What is YOUR main reason for wanting to learn Spanish?
One of the most common answers is to use it when travelling.
It makes sense, too. With so many Spanish speaking countries and several being popular places to visit, it’s such a benefit to be able to communicate with the locals and learn more about the country you’re travelling to.
1. Greater confidence when travelling
Knowing how to speak even basic Spanish can give you the confidence to use it when buying your Chichén Itzá souvenirs in Maya Rivera, Mexico or ordering your yummy churros for dessert while sitting on a café patio in Madrid, Spain. It is also very helpful if ever dealing with any problems or emergencies, or even if you get lost and need direction.
All-inclusive resorts usually employ some English-speaking staff, but often the majority speak very little or no English.
Upon when you leave the resort area, the chance of finding English-speaking local people usually decreases. I’ve often found myself being the impromptu translator on these trips for my friends or for other tourists.
For instance, when my husband and I were in Paris, we helped a Spanish-speaking couple buy tickets for the subway using the automated machine which was all in French.
Since I knew enough French to use to machine to get our own tickets, I was able to explain to them the on-screen options and how to do it.
It felt great to help out fellow tourists just from knowing some basic French!
2. Greater travelling experience
Another big advantage of knowing Spanish is to have a greater appreciation and understanding of what you are experiencing on your trip.
If you can understand Spanish, things may start to make more sense, such as what people are doing or why they are acting certain ways.
For example, when you’re travelling to a Spanish-speaking country you might wonder why people tend to speak loudly to each other.
If you understand Spanish and the two men behind you in the bus station line are talking loudly, you’ll feel more comfortable knowing that they are just excited about the upcoming soccer game, known as fútbol (fout-bol).
You’ll see that they aren’t having an argument which could have been a concern if you’re just trying to enjoy your trip. Now you can relax as you watch other people join the fútbol (fout-bol) debate.
You’ll also be able to understand if they are talking about you or something that concerns you. Which, believe me, can be very helpful.
3. Greater understanding of other languages when travelling
Knowing Spanish also helps you gain understanding of related languages, such as like French, Portuguese and Italian. It’s easier to learn them since you already have Spanish as a basis.
I learned some French in school here in Canada. The one negative of this was mixing up French and Spanish when answering questions in class since they have similarities. The benefits definitely outweigh this disadvantage!
Thinking back to my visit to Italy a few years ago, I remember that my husband and I were a bit lost in Rome. We asked an older man about whether we were on the right path to the bus terminal.
I remember this clearly since he took the time to put his grocery bags down and explained to us in Italian how to get to the bus terminal.
Because of our Spanish skills, we understood enough to know that he was also telling us to be careful with my purse and my husband’s camera on the bus and to make sure to carry it in front of us and hold onto it.
We followed his directions and got to the bus terminal to go further explore Rome (and I held onto my purse in the packed bus!)
Knowing Spanish has helped me make my trips even more fulfilling as I felt better knowing what was going on. I have used it to make my way through my trips and when travelling with my friends they also feel better knowing that I can translate whenever they needed.
So, what is YOUR main reason for wanting to learn Spanish?
Share your answer in the comments below.