Why Learn Spanish? Here Are 13 Reasons Spanish Will Improve Your Life
Are you on the fence about learning Spanish?
Just curious about the benefits of knowing this popular language?
You’re in the right place!
The Spanish language has a rich history and culture. It’s incredibly useful. Knowing it can help you be more successful, improve your quality of life and grow as a person.
Yep, you heard me right—and that’s not all! Read on for 13 compelling reasons learning Spanish is beneficial.
- 13 Benefits of Learning Spanish
- 1. There is a large number of speakers.
- 2. You can make more friends (or fall in love!).
- 3. You’ll have better job and business opportunities.
- 4. It will make travel experiences more authentic.
- 5. You’ll be better prepared and more able to help others.
- 6. You’ll discover another culture.
- 7. You can enjoy entertainment in its original language.
- 8. It will improve your native language.
- 9. It will be easier to learn additional languages.
- 10. You will grow as a person.
- 11. You’ll have better cognitive abilities.
- 12. It’s relatively easy for English speakers to learn.
- 13. It benefits you at any point in your life.
13 Benefits of Learning Spanish
1. There is a large number of speakers.
There are over 475 million native speakers of Spanish worldwide (coming second only to Mandarin Chinese).
Add the number of people who use or study Spanish as a second language, and the total shoots up to around 549 million!
In fact, of all users, Spanish is the fourth most-spoken language in the world.
Imagine being able to communicate with people from all continents (yes, Spanish is an official language in at least one country of each populated continent!), or have a casual conversation with your Mexican neighbor or the Spaniard in your office.
The large amount of speakers means there are tons of resources available for learning Spanish. You’re also sure to have success finding a native Spanish speaker to practice your conversation skills with, too.
Check out this post for more fun facts about the Spanish language.
2. You can make more friends (or fall in love!).
The large number of Spanish speakers goes beyond simple conversation. It also means you’ll have more opportunities to connect with people if you know their language.
You don’t even have to leave your house! In the era of the internet, everything can be done online—including making Spanish-speaking friends from the comfort of your computer or phone.
This means you can practice your Spanish and get feedback right away. Your writing skills will skyrocket, and if you decide to keep in touch via phone calls or video chatting, you’ll also be able to practice your conversational Spanish… for free!
This also opens up chances for meeting in person if you happen to live in the same area—or perhaps there will be some traveling in your future.
And, if you’re looking for romance, Spanish can potentially help you find love!
Maybe one of your new Spanish friends will become something more. Or maybe you’ll just happen to meet someone who speaks the language. Imagine how touched they’ll be if you whip out their native tongue to declare your love.
But hey, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll still end up bilingual.
3. You’ll have better job and business opportunities.
Whether you want to stay in your country or find a job abroad, Spanish will help you sooner or later. There are plenty of jobs that require Spanish.
Maybe you’ll have to attend to a patient who only speaks Spanish or help a South American client get the products they ordered. You may want to work as a translator or interpreter.
Mastering Spanish can even help you get promoted at your current place of employment.
Perhaps a manager position requires speaking two or more languages. Maybe your company is opening a new branch in Venezuela and looking for an American with fluent Spanish to be the international director.
Or maybe your employer, like many others, simply values foreign language skills.
No matter your career field, Spanish will add that final touch to your resume and make you stand out. Employers put a premium on people who speak additional languages.
Even better—it can literally pay to be bilingual.
And even if you have your own company, knowing Spanish is still a major asset.
For one thing, Hispanic Americans are getting wealthier. Since their purchasing power is on the rise, your sales can be, too. Learning Spanish can also give you the opportunity to open a business in a Latin American country or any area with a large number of speakers.
So, speaking Spanish (the language) plus speaking Spanish (the culture) is an excellent, invaluable skill in the workforce.
4. It will make travel experiences more authentic.
Whether you’re heading to a vacation in Mexico or a long-term backpacking adventure through Spanish-speaking countries, knowing the language will help you.
In fact, you’ll feel more confident booking a trip to a place you know you’ll be able to communicate. You’ll leave behind the stress and anxiety of not knowing how to do things like order food or get from one place to another.
Plus, if you speak Spanish, you can interact with the people of the place you’re visiting.
You’ll be able to ask for recommendations and hidden gems, as well directions—all without referencing a phrasebook or dictionary. You’ll also be able to mingle and have fun at local events, bars or parties.
You’ll probably even learn more Spanish by immersing yourself in the language and culture of the country you’re in!
5. You’ll be better prepared and more able to help others.
On a more serious note, knowing the language of the new place you’re visiting can also be a matter of safety.
Anywhere you go, there’s a risk of getting robbed or assaulted, and especially so if you don’t know which areas to avoid.
Being able to understand the people around you lets you be more aware of your surroundings. You’ll know whether someone is frantically asking for the time—or for your wallet. You’ll be able to warn others of danger, too.
It’s also possible that you or someone in your party might get injured or sick.
Doctors and nurses may have a higher chance of speaking English, but you have to get to them first. Knowing Spanish can help you get to a hospital and communicate with the administrative staff.
And if the doctors and nurses don’t speak English, then your Spanish knowledge could be the difference between life and death—or at least between proper and improper care.
6. You’ll discover another culture.
Back to the good stuff: Considering there are over 20 countries where Spanish is an official or national language, that means there are over 20 types of traditional Spanish foods, customs and cultures!
One of the best things about traveling abroad is being able to savor regional food, especially when you can ask locals for suggestions.
But even if you have no plans to travel abroad, you can visit an ethnic restaurant in your home country and blow the staff’s minds by asking about the menu in Spanish.
The same goes for other cultural aspects. And every country that speaks Spanish has its own history, traditions and way of living.
Nicaragua has vastly different customs than Spain, which has vastly different customs from Chile, and so on. Even within a single country there can be several kinds of traditions, folklore and dialects!
Learning Spanish will open a window to the history of the language as well as its people and their variety of traditions—and you certainly don’t have to leave your country (or even your seat) to discover more about them.
7. You can enjoy entertainment in its original language.
Along with a culture comes that culture’s media and entertainment.
Imagine you want to watch a TV series with rave reviews. But it’s from Mexico, they’re not dubbing it into English and there are no English subtitles.
Maybe you’ve heard about a book that can change your life, but it’s only in Spanish and there’s no plans for a translation into your native tongue.
Or perhaps you just want to sing and understand “Despacito” or some Ricky Martin songs.
The solution? Learn Spanish!
You won’t have to depend on a native speaker to help you understand those lyrics. You won’t have to depend on subtitles, dubbing or translated books, either.
By learning the language, you will get to fully enjoy Spanish books, movies, songs and TV shows like a real native speaker… in Spanish, with all of the meaning and nuance intended by the artists.
Learning another language will vastly expand the content and information you can consume. And who wouldn’t love to be more knowledgeable and worldly?
8. It will improve your native language.
This is something I really notice as a language teacher. Most people have no idea how their own language works—unless they’ve studied another one.
Which is totally normal!
We learn our native language through trial and error. If, as young children, we made a mistake while speaking, we were corrected by our parents or teachers. Our brains slowly created a language template that eventually enabled us to become fluent in our mother tongue.
However, no one was explaining adjective placement or auxiliary verbs to us at the age of three. We simply figured it out. This is why you might be able to tell when something sounds “wrong” in your native language, even if you can’t explain why.
But studying another language—such as Spanish—means you have to learn rules about things like adjective placement and auxiliary verbs.
You’ll learn all about grammar, vocabulary, parts of speech and sentence structure. This will make you more aware of your native language usage—especially if you have a language exchange partner with lots of questions!
So, your foreign and native language skills will improve in listening, speaking, reading and general comprehension. As writer Geoffrey Willans once said: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”
9. It will be easier to learn additional languages.
Guess what? All of the improvements we just discussed aren’t limited to your first two languages.
Learning Spanish will prepare you to keep learning new languages in the future.
And, because Spanish is the most widely spoken Romance language in the world, it provides some unique advantages for subsequent language learning.
All Romance languages come from Vulgar Latin, which means they share a lot of characteristics. Core vocabulary is often written identically or very similarly. Grammar and sentence structure typically look alike, and even verb tenses and moods can appear more or less the same across languages.
If you decide to learn Spanish, that means you’ll also be learning valuable information that can help you study other languages, especially other Romance languages such as Italian, Portuguese or French.
You’ll likely be able to learn this third language quicker and more efficiently, too!
10. You will grow as a person.
Since English is the world’s lingua franca, many native English speakers don’t even try to learn a second language.
They often believe they don’t need to because “everybody speaks English.”
I mean, you’re probably a busy adult with no time to study anymore anyways, right?
Well, these are usually excuses not to learn.
Learning Spanish and all the information that comes along with it (grammar, vocab, comprehension, etc.) will give you a skillset that sets you apart from monolinguals.
The people around you will be inspired. You’ll see how much you’re truly capable of. These things will all allow you to grow as a person and make you proud of yourself.
And I mean “grow as a person” quite literally: It has been demonstrated that people who study another language acquire some personality traits related to that language.
For example, Spanish is a much more affectionate language than English. When an American starts using Spanish in their daily life, they tend to express their feelings more and be more open about showing love for others.
And that’s only one way you might change. You’ll see yourself grow in many other ways, too.
11. You’ll have better cognitive abilities.
Beyond straightforward language skills and increased confidence, learning Spanish literally improves your brain.
People who can speak multiple languages are particularly good at things like problem solving and creativity. They’re also better at multitasking and demonstrate higher cognitive flexibility and adaptability.
It makes sense, if you think about it.
Every language has a distinct set of rules, contexts and complexities. In many ways, learning a new language is like figuring out a puzzle. It may be similar to a puzzle you’ve previously mastered (your native language), but it also comes with unique eccentricities.
In Spanish, for example, you’ll be challenged by gendered nouns and the variety of verb conjugations, as well as having to determine nuance, meaning and appropriate contexts for different expressions and phrases.
Further, you’ll need to figure out how to get your message across clearly and piece together someone else’s message when you don’t understand the entirety of what they’re saying.
A new language exercises your brain by requiring you to operate under a different set of rules. Any problem-solving or deductive reasoning skills you already have will come in handy, but you’ll definitely pick up a lot more, too.
Indeed, in brain imaging studies, scientists have discovered that bilinguals have a higher density of gray matter in the area of the brain associated with vocabulary acquisition. Studies also show that they have longer attention spans and stronger working memories.
So someone who knows their native language and Spanish gets all these cool benefits—plus being able to order tapas and possibly meet the love of their life in a foreign land.
12. It’s relatively easy for English speakers to learn.
Now you may be thinking: All these benefits of learning Spanish must mean it’s pretty difficult to pick up.
But here’s the tea… Spanish is actually easy to learn!
For starters, Spanish and English share thousands of cognates (words that sound the same and mean the same thing). Thanks to this, you already know more Spanish than a native five-year-old—even if you’ve never touched a Spanish textbook!
Secondly, Spanish grammar is nice and easy. Spanish loves its grammar rules and tends to stick to them. Picking up a new grammar topic will often be immediately useful and applicable in a variety of situations.
Last, but not least, Spanish is spelled exactly as it’s pronounced (with the exception of the magical letter h, which has no sound). Every letter is pronounced the same way, no matter what the context is. What you see is what you get!
Of course, Spanish has its difficulties, and you may find yourself stuck on a certain topic from time to time. But in general, learning Spanish as a native English speaker isn’t too difficult at all.
13. It benefits you at any point in your life.
Finally, the pay-offs you’ll get from learning Spanish start early—even if you’re still in school.
In fact, children who grow up bilingual have quite a few benefits of their own, including social advantages, higher test scores and stronger cognitive skills.
Not only do the advantages start early, they obviously accrue over time. A good SAT score will get you into a good college; a good college will look good on your resume; a good resume will lead to a higher-paying job and a rewarding career.
But it doesn’t stop there, either!
Learning Spanish will not only boost your brain—it will slow down the aging process.
Several studies suggest that learning a new language can delay the appearance of dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s thought that this is because speaking another language actually makes your brain stronger and more durable.
So as it turns out, there are really only advantages to learning Spanish!
Whatever your personal motivation is, the truth is that learning a new language—like Spanish—can bring many positive things to your life.
So go get started on this new adventure. Future you is already thankful!