A challenge means a small progression every day. Read on to find out why learning Spanish is a fantastic investment. Ultimately, testing yourself is what makes life fun and rewarding, and remember: you are what you do every day
The language in vogue in the UK has undoubtedly shifted from French to Spanish. No longer do school children have to parrot the phrase j’adore le foot, now it’s me encanta el fútbol. But if you missed out on learning Spanish in school, you should choose this fine tongue as your next challenge.
If you’re worried about motivation, take a look at this article on grit and finish your day tougher and more focused.
Tolerance for mistakes
If you ever travelled to Paris and tried your GCSE-level French on at a boulangerie, you will know the withering looks when your pronunciation fails. And is doesn’t it always? The Spanish, on the other hand, are exceptionally tolerant when it comes to the British butchering their pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary in all one go. In fact, they are often so tolerant that you can get by with a few words said with lots of effusive hand gestures and confidence.
Learning Spanish Vocabulary
Another benefit of learning Spanish is that it has a small vocabulary compared to English. The Oxford English Dictionary has 171,476 words in use. Spanish is thought to have 93,000. Often, the same word like vamos (we go, let’s go, oh well, going to) is used in place of many English expressions.
To add to this, the root of Spanish is Latin, just like English. This means just adding or subtracting an English vowel can give you the word in Spanish (reputación: reputation). Because of this, you can make an educated guess at vocabulary, just don’t do it too much – “no speako” no work-o.
The World’s Second Language
The Cervantes Institute estimates that there are 477 million native-level Spanish speakers. That is compared to 360 million native-level English speakers. Yes, English is more widely spoken as a second language, but Spanish is still exceptionally useful. It will take you to every country in South and Central America (barring a few tiny former colonies and Brazil), Spain (obviously), and Ceuta. Not to mention the strong Spanish influence in Tagalog (Philippines). And don’t forget the large Spanish speaking diaspora around the world, particularly in the US, where it is an unofficial second language in many states.
Spanish is a language of dancing, smiling, eating, wine and making merry. Learning Spanish is a ticket to the dance. Whether it’s the infectious Cuban rhythms of Salsa, the warm nature of the Spanish and South Americans or ambling around tapas bars with friends in Madrid or Barcelona, this is a language for fun and happiness.
So learn a few words and head down to your local Spanish meetup, or easier still, find one online. Either way, there has never been a better time to master El español.
Actually Learning it
Classes can cost upwards of £20 a pop in the UK. I learned Spanish and Portuguese with Michel Thomas by audiobook for less than £50 each, in total! That’s around 2 classes of classroom teaching for the whole language. I am careful with how I invest in my projects. Although I take them seriously, there’s no reason they should cost you the earth.
Michel Thomas was a Polish war hero who survived a concentration camp and went on to learn MANY languages. He became the go-to language teacher for a host of celebrities and launched his own line of audio learning classes.
The course is based on translating from what you know best: English. Each section builds a little on a translated sentence and gives you useful phrases and structures.
There’s no rote memorisation, homework or any of the other things you hated in school.
Give it a go by clicking here and make a positive change for yourself.
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