10 Reasons Why Spanish Is The Best Foreign Language To Learn

If you want to learn a foreign language, but you don't know which one to learn; or if you want to learn several languages and you don't know which one to start with; or, if you think learning a foreign language is too hard, and you want something that will be easier, the Spanish is definitely the best choice.

1. Spanish grammar is simple

Spanish grammar is remarkably similar to English, so it's not difficult to learn. Yes, adjectives follow their nouns, and there are more verb conjugations, but putting together a sentence in Spanish works in almost the same way as in english.

2. Latin roots make it easy

The Latin roots of Spanish reflect the Latin roots in English. Many new words will be easy to learn just because their etymologies are easy to recognize, such as la mano which we recognize from "manual", as in "manual labor".

3. Spanish is insightful

Understanding of Spanish will give you better insights into Latin and its effects on English. Often, it will illuminate many of those cryptic medical or biological terms. And studying the grammar of another language gives you more insight into your own.

4. There are few grammatical exceptions

Unlike most other languages, in Spanish there are very few exceptions. There are few irregular verbs, most conjugate normally. There are few nouns where the article doesn't match the ending (like la mano), most match up as expected.

5. Spanish is phonetic

Spanish is 100% phonetic. Words are pronounced exactly as they are written, and they are written exactly as they are pronounced. When learning a foreign language, this is invaluable.

6. Spanish is all over America

In the United States, many jobs are done primarily by Spanish-speaking people. Knowledge of the Spanish language may be the thing that makes it possible for you to become a manager or gain some other leadership role. And for many jobs, such in a hospital or police station, it may be a vital job skill.

7. Resources abound

There is no shortage of good movies, books, and music available in the Spanish language for learning or practice. (Or, if you just want to enjoy a good film or television show without subtitles...)

8. There are so many great travel options with Spanish

There are many beautiful travel destinations in the Spanish-speaking world which you could visit with confidence, without the need of a translator or tour guide. It may be possible to travel without speaking a foreign language, but being able to communicate while you travel is priceless.

9. Spanish speakers are global

While Mandarin-speakers in the world outnumber Spanish-speakers, most of those who speak Mandarin are in China. Spanish-speakers, however, can be found all over the world. With the exception of Canada, Spanish is either the first or second language in every country in both North America and South America - that's two whole continents, without even counting Spain! So your chances of meeting someone and using your Spanish are quite high.

10. Spanish increases confidence

Learning Spanish will convince you that you can learn a foreign language, and it might even give you the confidence to try something harder!

Author: Yearlyglot
I'll lead you through a 12 month journey from knowing absolutely nothing about a language to having professional fluency.

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  • Excellent list! I'd personally put Esperanto as the best first choice for exactly the same reasons 1-5 & 10 and I'll mention it on my site in April.
    But the cultural impact of Spanish worldwide can't be ignored so your other points are extremely important of course!
    At the end of the day, Spanish was MY first second language and that did indeed give me the momentum to keep going as long as I have!! :D I love Spanish <3

  • I agree. I started learning Spanish in high school and made the most of it (unlike a lot of people). When I graduated, I was almost "fluent", so I continued studying in college. Now I speak Spanish well (I can get by with most Spanish speakers, but I'm still weak in many areas), and have moved on to Czech. I tried German in between, but I really disliked it. It wasn't particularly difficult, I just didn't enjoy it. I do, however, thoroughly enjoy Czech. Once I become more confident in Czech, I would like to pick up another language (maybe Greek, Persian, or Hebrew). Although Czech grammar scares me, Spanish gave me the confidence to work through it. I hope people take this advice... Spanish isn't just a nice stepping stone, it's a great language in and of itself. Spanish-speakers are some of the nicest people I've ever met.

  • What do you do with Esperanto? I'm not trying to belittle it or anything, but do you ever come across people who speak it? It seems interesting, but I don't think I would ever be motivated enough to learn it because of the lack of culture behind it.

  • Like any language, it depends on your motivation to practice it. I was joined by about 1,000 people during the IJK last summer in the Czech Republic, and then various other events with 100-400 people that would last for a week and everything would be done in Esperanto. It's immersion at its best.
    I'm not saying it should be the ultimate replacement for natural languages, but for the purposes of gaining the confidence to speak "a" language it's total lack of exceptions etc. makes it really easy. Only a few weeks investment would be needed and after actually speaking it at an event you could leave the language if you wished as you took on living ones, since you would now have the confidence that would take much longer to reach in many languages, including Spanish. For the sake of those weeks I do genuinely feel it's worth a glance ;)

  • In spite of my curiosity about Esperanto, I've always avoided it because it's not an official language anywhere. The idea of having to organize a meetup in order to use the language kind of defeats my own expectations of using a language one I've learned it.
    I wonder if this is a product of being American. Here, Spanish is the obvious choice, but perhaps growing up in Europe, where so many languages are so close together, maybe that makes Esperanto more attractive?

  • As far as I can tell the Esperanto culture is way stronger in Europe compared to in the states, for many reasons (Europeans are more likely to embrace foreign language learning, it's not in America's interests to promote any language but English as a potential international language etc.) so that's understandable.
    There are still definitely meetings there, and you can learn it easily online, but meetings of the same scale as what we have here is not likely. Spanish would be the obvious choice for Americans, while its importance within Europe is dwarfed by French and German. Spanish wasn't even an option as a language to learn in my high school.

  • It looks like a good place to reply...
    Interesting. I put Esperanto there too on April as well here: https://www.ikindalikelanguages.com/blog/“i-wann...
    It still seems like a good choice but since then while I wouldn't argue against Spanish, I think there are other alternatives to consider. If you don't mind learning conlangs, you can start with something making you think more such as Lojban, or Interlingua if you want to look at what English with other Romance languages looks like. or even the good old Esperanto.
    For the other languages, I'd say for an English speaker Dutch or Norwegian/Swedish would be pretty interesting. Here are three reasons to choose one of those instead of Spanish:
    1. Everybody speaks Spanish already. There are lots of immigrants, lots of language schools and everybody who can speak a foreign language learns or speaks Spanish. Speaking it will just make you one in the crowd while speaking something like Swedish will make you unique and awesome.
    2. Greater similarity to English in many ways. Sure, Spanish has all this Latin vocabulary but less of the English grammar. A lot of vocabulary in languages can be learned by using Anglish: compare "survive" = "live over" or "overlive", Dutch is "overleven".
    3. The fact that it is relatively harder to find resources in those languages will make you tougher and less likely to quit for future challenges (although I read that over 5% of the world's books are published in Swedish which is not a bad figure at all).

  • What a great post about the Spanish language! It's also spoken in Africa, Equatorial Guinea. It was also official language in The Philippines until the 1970s. I liked your point of view as regards this language.
    Kind regards from Argentina,
    Bruno
    ps.: Would you add French as the third option? I've started to learn some French on my own.

  • I too was going to vote for either Dutch or Swedish as the easiest choices for an English-speaker who wants to learn a second language. However, once you start to factor in other motives, they lose their appeal. Spanish is, as mentioned, spoken in more places and resources are easier to find. You are more likely to be marketable to an employer if you speak Spanish since the Swedish or Dutch market (outside of Sweden and the Netherlands and Belgium) is quite small. But for ease of learning, you can't beat those two! And, like Lyzazel said, it will indeed make you unique and awesome! :)

  • Everyone's motives for language-learning may be different, but from my perspective choosing to learn a language for the purpose of being "unique and awesome" is horribly misguided.

  • Choosing to learn a language because it makes you "unique and awesome" just makes you into that irritating, posturing person at parties who is always finding ways to one-up people. I would rather be just another guy at the party in South America, talking to people in Spanish, than the most "unique and awesome" person at a party at home, speaking in English about what I know in Dutch.

  • I see nothing wrong with that. Whatever floats your boat.
    One could argue that one sees "unique and awesome" more in terms of employment capabilities. I can see big companies giving attention to your resume if you have "Norwegian" (considering you are beinging judged in terms of languages) as oppose to just being yet another "Spanish-speaker" out of the hunderds other applicants.

  • That is certainly one possible outcome. Another possible outcome might be that of being immediately eliminated from consideration for a position because you're the only candidate who doesn't speak Spanish. :-)
    I think both are equally possible scenarios, depending on the location of that company and the nature of the position for which you are applying.

  • Well, just apply for the Dutch-speaking companies then and you're good. You will be the only of the few and my scenario is way more likely. If you apply to the Spanish speaking companies, you're still one of the thousands.
    If the companies are neither, then they shouldn't really care, except they might care that your interests are different other than those of the massive population and that is a good thing).

  • :-)

  • Thanks for the comment. I didn't know that Spanish was once the language of the Philipines, though it makes sense, since so many words in Tagalog sound to me like Spanish words. (eg: kumusta = como está)
    I'm not sure what you're asking, but I do intend to add some posts about French in the future. I hope that answers your question. :)

  • You could find the Spanish language in their surnames; some of them have the Ñ in their spelling. And as regards the French language, I meant; do you think it's a good idea to add French, as in my case, as my third language? I am native in Spanish since I am from Argentina, English is my 2nd language, and I like to add French as my third one. By the way, have you ever heard the Spanish from Argentina, it's Spanish spoken with an Italian accent. You might find some videos on YouTube, I recomend the series called 'Los Simuladores', if you want to hear the Argentinean-Spanish, in which we use 'Vos' instead of tu.
    I like your posts, they're quite interesting!
    Regards,
    Bruno

  • Yes, I actually prefer the version of Spanish in Argentina (and in Spain), rather than the Mexican style which I usually hear spoken here. In particular, I find that I prefer the hard "dz" sound associated with the y and ll, rather than the "ee" sound of Mexican spanish. Also, the use of "vos" is more comfortable to me, as it matches the "T-V" shift I find in other languages. The Mexican "Usted" feels strange to me.
    Well, that's just my personal style preference. :)
    Thanks for your comments. I am glad you enjoy my posts!

  • Also, regarding French, I see no reason why you shouldn't do it! If you want to learn something, learn it! And for a native Spanish-speaker, French shouldn't bee too hard.

  • What? :) I don't see any fundamental flaws with that kind of logical. Should I?

  • No, that's pretty sound judgment. Of course, learning Dutch and then applying for jobs with a Dutch company is much different from the "unique and awesome" comment that started this thread.
    I would hope that a person applying for a Dutch company wouldn't expect his/her Spanish to help him, just as I wouldn't expect a person who spoke Dutch to think it was going to help him or her in Spanish.
    I guess my point is this: we learn a language in order to communicate. Not to be "unique and awesome". When someone tells me that they know a language -- let's say Spanish, for example -- I don't say, "oh, cool, congratulations." Instead, I usually respond with something more like "¿Verdad? Digame algo interesante." It's not the language that makes you interesting, it's what you say. :)

  • What? :) I don't see any fundamental flaws with that kind of logical. Should I?

  • No, that's pretty sound judgment. Of course, learning Dutch and then applying for jobs with a Dutch company is much different from the "unique and awesome" comment that started this thread.
    I would hope that a person applying for a Dutch company wouldn't expect his/her Spanish to help him, just as I wouldn't expect a person who spoke Dutch to think it was going to help him or her in Spanish.
    I guess my point is this: we learn a language in order to communicate. Not to be "unique and awesome". When someone tells me that they know a language -- let's say Spanish, for example -- I don't say, "oh, cool, congratulations." Instead, I usually respond with something more like "¿Verdad? Digame algo interesante." It's not the language that makes you interesting, it's what you say. :)

  • Hi ..this is quite interesting ...so I would like to translate some parts of this post in Greek and publish it on my blog (https://glavkos.blogspot.com)... I have not studied Spanish yet so I prefer to borrow some of your ideas , if you do not mind...Of course there will be a link to this good language learning domain.

  • Great point Benny...That's why I have already booked for SES 2010

  • Yes, provided that you link back to here, I don't mind you translating and reprinting my post. Thanks!

  • Thank you, I will let you know when it' s ready...

  • https://glavkos.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-post_2...
    The post is ready.

  • Very cool! Thanks!

  • Lots of really good points here. I keep telling myself that if I would have gone for Spanish instead of Mandarin all those years ago I'd have been a whole lot better off, but what can you do... :)
    If I ever move onto European languages, though, Spanish is going to be at the top of my list (followed by Italian, me thinks).

  • Well... you'd be better off as far as being able to speak Spanish! :-)
    Was there a reason for choosing Mandarin? Is that more useful to you where you live or amongst your friends, perhaps?

  • certainly the Spanish pronunciation is not as difficult as the English one, but you can not say that it is 100% phonetic.
    By the way, if you are looking for a language really with a phonetic alphabet... you could try Slovak, or Arabic! :-)

  • Why can't I say that? It's true! Spanish is 100% phonetic. When you learn the rules of pronunciation you can correctly pronounce any word you see written, and you can correctly spell any word you hear spoken... depending on the person's accent.

  • if so, then also Italian is. But there is no exact correspondence between letters and sounds (to my knowledge, this is the meaning of phonetic). For example, "C" and "G" is pronounced in two different ways, "B" and "V" are pronounced the same, etc.

  • C is always pronounce the same way after an E or I, and always the same way after everything else. Same for G. B and V are prounounced differently in certain accents... depends on where the person is from.
    Italian is close to being phonetic. The letters are maybe even more consistent than Spanish, but the stresses syllable in Italian words is occasionally unpredictable.

  • Where is your favorite spanish accent from?? xD

  • Probably Argentina. It sounds the most pleasant to me... though I must admit it's also the hardest for me to understand! :)

  • You forgot a hugely important one: learning any Romance language will make it SIGNIFICANTLY easier to learn any other Romance language later on! This is huge if you're interested in learning multiple languages.Also, it allows you to understand a lot of what is said/written in Portuguese and Italian even if you've never studied either of those languages, since they're so similar (works a little bit with French, but nowhere near as much).Cheers,
    Andrew

  • Sure, but that's only an advantage if you're interested in learning other Romance languages. The same advantage exists for Germanic languages, Slavic languages, Turkic languages, Arabic languages... and in fact, some of those are arguably stronger advantages, as they're less fractured than the Romance languages are.Also, if you wanted to learn a language as a head-start into Romance language polyglottery, I think Italian or Portuguese or Catalan would be a much better choice.

  • B and V may be pronounced differently in different accents, but there are no native accents that distinguish them as separate sounds. Also, often English loanwords are spelled not according to Spanish orthography in more colloquial Spanish "gym", "gay" and "whiskey", not "yim", "guey" and "huiski". Also, what about the silent "h"? You can only guess it if it's a "w" sound at the beginning of a word like "huevo". Even without these exceptions, it would be technically "phonemic" and not "phonetic" - a phonetic language would just not be practical. Even so, I do love the extremely regular phonology of Spanish. In its standard form, stress is completely predictable by writing (however the accents that indicate stress are often omitted in colloquial writing).I don't think there is any "the" best first choice of second language. It depends on where you live, what friends you have, and why you want to learn. If you really don't like Spanish but are madly in love with Khoikhoi, you should learn the latter even though it is a "hard" and not widely spoken language. That said, I have myself have had the experience where Spanish has given confidence to learn other languages - Spanish inspired my current study of Urdu, a language I've wanted to learn since childhood. However, being raised bilingually in English and Serbo-Croatian gave me the confidence to learn Spanish in the first place :P

  • Portuguese is spoken on every continent in the world - 250 million speakers (300 million by 2050), currently 5th or 6th most native spoken language in the world today spoken in 9 countries officially. Brazil is on the way to becoming an economic global superpower (currently 6th largest economy in the world). Every Portuguese speaking country does massive trade with China. Plus, if you know Portuguese you get Spanish for free - it's a two for one deal because they are so very close in vocabulary, grammar and structure.

  • Spanish is the most popular language in the second world in English. Spanish is the official language in twenty countries around the world. Spanish is approved by the UN as one of six official languages. The popularity of Spanish language and culture of the Spanish versatile drawn to his youth.

  • To combat this, I would say that Spanish isn't as easy as most people say it is, and not necessarily a top language to learn.1. I would like to contradict #4 about the exception to conjugations. I studied Spanish and I found that there a quite a few exceptions to the rules, but the thing is the exceptions in other tenses, will make their own exceptions which makes it harder to keep track of which exception goes with which.2. Yes, Spanish is a romance language with roots in Latin. However, it was heavily influenced by Arabic when the moors were there. So French and Italian would have closer words to English than Spanish would, predominately French, since it was William the Conqueror who invaded England in 1066.3. There are so many different dialects of Spanish that most of them can't talk to each other because vocabulary changes so much. All languages have their own dialect and regional changes, such as English (American/Australian/British), German (Austrian/German), Portuguese (Brazilian/Portuguese), but Spanish has so many, that words get changed, and more vocabulary is created which makes it hard to learn and have a specific vocabulary group.4. Spanish might have a lot of countries that speak Spanish, but for careers outside the US, its not always the best first choice. Markets are growing in Asia, Europe, and some in Africa. Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and French all have more countries and markets for work than those of Spanish speakers.5. French, German, Swedish, and Dutch grammar are pretty much closer to English than Spanish. Once you combat the pronunciation changes in these languages, which don't usually change (well not as much as English), they are very easy to learn and understand.

  • Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the opposing perspective.

  • What about people who live in Australia? We have a low number of Spanish speakers (when conpared to other languages spoken here), but we do have a large number of Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Greek, Hindi and Vietnamese speakers.

  • Exactly! 100% agree! Even girls and boys from Spain who come to visit Argentina say castellano is the most beautiful way to speak Spanish!)) You will love it almost to death when they say just "de nada" ))) It is not that I am totally agree with the article (all this stuff with verbs forms for regular / irregular verbs in million tenses is not that sooo easy to begin to use fluently when you just speak, not write a test), but what is really correct Spanish is intuitively easy to learn and it really opens the door to other romance group languages!

  • Actually is the opposite: Learning spanish you can uderstand portuguese perfectly.

  • Peruvian neutral spanish

  • No one needs those languages. -_-Hardly anyone has heard of Slovak, Russian would be more useful.And when's the last time anyone of importance spoke in Arabic?

  • Still valid list. Thank you

  • I never thought before, learning Spanish language. But that content grabs my interest in to it. Did you said it is <quote>Spanish grammar is remarkably similar to English, so it's not difficult to learn</quote> Than i would love to try this for once after my boston to new york tours, could i get any classes there?

  • this makes sound that spanish is easy ,lol ,bitch talk to the more than 20 countries that speaks it ,fucking self absorbed gringos ,english is EASY AS FUCK , deal with it

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