Up for a challenge this summer? We recommend picking/brushing up a language – perhaps, Spanish! As we mark UN Spanish Language Day, observed annually on April 23rd, here are five reasons to learn this beautiful language.
1. It’s the second-most spoken language in the world
Learning Spanish gives you the ability to connect with more than 580 million people! Spanish is the official language of over 20 countries and is widely spoken in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Spanish is the second most spoken language worldwide, with a higher proportion of speakers who recognize it as their first and primary language over English. There is rapid growth in the number of Spanish language speakers, meaning that there is a growing opportunity for Spanish language learners to engage and immerse themselves in the language.
2. It has a rich literature
Spanish is the language of world-class literature. Spanish classics include the likes of Colombian author García Márques’ novel Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), which won a Nobel Prize for literature for its foray into magical realism; the award-winning anthology of works by Chilean author Isabel Allende; and the much-celebrated novel Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. If you have a passion for great books, learning Spanish might just be for you.
3. It’s a gateway to other languages
Spanish belongs to the family of Romance languages. Learning Spanish will give you a head start on several other languages, including Italian, Portuguese and French. The general structure of these languages is very similar, meaning that if you’ve studied one member of the family, the others are much easier to grasp. Spanish has also borrowed a large part of its vocabulary from Arabic, including ojalá (hope), almohada (pillow), and azúcar (sugar), making it an excellent bridge between the Romance and Semitic language families. In short, Spanish is an excellent jumping-off point to a lifetime of language acquisition!
4. Language of the future
Spanish is an amazing language with rising potential. If you are interested in travel, increasing your career prospects or just learning a marketable new skill, studying Spanish may be the way to go! Spanish is an excellent way to leverage your career opportunities. The rapid growth of the Spanish language across the globe, from Europe to Latin America, has seen a rising demand for Spanish speakers in the international job market. With a diverse and global array of Spanish speakers, there’s no wonder international organizations, governments and big-name brands are looking to include them. If you are interested in testing your intellectual capabilities and improving your career prospects, learning Spanish will open new doors.
5. Easy to learn
Unlike some other languages, with standard Spanish, what you see is what you get! Spanish is a phonetic language, meaning that words are spelled exactly as they are pronounced – with due consideration for the unique pronunciation of certain letters in Spanish and its dialects, and of course the letter h, which is silent! Also, you may already know some Spanish, as thousands of English words have been borrowed from the language: for example, the word “barbecue,” which comes from the Spanish term “barbacoa,” or the word “cargo,” which is derived from the Spanish verb “cargar,” meaning “to load.”
If you are interested in discovering new worlds and cultures, increasing your career mobility AND making a social impact, consider learning Spanish with NaTakallam, today! NaTakallam brings Latin America to your doorstep with native tutors from refugee backgrounds. Learn a language, make a friend and support the livelihoods of forcibly displaced persons – from the comfort of your home.
– Copywriting: Lucy Haley is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently completing her Masters in International Relations. She is an avid reader, gym-goer and language learner, and loves nothing more than a good cup of coffee.
– Copyediting: Maria Thomas is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in art history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, powerlifting and going on hikes.
– Copyediting: Mikaela Bell is a copywriter with NaTakallam. She is loves reading, creative writing, learning new languages, and dance.
– Copyediting: Emmy Plaschy is a volunteer content writer and editor at NaTakallam. She currently works in communications in Switzerland. In her spare time, she enjoys polishing her Arabic skills, writing and gazing at the stars.