If you don’t know much about the Spanish language but you’ve always been curious, you’ve landed in the right place. You might have heard that Spanish is one of the most worthwhile languages to learn, but of course, that comes with some questions. What’s the point of learning Spanish? And how useful is it actually in the real world?
Luckily, what you’ve heard is true. There are plenty of reasons why it makes sense to learn Spanish as a foreign language:
- connect with much more of the world’s people and cultures
- keep it in your travel toolkit to make trips more worthwhile
- enhance your career and show off your intellectual savvy
- get a leg up on understanding related languages, including English
- immerse yourself in Spanish-language media
- flex your mental muscles and keep your brain in shape
Why Learn Spanish?
Spanish Lets You Join A Huge Linguistic Community
Learning Spanish means you open up a whole wide world of new speakers to engage with. Spanish is the second most spoken language globally, with about 400 million native speakers, putting it behind only Chinese (and ahead of English!) in terms of number of speakers. That’s a massive linguistic community all waiting for you to get to know!
If you live in the United States, you don’t have to go far to find native speakers — Spanish is the country’s second most spoken language behind English. (With more than 40 million native speakers, there are more hispanohablantes in the U.S. than there are in Spain!) Only Mexico has more native Spanish speakers than the United States does.
Whether it’s making new friends, building new romances or attracting new customers, you’ll be able to connect with so much more of the world and the people in it when you know Spanish.
Spanish Can Take You (Almost) Anywhere
If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug and you just can’t get enough of jet setting around the world, Spanish is a fantastic tool to have in your back pocket. Because so many countries in the world comprise huge populations of Spanish speakers, you’ll be able to navigate so many new places with ease.
There’s no doubt that if you learn Spanish, you’ll have plenty of people to practice with and talk to. Outside of the United States, you can find the Spanish language spoken all over South and Central America, in Spain, in the Caribbean and even in islands of the Pacific and pockets of Africa.
You don’t even need to speak Spanish fluently to take a trip to the Spanish-speaking world. Knowing basic phrases and expressions for travel can take you far even if you’re not fluent!
Learning Spanish Boosts Your Job Prospects
With a rapidly expanding economy, Latin America is becoming one of the fastest growing new markets for business in so many industries. Learning Spanish is one of the best ways to keep up with the sweeping trends in globalization that uniting the world across international borders and boundaries.
Whether you’re hosting Central American clients in your office, presenting to Spanish-speaking investors or looking to get hired by a company based in South America, there are plenty of opportunities to put your Spanish skills to use in the business world.
Plus, having a second language on your résumé is one of the easiest ways to show a potential future employer that you’re culturally aware, intellectually curious, and ready to take on new challenges, whatever they may be.
Spanish Is Related To Other World Languages
Spanish belongs to the Romance language family, sharing its roots with Italian, French, Portuguese and Romanian, all of which descended from Vulgar Latin, the common variety of Latin spoken in the Roman Empire. That means that many of these languages’ underlying grammar structures and vocabularies are very similar, which is good news for you; if you learn Spanish, you’ll have a huge leg up when it comes to learning any of these other Romance languages.
And if you already know English (spoiler alert: you do if you’re reading this) then you’ve got a major advantage when it comes to learning Spanish, too. English might be a member of the Germanic language family, but roughly half of its vocabulary is derived from Latin, too. So Spanish and English share many cognates, or words that look and sound the same and have the same meaning across both languages.
Knowing Spanish Opens Up A World Of Media And Culture
To read the literature of decorated Spanish-speaking authors like Gabriel García Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Pablo Neruda is to engage with the language in some of its most beautiful and poetic expressions. Through the lens of Spanish you get a look into the lyrics of classic flamenco songs and a more active immersion in more contemporary Spanish-language media like podcasts, radio shows, audiobooks, movies and TV shows. The stories and recipes of world-renowned culinary creations, the dialogue of famous Latin American films, and the most sweeping currents in Spanish-language journalism all become accessible to you when you learn the Spanish language.
Learning Spanish Stretches Your Brain Muscles
Learning any new skill is a great way to keep your mind sharp and expand your intellectual horizons, and learning a new language is by no means an exception. By doing so, you commit yourself to a regular practice of mental exercise that can help build new connections in your brain and keep it flexible and nimble, especially as you grow older. Don’t give in to the argument that you’re somehow worse at learning languages after your youth!
Picking up a new language is more than just memorizing lists of vocab (though you’ll certainly sharpen your lexical recall along the way). It involves making connections between those words and what they represent, taking apart and putting together grammatical structures, spontaneously speaking and thinking on your feet, sticking with a challenge when it’s frustrating and confusing, and a whole lot of active listening. If you’ve been lacking intellectual stimulation, there are few better ways to exercise your mental muscles than by learning Spanish.
Learning Spanish With Babbel
There are plenty of ways to learn Spanish, ranging from low-commitment, free methods to major investments of time and money.
When you use Babbel to learn Spanish, you can count on an affordable and engaging learning technology that will help you get on the fast track towards fluency.
Babbel’s Spanish lessons get you ready to have real-life conversations with native Spanish speakers. Courses are designed by more than 150 language learning experts and teachers who know that the best way to learn a new language means focusing on the four elements of language learning — reading, writing, listening and speaking. Babbel helps you hone your skills in a way that’s effective and comprehensive, meaning you’ll be ready to use Spanish in the real world from your very first lesson. Whether it’s Spanish for business or Spanish for your upcoming vacation, you can choose exactly the right courses that fit your needs.
Lessons take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete, so you can take them on the go and fit them into your already busy schedule. And Babbel’s Review feature helps you retain what you’re learning in your brain when you’re at risk of forgetting it most.
If you’re ready to start learning Spanish in a way that’s effective, easy and fun, try a Babbel lesson today and see for yourself how quickly you’ll be on your way to speaking Spanish with confidence — like you’ve always wanted to!