Two women dance in traditional clothing in Costa Rica

11 Reasons to Learn Spanish (and How to Get Started!)

Kelsey Wetherbee Published on May 21, 2024

There are a million reasons why you should learn Spanish. I’ve been learning the language for more than 10 years and my motivation has changed as my level has improved. But one thing’s for sure: Learning Spanish is useful in many ways, especially for your mental health, broadening your social circle, or growing professionally. 

In this article, I show you why learning Spanish can benefit you and how speaking the language can improve your life. At the end, I also share some ways you can start learning Spanish right now (well, as soon as you finish reading the article).

Let’s jump in!

why learn spanish

1. Talk With Millions of People Around the Globe

By pure numbers alone, it’s clear that Spanish is a useful language to learn. It’s the 4th most spoken language in the world with over 548.3 million Spanish speakers. It’s also the official language of 21 countries across 4 continents. Learning a language like Spanish can help you talk to a large percentage of the global population.

2. Communicate With People in your Hometown

Learning Spanish can help you communicate with people in your own town or city. For example, in the United States alone, there are almost 42 million people who speak Spanish. That’s more than the population of Chile and Ecuador combined! After English, Spanish is the most common language spoken in the United States. Chances are, you have a friend, colleague, or neighbor who speaks Spanish.

3. It Makes Travel Easier and More Meaningful

If you want to visit any of the 20+ countries where Spanish is an official language, knowing at least a few words and phrases make your experience more authentic. It will be easier to navigate certain situations, like ordering food or asking for directions. You can also avoid the typical scams that are common in tourist areas. More importantly, it will help you stay alert to what’s happening around you in an emergency situation such as severe weather conditions, traffic interruptions, or flight delays.

And the only way to genuinely experience other cultures and customs is to immerse yourself in them. Speaking the language is the first step towards this (and it’s actually not that hard to learn Spanish)!

4. Try Living in a Different Country

As the world becomes more globalized, it’s becoming easier and easier to move to a new country. Some of the most popular digital nomad destinations are in Spain and Central or South America. Places like Mexico City (Mexico), Valencia (Spain), the Canary Islands (Spain), and Santa Teresa (Costa Rica) top the list for the growing number of digital nomads. Knowing Spanish, especially one of the dialects, will make it much easier to handle common situations that will arise and help you meet other people who live and work in the country.

Or maybe you’re thinking towards the future and want to retire in a warm, tropical environment. Some of the most popular places for US citizens to retire are in Spanish-speaking countries too. According to a study done by International Living, 6 of the top 10 best places to retire are in Spanish-speaking countries, with Costa Rica topping the list.

5. Enjoy Spanish Language Films, Songs, and Books

Knowing Spanish can open up a huge cultural treasure trove for you to experience. Some of the greatest authors of the past century wrote in Spanish. Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez, and Isabel Allende have iconic books that are worth a read in their original language. It’s also super easy to find books to learn Spanish on sites like Amazon.

There are also a ton of high-quality movies and TV shows produced in the Spanish language. In fact, one of the most-watched Netflix TV shows is Money Heist (titled “La casa de papel” in Spanish) which is a series from Spain.

And you can’t forget the growing influence of Latin music, especially reggaeton. Artists like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Daddy Yankee, who have always been popular in the Spanish music scene, are cracking the mainstream music charts in countries worldwide. 

In fact, the hit song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi (with a remix featuring Justin Bieber) became so popular that it broke 7 Guinness World Records including the most-viewed music video online and the most-streamed track worldwide. Take a listen to the song below and see if it gets you grooving.

6. It Can Help You Land a Better Job

In addition to benefiting your personal life, knowing Spanish can also give you a significant edge in today’s competitive job market. As companies become more global, the demand for bilingual employees increases. It will make you a more competitive candidate in fields like international business, tourism, healthcare, education, customer service, and more. There are also a variety of Spanish courses that can prepare you for jobs like these.

Plus, you can make more money, and who doesn’t want that? Ryan McMunn, CEO of BRIC Language Systems, projects that job candidates who can speak a second language fluently can expect a 10 to 15 percent pay increase over their peers.

7. Learning Other Languages is Easier 

Once you’ve decided to learn Spanish, why stop there? It’s scientifically proven that learning a third language is easier than learning a second language. So once you’ve mastered Spanish, learning a third, fourth, or fifth foreign language will be a breeze.

And maybe romance is in the air. Romance languages, that is. Spanish is part of the same branch of the Indo-European Language Family as Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian. These languages share a lot of words and expressions. Knowing Spanish gives you a leg up for learning and understanding these similar languages.

Illustration created by Minna Sundberg, author of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent.

8. Experience New Cultures

The Spanish-speaking world is so diverse and rich in history and culture. Taking the time to learn Spanish can help you experience the unique cultures and customs of the different countries where Spanish is the lingua franca. 

There’s something for everyone! If you’re a foodie, you can explore the tapas scene in Spain. Or you can visit Peru, the country most say has the best cuisine in all of Latin America. Maybe you enjoy dancing. Speaking Spanish will help you understand the music and steps associated with Colombian salsa or understand the deep history of Argentinian tango. And every country loves a party! There’s tons to learn about the different festivals and celebrations from Día de los Muertos in Mexico to Semana Santa in Spain.

9. Help Connect With Family

This one might not apply to everyone, but it can be an incredibly important reason if it does. With 19% of the US population coming from Hispanic origins, learning Spanish can help you connect with your family. It can be a way to explore your roots or talk to a family member who only speaks Spanish. Maybe you have in-laws who are visiting from another country or you want to connect with your tía (aunt) who lives in Madrid. Knowing their language can help make your family bond stronger.

10. Spanish is a Language for the Future

In its 2017 report, the British Council named Spanish as the most important language for the future of the UK. The report identifies the languages that will be the most important for people in the UK to learn to help the country on a global level. Even though this report is specific to the UK, the economic, political, and cultural factors used apply to most other countries around the world as well.

Take a look below to see the top 5 languages needed for the future of the UK. It might surprise you!

RankLanguage
1.Spanish
2.Mandarin
3.French
4.Arabic
5.German
Source: https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/languages-for-the-future-report.pdf 

11. Boost Your Brain Power

Learning any foreign language is a workout for your brain! And just like a physical workout, the mental workout of learning Spanish has great benefits. Learning a new language can improve your memory, promote creative thinking, and help you become better at multitasking. 

And it’s never too late to start learning Spanish. It also helps keep your brain sharp as you age and prevents the onset of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Check out the video from the BBC below to see all the benefits learning Spanish has for your brain:

If That Didn’t Convince You, Here are 3 Bonus Reasons!

-Access More of the Internet

According to the Internet Society Foundation, Spanish is the second most commonly used language on the Internet, accounting for over 5% of websites. While 5% might not seem like a lot, knowing Spanish can open up millions more pages than before. Not to mention you’ll understand the thousands of Spanish-speaking creators on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more.

-Learning Spanish Improves Your English

Believe it or not, you already know a lot of Spanish vocabulary! When learning a language, you’ll naturally compare it to your native tongue. Seeing both the similarities and differences helps you understand your native language on a deeper level. 

Spanish is deeply rooted in Latin, which is a language that greatly influenced English. So not only do you already know a lot of words, but the Spanish grammar is somewhat similar too. This means it’s not that hard to learn Spanish. The table below shows some examples of English and Spanish words that are super similar.

English WordSpanish Cognate
IdealIdeal
CivilizationCivilización
SalarySalario
PlasticPlástico

-It’s fun!

While this is more of a personal opinion, I think that learning to speak Spanish has been a fun experience. That rush you feel when you understand something for the first time, or when you’re able to have a conversation, no matter how basic. It becomes addicting! And some of my greatest memories occurred while speaking Spanish in Chile. Chilean Spanish is one of the more difficult Spanish dialects, but I’m so happy I learned it. From late nights dancing with friends to my professional development, Spanish has had a huge positive impact on my life.

Now That You’ve Decided to Learn Spanish, Here’s How to Get Started!

If you’re still reading, hopefully you’ve seen that studying Spanish is worth it. So now the real fun begins! It seems overwhelming to learn a new language at first, but by following a few simple steps, you can make studying Spanish an enjoyable process.

  1. Set an attainable goal – Mastering Spanish as a second language is a lofty goal! While it is achievable, it’s better to set smaller milestones to help motivate you along the way. For example, you can learn 100 new words and phrases in Spanish. Or read a popular children’s book in Spanish. It’s important to celebrate your achievements along the way!
  2. Find resources – This step is crucial. Finding the right resource for you makes studying more enjoyable. There are so many ways to learn Spanish that it can be overwhelming. We’ve created some guides to help you find what works best for you.
  3. Create a study routine – Studying Spanish needs to become a habit. Block out a certain amount of time you want to study each week. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder. Do a Spanish lesson on an app or watch a YouTube video before you go to bed. The most important factor is to be consistent and keep going! And if you’re curious how long it’ll take, check out our Fluency Calculator below:
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Spanish?​
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Learn Spanish with Langoly!

Everyone has different motivations for why they want to learn Spanish. Maybe you want to take a trip to Costa Rica or talk to your abuela (grandmother) in Panama. Or maybe you’re interested in the history and culture of Spain. No matter your reason or goal, there are undeniable benefits to learning Spanish. Not only will you be able to communicate with millions more people around the globe, but it will also keep your mind sharp and help you with concentration and multitasking. Focusing on your personal motivation and goals will help push you forward as you begin to study this beautiful language.

Check out Langoly’s Spanish Hub to find the best resources to start learning Spanish today!

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is the Content Manager and Editor of Langoly. She is a TEFL-certified English teacher with more than eight years of classroom experience in three different countries. She’s an avid language learner with an advanced level of Spanish and is currently studying French. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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