Learning Spanish is a journey – it is definitely not a race, nor is it done solo! As part of my current Spanish learning ´viajar´ (journey) at Expanish Spanish School in Buenos Aires, Argentina , I have discovered a variety of tools that help make learning Spanish that little bit easier. Here are my top 10 useful tools to help you learn Spani
A few thoughts that did it for me…
When I set out to learn Spanish abroad, I was far from acting on a whim. It was a language I had attempted to learn during my student years and, bordering my thirties and looking to upgrade my career prospects, I knew the time had come to get real about this lingering challenge.
Here are the five top reasons that helped me make my mind up and ask the guys at Expanish for some help:
Number 1: Spanish is spoken by 450 million people.
By learning Spanish abroad in a place like Barcelona, one can get a taste of what speaking Spanish really is worth. Spaniards, Argentines, Colombians, Mexicans… Learn to speak Spanish and you will have acquired the key to communicate with over 450 million people spread across 20 different countries. Heck, even 16% of the population in the U.S. lists Spanish as their primary language!
Although Chinese would be the obvious choice if one was going for sheer speaker mass, the geographic diversity of the Spanish speaking world covers makes for a strong argument when choosing the language to learn. Also, Spanish is much, much easier to learn than Chinese for someone that has Indo-European language as their primary one.
Number 2: Spanish books, movies, and songs need no translation.
It might sound and something obvious to point out, or even stupid. But one of the things that changed for me after learning Spanish abroad was the fact that I had immediate access to a wealth of cultural treasures. I have to admit I had been looking forward to reviewing some of my favorite Spanish movies, but nothing prepares you for the absolute joy that is understanding Almodóvar’s films in its original version or reading the beautifully sounding descriptions of Gabriel García Márquez as they were written.
As a disclaimer, I will say that I was a little disappointed by finding out the Macarena song from the 90’s was about a faulty relationship.
Number 3: Awesome excuse to learn about an amazing culture.
Often, language is merely a key that opens the door to a whole new way of experiencing things. Learning Spanish abroad allows one to link the language to all the experiences that it brings about, making everything not only easier but also much more enjoyable. Food, drinks, rhythm, humor, social norms, “dos and don’ts”… the Spanish way of life is full of wonders, the Spanish language being the one that kind of encompasses all. What better way to learn about all that than actually living it? There is no way one can learn what a “tortilla de patatas” is from a teacher in a classroom or an online course.
Number 4: Stand out in a competitive job market.
Being able to confidently state I can speak Spanish in my CV, and having the story of how I got to learn Spanish abroad to go with that statement has gotten more doors open for me than I can count. We all know languages are a must, especially when gunning for positions that require international communication skills, but the having the whole learning Spanish abroad experience to back it up really does make a difference when talking about language skills.
Number 5: Just because you can.
Learning a language is one of the most exhilarating journeys one can take. It requires determination, perseverance, and true commitment. And with the language, one gains access to a whole new world of interesting people, thoughts, and experiences.
It made sense to me to seek the learning method that would yield the best results in as little time as possible.
What made you decide to learn Spanish? Leave a comment below!
Were these 5 reasons enough to convince you? Want to take your Spanish learning journey abroad? Learn more about Spanish language immersion programs at Expanish Spanish School.