Why Learn Spanish?

There is a sentiment among many English speakers – frustratingly prevalent for the multi-lingual – that there’s really no reason to learn a second language because everybody else on Earth understands English anyway. Not only is this phenomenally misguided – just you try navigating from rural Spain (or Mexico) back to a safely Anglophone location without having a grasp of the native language of the country you’re in – it’s also horribly narrow-minded. How offended would you be if a non-English speaker turned up and started rabbiting at you in a language you didn’t speak, and got frustrated with you when you didn’t reply in kind?

There are many good reasons to learn another language, and several reasons why Spanish is a good choice should you decide to test yourself. The first holds well to an old phrase: Travel broadens the mind. This is undeniably true, and the mind will broaden further if, while travelling, you share a conversation with a native in their language. It doesn’t need to be a discussion of the politics of their country, just a few sentences about the weather are enough to give you a cosmopolitan feel. It will also make your journey infinitely more convenient if you can get clear instructions on where to go, rather than following the guy who looks like he knows.

Perhaps the best reason, and one that only really becomes truly apparent when you’re actually in situ in another country, is how much more receptive people are towards you when you’ve made the effort to speak their language. It’s impossible to overestimate.

And why Spanish? Well, behind English and Mandarin Chinese it is the world’s most broadly-spoken language. Aside from Spain, it is spoken in the beautiful ski haven of Andorra, almost all of South America and most of Central America too. It’s a truly beautiful language, sounding wonderfully musical and sensual. And to add to this, it’s a great entry point to other Romance languages like French, Italian and Portuguese – so if you’re feeling brave you can give those a go too.

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