Why Study Spanish?
Languages can be a fantastic tool to expand your mind and social circle. They can bring opportunities and knowledge about new cultures, besides allowing you to make new friends.
Language learning is healthy for you because it exercises and activates parts of your brain that aren't often used. Learning strengthens the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, meaning it produces the gray matter that carries some of the neurons and synapses of your brain.
Additionally, switching from one language to another can help you focus better and organize your ideas more — it can even help you be a more efficient problem-solver.
Ultimately, having a bilingual brain can make you happier. So, learning Spanish can be a great adventure and never a waste of time.
There are many reasons to explore a new language, but Spanish might be a bit more motivating than other languages.
Spanish is the official language of Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Peru, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, which means around 442 million people speak it.
Besides these 20 countries, Spanish is also spoken in the United States, Andorra and Gibraltar in Europe and Belize in Central America, becoming a worldwide language with more than 500 million speakers.
According to the Association for Learning Language (2022), Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world. This makes it an important language in politics, economy, international relations and education, as it is one of the official languages of the United Nations and European Union, together with English, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, French, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese.
Nowadays, Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the United States, making it the country with the second-highest Spanish-speaking population, with 41.5 million speakers, according to Instituto Cervantes.
Can you imagine all the possibilities speaking Spanish can bring? Let’s look into it.
Since the business world is increasingly evolving in this technological era, speaking more than one language is very important for building connections.
Companies want to reach a wider audience in order to have better sales and interactions; this implies adding new marketing strategies that include covering new countries.
One of the goals from these companies is to reach out to international businesses, in order to create bonds and make deals; other goals can include building brand consciousness and inspiring credibility.
American companies have observed that Spanish speakers feel more confident when they have the option to use their own language when buying in American online stores, or have the possibility to communicate in Spanish from person to person. This is significant for companies because the client will return, making the business more likely to succeed.
“Can't Read, Won't Buy” is a survey that ran from November 2019 to January 2020, which concluded that 65% of consumers prefer content in their language. Even though 67% of people tolerate mixed languages on a website, 73% want product reviews in their languages. In order to get this 66% of consumers use online translators; but the most alarming for companies is that 40% of people will not buy products sold on websites in other languages.
This survey was global, not just about Spanish speakers, but reflects the importance of changing language strategies to please the client and attract more customers, giving importance to Spanish, which has more than 500 million speakers worldwide between native and non-native speakers.
There are many job opportunities in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, not only in Spain but also in cities like Amsterdam, because of their tourism.
Spanish as a second language also can bring employment opportunities; you could be a translator, interpreter, writer, ambassador, influencer, content creator, customer service, teacher, receptionist, waitperson, work in the hospitality industry, in NGO positions, or as an assistant (virtual or in-person) in many areas such as administration, etc.
You can expand your employment possibilities just by talking to the right people in Spanish — your contacts will increase, and your connections will get stronger. Even if you are American, being bilingual opens doors to new opportunities in any area as an entrepreneur, artist, politician, ambassador, etc.
Many reports about the increasing Spanish language rates predict that the United States will be the second country with most Spanish speakers by 2060. It will be crucial to speak this language. Start now!
Access to New Information
According to the Internet World Stats’ 2022 statistics, Spanish is the third most used language online, after English and Chinese. An estimate from 2021 says Spanish is used by 363,684,593 people online, representing 7,9% of internet users of the world.
You can explore new literature, music, podcasts, blogs, movies and series by yourself. You are able to take courses you are interested in, and maybe have the chance to study at important Universities in Argentina, Colombia or Spain. It is an advantage to know Spanish.
Currently, there is a wave of Latin artists with a worldwide reach, making music in Spanish and exploring different Latin and commercial rhythms to share their roots. Shakira, Karol G, Luis Fonsi, Carlos Vives, Sebastian Yatra, and Pablo Alborán are some of the more famous current artists, and they all are Spanish speakers. They also speak English and other languages, giving them power as a brand.
Equally important, Colombian, Argentinian, Mexican and Spanish TV series and movies have been at the top of Netflix’s top shows list, which includes titles such as Pálpito, El Cartel, La casa de las flores, ¿Quién mató a Sara?, El marginal, Millennials, El Reino vacío, La casa de Papel, Las chicas del cable, Roma, Alelí, Las elegidas, Monos, El páramo, Granizo, among hundreds of other cinematographic works.
Tourism and Culture
Speaking more than one language while traveling to other countries is a great advantage. Part of the adventure of visiting another country is trying to understand what is happening around you.
If you speak Spanish, you’ll be able to ask for the address of the Frida Kahlo Museumor the Teotihuacán pyramid in Mexico, both traditional places to visit. You won’t need to ask for help in Perú to find the best cuisine in the country. Buying tickets to ride the longest cable car in the world in Venezuela would be easy, and living the passion of a football game in Madrid, fully narrated in Spanish, would be memorable.
The culture of a country is incredibly valuable. History is essential for the identity of a country, and learning about it as it is written by its people will enrich your listening and speaking abilities. For example, in Caribbean paradises such as Cuba or the Dominican Republic, you can learn about the African influences that European colonization brought into the country by speaking with its inhabitants.
Speaking to the people of a country can be an opportunity to learn new idioms, expressions, dialects and accents and understand how these people think and live. These interactions will expand your vocabulary and personal experiences.
Even though having a good time traveling and knowing places can give you a broader perspective on the world, the most rewarding experience is getting to know new people and establishing new friendships. Imagine having new Spanish speakers' friends, with whom you can go out, video call, and text any time to talk to each other. You would reach new goals in your new language by interacting with Spanish speakers regularly.
A new friend can bring opportunities for you to speak, listen, be introspective, think of Spanish, and figure out how to express yourself. New situations will arise, and your knowledge and practice will be useful. Someday, you will be able to face any situation because your Spanish is strong; you will feel confident, secure and capable of anything. Foreign friends have different lifestyles and ways of thinking that may help solve problems. Having someone supporting you from miles away is always comforting.
Open your Mind
Speaking one language gives you one perspective on life. You are surrounded by one culture and way of thinking that does not push you to work harder. Two languages open up your world, both literally and figuratively.
If you are an American artist or entrepreneur, the best way to increase visibility is to travel to show your art or product in other places. Being able to assist at conferences and speak about your product in Spanish, adds credibility and interest in your work. Furthermore, understanding different cultures and their feedback will give you ways to improve your art or product.
Artists and entrepreneurs need to reinvent themselves all the time, and having different perspectives helps them to do it quickly. Spanish is a language that represents many cultures. It encompasses folklore, rituals, natural sights, music, colors, tastes, and food, and the traditions surrounding each one of these topics. Spanish represents tradition.
Learning a new language can be challenging, and Spanish is no exception; however, it all depends on you — your interest, availability, focus, and resources.
People who are willing to learn new languages are less afraid of taking risks, because they’re willing to explore new subjects; a new language is a new world. Learn it and see your horizons expand.
Dare yourself to learn it, and your study will be worth it!
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