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20 Reasons Why Every American Should Learn Spanish

by Kimberly - Thursday, January 31, 2013

Most Americans are already realizing the importance of learning Spanish as a foreign language. However, in case you are still looking for some inspiration, read on to discover why every American should learn Spanish.

  1.  Learning a second language makes you smarter!

Gone is the assumption that multilingual children experience developmental delays. Studies show that they actually score better

“Research suggests that children who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not. Studies have shown that bilinguals outperform similar monolingual peers on both verbal and nonverbal tests of intelligence and tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests. Additionally, individuals who speak more than one language have the ability to communicate with more people, read more literature, and benefit more fully from travel abroad. Knowing a second language also gives people a competitive advantage in the workforce.”  (Source: Brainy-Child.com)

Want more information? Professor Vivian Cook of Newcastle University and Dr Benedetta Bassetti of University of York have studied the benefits of bilingualism. Search for information about their findings.

  1. Learning Spanish helps you get a job!

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2011 the Hispanic population in the US was 50.5 million!  It is no wonder more and more business are looking for qualified Spanish speakers. Check out other interesting statistics from the census: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff18.html.

  1. Soon, Spanish will be the most spoken language in the US.

According to the scholar Humberto López Morale, secretary of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, Spanish will likely be the most spoken language in the US by 2050.

  1. More languages for a global world

Knowing Spanish can help you travel to over 20 countries where Spanish is the official language. Not to mention all of the work and networking opportunities!

  1. Communicate in the second most commonly spoken language

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world with over 329 million native speakers.  Chinese is first with 1.2 billion speakers and English is third with 328 million Speakers. (Source: http://www.transparent.com/language-resources/social-speaking-of-languages.html)

  1. It helps you speak English!

Believe it or not, bilingual children score better in language!  Additionally, Spanish is derived from Latin which means that you will easily be able to identify uncommon English words because of their Latin roots and similarities to Spanish.

  1. This might be obvious, but Spanish is the second most spoken language in the US.

There are 50.5 million Spanish speakers represent 16.3 percent of the US population. This is not surprising as the US shares one of the world’s longest borders with Mexico, the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world.

  1. Learning Spanish makes it easier to learn another language!

It is no surprise that if you learn Spanish, a Latin based Romance Language, you will be well on your way to learning more languages. Not only will you be able to more easily pick up other Romance Languages, but studies suggest that your brain will be more open to learning any new language.

  1. Many industries are looking for Spanish speakers

Looking for a job in health care, government, financial services, professional jobs, education or hospitality? These are some of the sectors that have a large demand for Spanish speakers.

  1. Spanish is not that hard to learn

The pronunciation and spelling of Spanish makes it one of the easiest languages for native English speakers to learn.  Yes, the grammar and verb conjugations can be really tricky but every language has its nuances.  French has a difficult accent for English speakers, Chinese has challenging tones, Arabic has a different alphabet… Given the choices, we think Spanish is one of the easiest to learn.

  1. The US has no official language

Learn to understand your neighbor! Improve cultural understanding among Americans as we remember that the US was built by immigrants from all over the world. With so many Americans with Hispanic backgrounds, you could learn a lot about them and their culture by studying their language.

  1. Protect yourself from Alzheimer’s Disease

Studies show that people who are fluent in two or more languages have less risk Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the study, bilinguals who do acquire the disease will acquire it on average 4-5 later than their monolingual counterparts. There are more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the fifth-leading cause of death in the country. The study can be found on neurology.org: http://www.neurology.org/content/75/19/1726.abstract?sid=63045016-6a3b-4c35-86d2-ea93215d4fde.  

  1. Watch foreign films without subtitles!

Come on! I am sure you would love to hear the likes of Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Benicio del Toro, Eva Mendes and many other famous actors in their native tongue.

  1. Get more dates!

Not only will you expand your possible dating pool but you will also suddenly become much more attractive and interesting to people. As an additional incentive, you can learn how to flirt in Spanish!

  1. Getting help in Spanish-speaking areas

Many Americans have found themselves in downtown Miami, Manhattan or on the border between Texas and Mexico, looking for someone to answer a question in English. Need directions? Want to order a hamburger? Some Spanish knowledge will really help you here!

  1. Surprise people

Americans are known for being unimpressively monolingual. Surprise people when they discover that you represent part of the reported 20% bilingual US population.

  1. Dance the Macarena like you know what they are saying

Understand songs by Shakira, Ricky Martin, Pitbull, Alejandro Sanz, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony… the list goes on.

  1. Watch the best European Football (soccer) live!

It is commonly known that the Spanish Football League is the best in the world. Watch it live and listen to your favorite players interviews in their native tongue!

  1. More ways to express yourself

Bilingual people can choose between the many nuances of language to better express themselves and their thoughts. Believe it or not, many times certain language nuances only exist in one of the languages.  The more languages you know, the better your brain can express itself.

  1. Raise bilingual children!

Now that you are bilingual and can reap all of the previous advantages, give the gift of bilingualism to your children. Talk to them in your chosen language from an early age and you will save them the hassle of studying later.

Interested in studying Spanish abroad?

Keywords: why to learn spanish, reasons to learn spanish, americans should learn Spanish, why americans should learn spanish


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