Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The advantages of learning Spanish as a second language

  • An interesting article about the importance of learning Spanish. Source: literacynews.com
Without question, if you’re interested in learning a second language, Spanish is one of your best options. Whether you’re looking to meet high school language proficiency requirements or simply want to round out your education, Spanish is one of the most useful languages you can learn. You may even find that learning Spanish will help you in other areas of your education.

Similarity to Other Languages

Spanish is one of several European languages based on Latin – called the Romance languages. As a result, when you learn Spanish, you’ll have a beginner’s key to a number of other languages, including French and Italian. Because many words in Spanish are based on Latin roots, you may find that learning Spanish will help you understand medical and scientific terms.

In fact, many people consider Spanish the easiest of the Romance languages because it lacks the complex pronunciations found in French, while still retaining a structure and root word usage that’s compatible with other languages. You’ll also find that the Spanish language has a natural rhythm that makes it comfortable to speak and write. In some cases, you may even find that Spanish is easier to learn than your native language!

Spoken All Over the World

Historically speaking, conquerors and missionaries from Spain and Portugal were primarily responsible for the spread of the Spanish language throughout the American continents. Today, Spanish is spoken all over Europe, as well as in Mexico and many countries in South America. That said, it’s important to realize that people in specific geographic regions speak in dialects that may be very different from what you initially learned. However, the basic elements of European dialects are similar enough that you’ll be able to interpret these different patterns with ease.

Easy and Convenient to Learn

Considering that Spanish is spoken by over 300 million people around the world, it should come as no surprise that locating classes and tutorials is fairly easy. If you’re a high school student, you probably have the option to elect Spanish studies for free. Many colleges also offer full credit classes for students, as well as non-credit versions for community members. There are also hundreds of tapes, videos, books, and dictionaries designed to help you learn Spanish on your own. You can also take advantage of the internet to find websites, chat rooms, and other resources that are developed exclusively in Spanish.

When you’re thinking about learning a second language, it’s important to consider the benefits of all your different options. Unfortunately, if you choose a less commonly known language like Latin, you won’t have many opportunities to practice with others or to directly use your knowledge. Learning Spanish will give you this kind of linguistic grounding. At the same time, you’ll gain the ability to converse with millions of people that may or may not speak your native language. In addition, if you don’t already speak English or another Romance language, Spanish offers you a key foundation to learning them.


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