Top 5 Reasons to Learn Spanish NOW!

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Search our blog about all things Panama! From must dos, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, in our blog you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 15 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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Top 5 Reasons to Learn Spanish NOW!

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For even more reasons to learn Spanish check out this page...

It's certainly not a secret that Spanish is starting to overtake the world, especially in the United States. Regardless of whatever Donald Trump's plans are, the USA now has the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world, just behind Mexico.

In case you are still dubious, here are 5 compelling reasons for why YOU should be learning Spanish right now!

1. Spanish isn't a 'foreign' language anymore.

If you live in North America, it's now very obvious the huge Hispanic influence that has covered every part of the United States and into Canada. From Hispanic children in your child's classroom to a Mexican restaurant in every town, there is no escaping globalization. Instead of resisting, why not embrace it and enjoy it? Learning a bit of Spanish to be able to communicate with your new neighbors (and helping them learn English in return!) is a nice way to make new friends and to broaden your horizon.

Home Depot offers signs in both English and Spanish. Photo: AP.
Home Depot offers signs in both English and Spanish. Photo: AP.

The Europeans aren't left out, either. Spanish is the official language of Spain and it is widely spoken in Gibraltar and Andorra. Spanish is the fourth most widely studied second language in Western Europe behind English, French and German.

2. Knowing Spanish will give you a leg up at work.

Whether you need to communicate with employees, negotiate an international business deal, or converse with clients or patients, speaking Spanish is all too important nowadays. Demanding that everyone around you speak English is not a solution to the "problem." Instead, why don't you add a new skill to your resumé AND branch out to new clientele and increase your job opportunities at the same time?

It's not just the language barrier that is the issue; it's also the cultural barrier that can only be overcome by stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new. Trust me, you will earn a lot of respect if you can not only speak the person's native language (or at least give it a good try!) but also understand some subtleties of working with Latinos and the general differences in interaction/norms. For this we recommend a full immersion experience at our schools in Panama

3. Be able to communicate with over 400 million native Spanish speakers.

In this ever-more connected world, how cool is it to think that you would be able to communicate with an additional 400 million people?! Whether you are planning a vacation to a Spanish-speaking country (there are 21!) or your daughter just got engaged to a Latino, it will be all the more enjoyable if you are able to understand and communicate appropriately. Hey, maybe you are single and are looking for the love of your life. Who knows, maybe she speaks Spanish! Don't let your monolinguistic past hinder your bright and exciting future.

Spanish is actually the second most widely-spoken language in the world, behind Chinese (which includes 13 dialects).

4. Being bilingual (or multilingual!) gives your brain a boost.

The bilingual advantage theory states that being bilingual helps people with switching between tasks and therefore gives them enhanced executive-control (problem-solving) functions. It's also been shown that speaking at least two languages keeps your brain active during old age and offsets dementia by an average of 4 years!

5. Spanish is quite easy to learn for English-speakers (and even easier for other Romance-language speakers)!

Compared to many languages, Spanish is not too difficult for English-speakers to pick up. Although English is a Germanic language, it shares some Latin roots (20-33%) and a similar alphabet with Spanish (both Latin). Unlike English, Spanish words are written as they are pronounced, which is a huge advantage for foreign speakers. Also, Spanish only has 10 vowel and diphthong sounds and no phonemes other than the easy 'ñ', whereas English has many more complicated sounds.

Of course, for those who already speak a Romance language like French, Italian, or Portuguese, Spanish is even easier since many words and grammatical contexts are similar.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your Spanish lessons today!

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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