culture, history and fun people if you speak a little Spanish.
Expand your horizons at home
You don’t need to travel to experience this whirlwind! Learning to read Spanish, or to understand speech, opens a sea of entertainment, art and information. Learning to read and listen to Spanish expands the possibilities beyond what one person could consume. With a decent listening proficiency, you can enjoy Spanish TV shows, movies, podcasts sports and online videos. Learn to read Spanish well and in some respects, you may as well be bilingual. Once you can enjoy books, TV shows or online videos in Spanish, the hard work of maintaining and advancing your Spanish skills diminishes.
Have fun & expand vocabulary with friends
Since Spanish is such a popular and useful language, it’s easy to learn with others. Both children and seniors benefit immensely from learning another language. It’s a great extended family project. Or create a practice and/or accountability group with colleagues or friends. You’ll all cultivate larger vocabularies and perhaps better writing skills. Once you reach a certain level, making little jokes and telling secrets with pals in Spanish is a blast.
Although any language can be fun and beautiful in its own right, Spanish is a musical language that flows smoothly into ears and eyes. Regardless of your language choice, we wish you well on all your learning, professional and fun adventures!
Do you feel inspired? Click below to download your free gift: An SLPs Roadmap to Introductions.