Guest Author - Valerie Aguilar
Learning to speak Spanish, or any foreign language is a beautiful thing to do in many ways. Learning a second language is healthy because it is known to postpone the onset of dementia in old age. Learning a new language can also promote good relationships. There are many benefits to knowing another language if you travel, study, work, worship or live in a diverse community. There are no negatives to learning a new language as it can only enrich your life.
If you enjoy travel in Latin America where Spanish is the predominant language, imagine how much richer your travels will be if you can speak the language of the people. Many people from the United States seem to think that if they go on vacation they can get by speaking English and that there is no point in learning another language. They often think that if they speak more slowly and louder they will be understood. This might work in popular tourist destinations where there is usually someone who speaks English. If you want to travel in another country and mingle among the locals, shop, read signs, order food and understand the culture it is necessary to know the language. If one cannot immerse oneself in the culture of their destination, it is a waste of an expensive trip!
Learning Spanish shows people in the Latin American countries that you visit that you are interested in them and their community. If you have a good grasp of Spanish you can have real conversations with the people that you meet adding more depth and dimension to your holiday.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
You may have friends and family who speak Spanish. Perhaps your partner and his extended family are native Spanish speakers. If you learn to speak with them in their native language you are showing your love and respect in a meaningful way. You will find that your efforts are repaid exponentially.
If you work in any customer facing field you are bound to encounter native Spanish speakers who may be struggling to communicate in English. If you are able to respond to these client’s needs in their language, you are solving their problem and gaining customer loyalty. They will share with their friends that your business is customer focused and your commerce will grow as word of mouth spreads.
Another career advantage to speaking Spanish is more income, opportunity for advancement, opportunities for trips abroad, and even a transfer to another country. Most companies pay a bit more to their bilingual workers and if you have a proven track record of good Spanish skills the opportunities are immense.
If you are interested in a particular Latin American culture the best way to learn more about that culture is to read their literature and poetry, watch films and television programs in the native language. If you like the food, you may only be able to obtain recipes in a Spanish language cookbook so reading Spanish can only be an asset.
You may think that learning Spanish is out of your reach because it is too difficult, too time consuming or too expensive. I know that you can learn Spanish. Spanish is not a difficult language! There are countless free Spanish language learning resources on the internet. If you visit YouTube there are numerous Spanish learning videos. Take a few minutes every day to work with the resources on YouTube and you will gain the rudiments of basic conversation. Join a Meetup for people who like to converse in Spanish. Spanish conversation Meetups are usually comprised of a loose group of Spanish language learners and native Spanish speakers. When you begin to converse with others who are learning Spanish and those who are native speakers, you will soon be able to converse easily in Spanish. Good luck in your Spanish learning endeavors.
Here are just a few Spanish language learning software downloads available free from Amazon.
Learn Spanish with babbel.com
Duolingo: Learn Languages Free
Learn Spanish - Word Power 101
EasyTalk Learn Spanish Free
Learn Spanish Deluxe
Best Way to Learn Spanish Fast