15 Reasons Every American Should Learn Spanish

Spanish is kind of, sort of everything

If you don鈥檛 already speak Spanish, you really should consider learning, like, ahora!

Whether you want to improve your job prospects, keep your mind sharp, or explore new cultures without having to rely on Siri to ask for directions, Spanish is the one tool that will help you achieve all of that and more -- and we鈥檙e not just saying that because we鈥檙e Latino Voices. No (said in espa帽ol )!

Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States, after English, and is the dominant language in many of our neighboring countries in the Western Hemisphere. It also happens to be an extremely beautiful language that is as useful as it is melodic.

Here are 15 really good reasons why every American should learn Spanish. De nada!

Stand out in a competitive job market
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A rising number of employers prefer individuals who can speak Spanish fluently. A 2013 survey of high level managers and executives conducted by Strategy + Business found that 96 percent of respondents 鈥thought language skills are either 鈥渧ery important鈥 or 鈥渟omewhat important鈥 for professional success in the current business environment.鈥

Expand your horizons
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With 329 million native speakers, according to Ethnologue, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world after English. Get to know your hemispheric neighbors in Latin America, and fake your with through Portuguese in Brazil with your new language skills.

Do your job better
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Doctors, lawyers and social workers work with diverse individuals and families day in and day out, many of whom may speak Spanish. According to the U.S. census, 12.9 percent of Americans speak Spanish at home.

Communicate with your children
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By 2050, the U.S. will be the largest Spanish speaking country, according to the Association of Spanish Language Academies. That means that if if you have children in the next decade or so, they will likely speak the language or at least have friends who speak Spanish. Now, wouldn't you like to understand what your children and their friends are saying to one another when they're not speaking English?

Work abroad
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If working abroad or traveling for work is one of your career goals, learning how to speak Spanish fluently will help you get there. In an increasingly global market, being bilingual will help you speak with international clients, negotiate business deals abroad, and collaborate with experts across the globe.

Watch foreign films without reading subtitles

Once you master the Spanish language, you'll be able to understand the subtleties and get the jokes in real time whenever you watch a film from Latin America or Spain.

Improve your cognitive skills
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Not only does learning a second language improve your brain, but it helps your mind stay sharp longer. That's right -- several studies show that speaking being bilingual improves cognitive skills unrelated to language.

Keep your brain young and healthy
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Researchers at the University of Ghent in Belgium recently published a study that added to the growing evidence that bilingualism can delay the onset of Alzheimer鈥檚 and it "contributes to cognitive reserve and postpones the symptoms of dementia."

Become a more independent person
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Ever find yourself in downtown Laredo, Texas or somewhere in Miami without an English speaker in sight? Learning to speak Spanish will help take care of that problem.

Understand Spanish song lyrics

Want to know what Shakira is saying when she sings in Spanish? Interested in knowing what the salsa song you're dancing to means? Learn Spanish and find out.

Make new friends
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Latinos are one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Though English may be the country鈥檚 most commonly spoken language, many Latinos in the U.S. come from Spanish-speaking households. Learning Spanish may help you get to know your neighbors and make new friends.

Improve your English
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Learning the Spanish can help boost your vocabulary by familiarizing you with English words that have Latin roots.

Up your game

Nothing says romance like taking the time to learn how to communicate with a potential partner or significant other in their native tongue.

It's relatively easy to learn

Spanish is spelled phonetically and many of the words are similar to English. And because so many people in the U.S. speak the Spanish fluently, you don't have to go very far to find someone with whom you can practice or some place where you can fully immerse yourself in the language.


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