Learning a new language is exhilarating but sometimes you wonder if it’s all worth it. When learning Spanish we’ll invariably hit momentary challenges that make us wonder: is Spanish worth learning?
The short answer is yes, Spanish is worth learning. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world by natives, speaking Spanish will help your career, can help you get paid more, and Spanish will allow you to explore so many parts of the world like a native.
This may all sound too good and it’s not to say Spanish isn’t tough: learning any new language as adults is hard. There will be challenging moments, but in the end the benefits will outweigh those difficult learning moments. Let’s dive into some of the benefits of Spanish that make it worth learning.
Spanish is one of the most widely-spoken languages out there with over 550 million Spanish speakers according to El Pais. In the US alone, they state that almost 18% of the population is Hispanic and many of them speak Spanish at home. If you want to interact with them in their native language, Spanish is worth learning.
Spanish has so many speakers because it’s used in many countries around the world. Here’s all the countries that count Spanish as an official language:
Imagine traveling to Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Chile, and being able to interact with everyone there. Spanish is worth learning because it’s so widely used that you can practice anywhere and get exposed to so many different cultures that share the same common language. It’s like a buy one get 20 deal. Your opportunities to explore really open up when you learn Spanish.
For English Speakers, Spanish can be one of the quickest languages to learn. It takes between 480 and 600 hours of study to reach basic fluency, according to the FSI.
That’s in the category 1 languages, or the faster languages to learn for English speakers given the similarities to English. Compared to other languages, Spanish is worth learning because of how quickly you can become fluent as an English speaker.
If you want to understand more of the similarities that Spanish and English have, as well as what makes Spanish easier to learn for English speakers, check out this article.
Another advantage of learning Spanish is that you also exercise your mind. Studies have proven that being bilingual helps you focus more by exercising the executive functions of the brain.
Your brain actually changes when you learn a new language and becomes healthier. Your brain learns to connect with other parts of itself better so communication can be optimal. Being bilingual has shown to delay dementia symptoms by about 4 to 5 years when compared to monolingual individuals. So not only is Spanish worth learning because of the cultural exposure but also because it helps you be even healthier.
There are several advantages of learning Spanish when it comes to your career. Of course, if you’re planning to go to a field that will not benefit from speaking a second language, it maybe won’t have much of an impact.
But everyday, Spanish is growing its influence in world culture and becoming more prevalent in markets outside of Latin America, like in the United States. Spanish is worth learning because it will allow you to reach the vast markets and business opportunities that exist.
If you’re in the US, over 1 in 10 people speak Spanish. Businesses have started tailoring their marketing strategies and products around this growing community of Spanish speakers. By learning Spanish, you will be more equipped to help businesses reach those audiences.
In healthcare and education, knowing Spanish is invaluable as it helps you interact with patients and students more easily, making Spanish worth learning.
You will also be able to develop more personal relationships with business partners around Latin America and Spain. According to one study, 79% of recruiters say Spanish is the language in most demand by employers. Companies want individuals who can work in a global setting.
Bilinguals get paid up to 20% more than monolingual persons. Like I mentioned, it really depends on what field you are in. But knowing another language is like mastering another skill that companies need. And when you have that, they are willing to pay more.
If a business is looking to expand or do business with partners in Latin America or Spain, you’ll be at an advantage by learning Spanish and that will lead to higher pay.
This is the second question that always comes up after realizing the benefits of learning Spanish. Learning any language is tough, it completely reframes the way you think and it takes time to get fluent in a language.
So yes, Spanish is tough to learn. But despite the regular challenges, Spanish is actually relatively easier to learn for English speakers than most languages. It shares a lot of the same vocab, alphabet, Latin roots, and other elements that make it easier to understand the basics and more worthwhile to learn. Advanced stuff like conjugation can get complicated but that’s also you just making more progress in your Spanish and advancing to tougher, more interesting parts of the language.
One great way to make progress in learning Spanish is to take a Spanish course abroad. There’s a whole guide on how to find the best Spanish course abroad, check it out to see what works for you. Even if you take a week to learn some Spanish in Mexico or South America, you will see enormous progress.
Immersing yourself in the language is a sure way of learning it, because you need to use it outside the classroom too. That’s one of the top benefits of doing a Spanish course abroad.
Another option is to take online lessons with Spanish schools that will provide structure and take you from beginner to advanced much more quickly.
LangAway offers both Spanish courses abroad and online Spanish courses through our partner schools. Check them out and start learning today!