10 Reasons why Spanish is the best first choice of second language
If you want to learn a foreign language, but you don’t know which one to learn; or if you want to learn several languages and you don’t know which one to start with; or, if you think learning a foreign language is too hard, and you want something that will be easier, the Spanish is definitely the best choice.
- Spanish grammar is remarkably similar to English, so it’s not difficult to learn. Yes, adjectives follow their nouns, and there are more verb conjugations, but putting together a sentence in Spanish works in almost the same way as in english.
- The Latin roots of Spanish reflect the Latin roots in English. Many new words will be easy to learn just because their etymologies are easy to recognize, such as la mano which we recognize from “manual”, as in “manual labor”.
- Understanding of Spanish will give you better insights into Latin and its effects on English. Often, it will illuminate many of those cryptic medical or biological terms. And studying the grammar of another language gives you more insight into your own.
- Unlike most other languages, in Spanish there are very few exceptions. There are few irregular verbs, most conjugate normally. There are few nouns where the article doesn’t match the ending (like la mano), most match up as expected.
- Spanish is 100% phonetic. Words are pronounced exactly as they are written, and they are written exactly as they are pronounced. When learning a foreign language, this is invaluable.
- In the United States, many jobs are done primarily by Spanish-speaking people. Knowledge of the Spanish language may be the thing that makes it possible for you to become a manager or gain some other leadership role. And for many jobs, such in a hospital or police station, it may be a vital job skill.
- There is no shortage of good movies, books, and music available in the Spanish language for learning or practice. (Or, if you just want to enjoy a good film or television show without subtitles…)
- There are many beautiful travel destinations in the Spanish-speaking world which you could visit with confidence, without the need of a translator or tour guide. It may be possible to travel without speaking a foreign language, but being able to communicate while you travel is priceless
- While Mandarin-speakers in the world outnumber Spanish-speakers, most of those who speak Mandarin are in China. Spanish-speakers, however, can be found all over the world. With the exception of Canada, Spanish is either the first or second language in every country in both North America and South America – that’s two whole continents, without even counting Spain! So your chances of meeting someone and using your Spanish are quite high.
- Learning Spanish will convince you that you can learn a foreign language, and it might even give you the confidence to try something harder!
Imagine that the Spanish-speaking world was a single country, called Hispanidad. It covers a territory perhaps one-and-a-half times the size of China. Its population is nearly 500m, making it the world’s third most populous country, behind China and India. Among these people, the number of native Spanish-speakers is rising towards 400m; as a mother tongue, only Mandarin Chinese is bigger. Hispanidad also has a rich literature, from Cervantes to Gabriel García Márquez, that is best enjoyed in the original. And you really should see an Almodóvar film without subtitles. Only English and Chinese are more widely used on the internet than Spanish.
So if you are in business, into the arts or just want to join la conversación, the sheer size of Hispanidad is a powerful reason to learn Spanish. But Hispanidad is not a single country. The fact that it spreads across the Americas, Spain and even parts of Africa and Asia makes the case for Spanish stronger still.
After English, it is the most used international language. For tourists it eases and enriches travel in the 20-plus countries where Spanish is a main language (though some may prefer to skip Equatorial Guinea). Students have an enviable choice of stimulating places to hone their Spanish skills, from Venezuela to Argentina to Spain itself.