Spanish, while not the most widely-spoken language after English (hello Chinese!), is definitely one of most well known, with a culture and history as dense as English. If you’re thinking of learning it, or already trying to then you’re not alone. You might even have got the idea somewhere along the way that it’s easy. Today, we’re going to find out if that’s true.
Spanish is similar to its European neighbours
As is the case with a lot of the European languages that have coexisted on a relatively small continent for millennia, there has been a significant amount of exchange between English and Spanish. A native English speaker (or Italian for that matter) will already possess a surprisingly diverse vocabulary in Spanish, without even having to pick up a . Spanish culture, and especially cuisine is mostly to thank for this.
As we mentioned, Spanish is perceived to be one of the simplest languages for native speakers to learn. There has been research stipulating that “bigger” languages (meaning more speakers and geographically more spread out) are also easier for beginners to grasp, because they have been simplified over time due to a high number of non-native users who tend to omit the most complicated parts of grammar and pronunciation. Because of Spain’s imperialist past, Spanish has spread to huge areas across the planet and has benefited this process of simplification.
Spanish pronunciation and grammar
Spanish also contains some fairly simple pronunciation and grammar rules. One very enjoyable aspect of the language is that Spanish does not have as complicated of a speaking pattern. Spanish only contains 10 vowel and diphthong sounds, as opposed to the 20 in English. And its grammar has a lot fewer irregularities than other languages in the family.
That said, it does have some aspects foreign to English-speakers – for example, every noun has a gender, or the abundance of reflexive verbs.
Finding the right reason to learn Spanish
It is also fairly easy to find the right motivation for learning Spanish. In addition to being considered one of the most beautiful languages on the planet (albeit for dubious reasons, according to this article), Spanish is also the main language in South and Central America – home of some of the fastest growing economies on the planet.
In a survey conducted a few years back, 37% of employers rated Spanish as a useful language to know. This means that speaking fluent Spanish can substantially help your future career, not to mention to open the door to communication to over 500 million speakers worldwide.
Spanish also seems to have a growing popularity in the world. It is the second most common language in USA and North America. And Europeans seem to be catching on to the benefits of Spanish as well, since the number of students enrolled in Spanish classes has increased by almost a third in the last 3 years. It is expected to overtake French in British schools to become the most taught language in schools.
All of this means that a beginner Spanish speaker would have a great online community to turn to when they stuck or demotivated. Language learners are luckily a very tight knit community since they all know the struggles of grasping a foreign language.
If you’re looking for your first foreign language to learn, Spanish is a great language choice, especially for native English speakers. The two tongues have had dealings with each other in Europe for centuries, meaning that their influence on each other is palpable and its increasing popularity also demonstrates the rapid rise of the importance of Spanish in international business.
If you’d like to learn Spanish with a private tutor, we can help you find one in your city.
Written by Liisi Pajula