How often did you want to start learning a new language? And how often did you actually do it? Ha! As we are right at the beginning of the year you could use the chance to actually start learning Spanish or to improve it. I will give you 5 good reasons and ways to learn Spanish – Bueno? Bueno!
I learned spanish in multiple ways: first of all I started Online, used the basic spanish on my travels, improved it speaking with local friends and went to a language school in Argentina. After German and English I'd count Spanish as the third language I'm speaking, even though it's only on an intermediate level – in school I learned Latin and in my time at the University French (please don't ask about the language skills for those!).
Reasons to learn Spanish
There are many good reasons to learn a new language – here you have the 5 most important ones fro Spanish from my point of view.
1) Spanish is one of the 3 most important languages in the world
Did you know that Spanish is the official language in 21 countries? The language is spoken by more than 400 million people and ranks 3rd for first language behind Chinese (Mandarin) and English (Source: Wikipedia) – even in the USA there are 35 million spanish speaking people!
2) Spanish is easy to learn
Not only for those who learned Latin in school: there is a lot of vocabulary which is quite similar e.g. adjective (for example “important” = “importante”).
In comparison to French, Latin and even English I made quick wins and achieved a basic level within a few weeks. Afterwards learning Italian or French is easier as it is one family of languages!
3) South America is easier to travel – your travel experiences are much better
Especially in this part of the world it is highly recommended to speak the local language which is -except of the north eastern part (Brazil)- mostly Spanish. English isn't spread out as in other countries.
Both in communication with locals and in organizing your trip you'll have a distinct advantage and you'll get access to experiences which wouldn't be possible because of the language barrier.
4) Learning a new language keeps you on your toes
After high school and college you're mainly focussed on your job. Time for a welcome change!
Learning a new language not only makes you smarter it also boosts your learning aptitude and retentivity.
5) it opens up new career prospects
As seen in 1) you can boost up your career as we are living in a globalized world. Mostly people are speaking English only you can use a second language to put yourself into a better position when searching for a new job or if you want to level up in your career.
Ways to learn Spanish
First of all: there is not the one way to learn a language as everybody learns different. A good mix of the following ways helped me to succeed – an online course for the basics and essential travel Spanish, a multiple week language course in Argentina to improve my Spanish and a lot of time talking to locals in South America to learn words that are actually not existent ;)
1) language school
The traditional way: nowadays you are able to find spanish schools on nearly every major city.
Attending a course in a school requires a lot of time, local presence and is mostly not inexpensive if you want to achieve a good level – best for those who find it hard to motivate themselves over and over again.
2) online course
The options grew during the last years. The big advantage is that you can manage your own time and tempo – but: you need a lot of self-discipline (especially before you're going on a trip it is very high!).
My favorite online course provider is Babbel – i started using their service 3 years ago and achieved a basic level in Spanish within 3 months without having any prior knowledge. Beside the attractive prices and the pretty cool interactive way of learning a quite like their App for Smartphones – I used it to learn and improve my vocabulary on the go. Their service even got recommended by the New York Times.
3) language school abroad
Where can you learn a language better than in the country where it is spoken? Use the chance and combine your language course with your holiday abroad.
Learning with like-minded people abroad will be very effective as you can use it directly at the spot.
If you're already able to speak basic Spanish a language partnership is a good method to improve it. To find a suitable partner you can use online forums, Couchsurfing or the local university.
5) Work abroad or Volunteer
Like with 4) you should also be able to speak basic Spanish before applying – sometimes a language course will be even offered! A good place to find volunteering options is the website of my friends Paul and Karen: Globalhelpswap.
As said I recommend using Babbel to start learning Spanish in an easy and inexpensive way – with the following link you can give it a try before purchasing a package. Plus: If you sign-up for my Newsletter at the bottom of the post you'll have the chance to win 4 weeks of Babbel for free!
Which of the mentioned ways of learning Spanish do you prefer?
Which language do you want to learn next?
I'm looking forward to your comment. If you share my passion for the Spanish language please share this post with your friends!
This post isn't sponsored. I use Babbel since more than 3 years and highly recommend their service to my friends and readers. If you sign up with the link provided here you'll support me in covering the costs for my website (server, maintenance, programming). Thank you very much!
This post is also available in: German
I really like the DuoLingo app which is what we’re using to help us learn Spanish at the moment. We’re also getting lessons through our Airbnb host which is a lot cheaper than a language school.
I also tried Babbel. Their online courses are amazing. It is very easy and interesting to start or continue learning any foreign language they provide.