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This Is What Will Happen When You Start Learning Spanish

This Is What Will Happen When You Start Learning Spanish

Most of us have studied or learned a second language sometime in our education, whether it was at elementary school, high school, university, or beyond.

For those of you fortunate enough to have learnt Spanish (or be learning Spanish), the benefits may outweigh those offered by learning other languages.

For one, Spanish is no longer considered a foreign language. There are 38 million people in the US alone speaking Spanish, and HIspanics will make up 30% of the population in the US by 2050. In addition, Spanish is spoken in 20 countries today, with 44 countries containing at least 3 million Spanish speakers.

Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language across the world, as such, you’ll know you are going to gain great rewards for the time you take learning to speak Spanish. Even the British are swapping French for Spanish; The British Council’s “Languages of the Future” report ranks non-English languages in order of importance for British citizens to learn, based on a thorough analysis of cultural, economical, and diplomatic factors. Spanish topped the list, followed by Arabic, French, and Mandarin.

Here are some other amazing things that will happen when you start learning Spanish.

1. You’ll open up more career opportunities

As the population of Latinos continues to increase in the US and around the world, there is a huge demand for individuals who can speak Spanish. And this demand will only rise faster than ever as Spanish-speaking economies continue to thrive ($6 trillion GDP), backed by the commodities boom.

This is especially important for those of us who want to work in business and the media, as in these industries it is particularly lucrative to tap into the market of over half a billion people who speak the Spanish language. English may be okay if you’re just buying something from someone, but doing complex business deals together is a completely different thing.

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In other words, learning Spanish will not only increase your chances of getting a raise at your current job, but it also opens up new career opportunities around the world.

2. You’ll become an avid traveller

One of the biggest obstacles we have when it comes to travelling is the fear of not being able to communicate.

When it comes to learning Spanish, you’re not just learning how to speak Spanish, you’ll also learn about the amazing culture and people behind the words from South America, Central America, Spain, and more.

You’ll notice the different accents, personalities, and the beautiful attractions that each country has to offer, and open your mind to a completely new world.

Learning Spanish will become not only a valuable education, but a global experience for you.

Spanish-Speaking-Countries

    3. You’ll be a more interesting person

    In today’s society, the knowledge of foreign languages is an attractive feature that many people truly admire — and for good reason.

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    We naturally associate individuals who understand another language with having more experiences with different cultures, being open-minded to new experiences, and simply being more interesting. For example, if you met two random strangers at a party, would you rather talk to someone who has lived in Washington their whole lives, or someone who has traveled and lived in Spain, Colombia, Mexico, and Costa Rica in the past 12 months?

    Learning Spanish will allow you to gain experiences and knowledge that most only dream about experiencing, and will therefore make you a more interesting and attractive person to be around.

    4. You’ll be more outgoing and likable

    Language learning is not only about communicating in a foreign language, but it’s also about experiencing a new culture.

    The first reason is that meeting foreign people is embedded in the core of language learning. In order to practice and improve your new language, you’ll need to work with a native speaking teacher, use conversation exchanges, and/ or attend language meetups. This is similar to how you need to just ride the bicycle instead of watching videos about it; its just part of the process.

    The skills and experience gained from a conversation exchange include being more outgoing and sociable. This can have a positive impact on other areas of your life as well.

    Most importantly, learning a new language helps you step into the shoes of people different to yourself and see the world in a completely different way — therefore, developing empathy for others.

    5. You’ll improve your English/ native language

    Studies have shown that learning a second language can strengthen your language skills in your first language, including speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.

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    When we think about it, it makes sense. Learning a new language like Spanish forces us to deconstruct every component of the language and learn it from the ground up. This includes accents, vocabulary, sentence structures, and so on. When we first learned our native language as children, it’s a skill that seemed to come quite naturally to us, or we hardly remember the language classes we took in elementary school.

    It’s similar to playing basketball your whole life, then learning how to play volleyball, and using those skills to improve your basketball game.

    “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”
    — Geoffrey Willans

    6. You’ll learn anything faster

    In a study done in Massachusetts (2007), researchers concluded that the “exercise in cognitive problem solving” through language learning can be directly applied to anything we want to learn.

    When learning Spanish. for example, you’ll be faced with different ways to conjugate verbs, and use new vocabulary that you’ve never encountered before, forcing you to solve a multiple problems in a creative manner.

    In brain imaging studies, scientists have discovered that bilinguals have higher density of gray matter in the area of the brain associated with vocabulary acquisition. Further research shows that your memory retention is also improved when learning a new language. Absorbing and retaining more information can significantly shorten your learning curve, because you can spend more time learning new information instead of re-learning something you’ve already seen before.

    7. You’ll make better decisions in life

    When you’re learning how to speak Spanish, you’ll be constantly making small decisions, such as forming sentence structures, experimenting with new words that you’ve never used before, and trying to understand what the other person is describing to you.

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    A study published online in the journal, Brain and Language, showed that multi-lingual individuals were better at filtering out competing words than monolingual individuals. This ability to tune out competing words benefits in blocking out distractions in order to focus on the task at hand.

    The best news of all this is that Spanish is easy to learn, especially if you work with a professional Spanish teacher. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much experience you have in learning languages, you can achieve your goals with a little bit of help.

    In fact, research has shown that even those of us with minimal knowledge of a secondary language can reap the advantages of the benefits we’ve mentioned in this article.

    With the abundance of options available today to learn or re-learn your Spanish, from language learning websites, books, audiotapes, and mobile apps, there’s no reason to wait to get started!

    how to learn spanish

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      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

      For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

      If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

      Example 1

      You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

      You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

      In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

      Example 2

      You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

      People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

      You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

      Example 3

      You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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      The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

      Example 4

      You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

      Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

      If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

      Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

      • Understand your own communication style
      • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
      • Communicate with precision and care
      • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

      1. Understand Your Communication Style

      To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

      In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

      Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

      2. Learn Others Communication Styles

      Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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      If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

      “How do you prefer to receive information?”

      This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

      To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

      3. Exercise Precision and Care

      A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

      On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

      Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

      I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

      I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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      In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

      The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

      Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

      4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

      Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

      In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

      “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

      Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

      Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

      It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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      It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

      It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

      Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

      Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

      The Bottom Line

      When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

      I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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      Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

      Reference

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