Why Learn Spanish?
Spanish has always been one of the most popular languages to learn amongst English speakers looking to augment their linguistic skills. A whole host of factors make the language a sensible choice as a second language.
Spanish Is Everywhere
The most obvious reason for learning to speak Spanish is that it is one of the most commonly understood languages on the planet. Trailing behind only Mandarin and English, over 500 million people are fluent in the language. In fact, when one only considers the number of native speakers, it has 405 million (compared to English’s 360 million). Spanish is the official language of twenty countries on four continents. 50 million Americans speak the language – 38 million of them as a first language – meaning that the United States has the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking population after Mexico.
Making Travel Easy
The ubiquity of the language around the world means that learning to speak Spanish can make foreign trips substantially more enjoyable. While it’s true that English is often spoken as a second language in many European and Latin American countries, it is difficult to avoid being tagged as a tourist if you cannot communicate with people in their own language. Even if you know only a few phrases, you will find that people will become much more open, as well as being visibly appreciative of the effort that you have made. Being able to converse with others can lead to a real understanding of different cultures and traditions.
Enhancing Job Prospects
The ability to master another language generally demonstrates intellectual curiosity and determination, both of which are highly prized qualities in the workplace. Learning to speak Spanish can also have significantly positive effects on your business prospects. Employees with fluency in the language are highly prized by companies, not just for the possibilities it may open up for international business, but also because many people within Western countries communicate best in Spanish. In the USA, for example, 13% of the population speak Spanish as their first language.
Of course, as with any major world language, Spanish has a number of different dialects. Fortunately, the differences between them are no more significant than those between British and American English. While changes in pronunciation do exist, the only real risk of speaking a dialect in the ‘wrong’ region is that you might appear too formal or informal, depending on where you are.
Learning with Babbel
Traditionally, learning to speak Spanish has required enrolling in a class or hiring the services of a dedicated tutor, things that not everyone has time or money for. By bringing language learning online, Babbel has revolutionized how you can learn a language with interactive courses that are affordable, fun and easy to use. Babbel adjusts to your learning style; you set the pace and decide which courses are relevant to you. All lessons last about ten minutes, so it’s easy to fit in a lesson per day, no matter how busy you are. Practice speaking, listening, reading and writing on your computer, tablet and smartphone; all your progress is saved in the cloud and you can resume your last lesson whenever it’s convenient for you.
With so many Spanish speakers in the U.S., you will never need to look far to find someone with whom you can practice speaking the language. If you really can’t find anyone nearby, Babbel’s free community features allow you to connect with other learners and native speakers from all over the world. Try your first lesson for free today and have fun learning languages!