The Benefits of Learning Spanish 

September 1, 2023

El lenguaje es el vehiculo del pensamiento.  

Language is the vehicle of thought.

Here you are on the Boulder Spanish website reading this blog post. Perhaps you’re wondering, “Why should I learn Spanish?” or “¿Por qué debo aprender el español?”

Lyry here, your blog writer and also a Boulder Spanish student to help answer this valid question. After all, there are lots of ways to spend your valuable time. I get it. 

So, I did some research, spoke to other Spanish learners, and thought about this question broadly. And now, I present to you, The Benefits of Learning Spanish, or 

Y ahora, les presento a todos, los beneficios de aprender español.  

I believe you will find these ideas useful. And you know what else? Once you get started, you will discover your own great reasons, too.

Let’s start big. Really big. Realmente grande.

  • Spanish has 496 million native speakers and 595 million total speakers worldwide, according to a report by the Cervantes Institute. 
  • Spanish is the second most spoken native language after Mandarin Chinese and the fourth most spoken language overall after English, Mandarin, and Hindi.
  • Including both native speakers and people who speak Spanish as a second language, Mexico has the most Spanish speakers by far (130 million), and the United States is second (57 million), followed by Columbia (52 million), and Spain (48 million), according to data from Rosetta Stone. In addition, the number of Spanish speakers around the world is growing fast. 

Simply stated, you can connect to a lot of people and go far in this world speaking Spanish.

For many of us learning Spanish is a way to connect with new communities and experience different cultures. We want to consider many of points of view and understand more about the philosophies and ways of life of other people. Spanish is an excellent way to create bridges between cultures, relationships between families, and friendships with individuals. 

Next up, Traveling! ¡De Viaje!

Yes, Spanish is spoken throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and in Spain. But you can also find Spanish speakers in the Caribbean (Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico), Europe (with significant numbers of Spanish speakers in France, Portugal, and Italy), the Philippines, and even on the African continent (Equatorial Guinea, and regions in Algeria and near Morocco)! That’s a lot of places to go and each will have its own attractions and charms.  

Closer to home, speaking Spanish is a great way to connect in your community, or 

El español es una excelente manera de conectarse en su comunidad. 

With business colleagues, community leaders, shop owners, school boards and school teachers, politicians, restaurant and store employees, librarians, and health care professionals – there are people of all ages and backgrounds in your community to speak Spanish with. And doing so gives you deeper connection and another level of engagement with your community. 

Happily, it’s never too early or too late to learn Spanish, or 

Felizmente, nunca es demasiado temprano ni demasiado tarde para aprender español. 

And at any age (I’m older than 60!), it’s really good for your brain. Your brain’s structures and connectivity improve and you are able to think differently, faster, and better in all kinds of ways. Scientific research shows that brains of language learners have greater cognitive growth and improved processing skills, which enhances attention, functioning, memory, new ideas, and communication. Research also shows that you don’t have to be fluent – simply the effort of learning a new language helps your brain resist diseases, such as dementia, and function healthier for longer.

Yes, to learn Spanish you will study grammar and vocabulary. But soon, you will be able to express yourself and communicate well enough to be meaningfully engaged. Each step in learning Spanish makes the next one bigger and better. Momentum happens. 

Best of all, learning Spanish is fun! 

¡Lo mejor de todo es que aprender español es divertido! 

Whether you’re learning in person or online, or one-on-one or in a group, it’s a rewarding and joyful experience. There’s also a beauty in the words and phrasing of Spanish. The sound of Spanish is musical and rhythmic. By the time you’re speaking your first phrases in Spanish, you will feel enriched and really cool. Genial! 

For me, learning Spanish is challenging and also an adventure. I like the prospect of speaking Spanish when I travel and in my own community, too. I like creating greater cultural understanding and social connections – and getting a cognitive workout. I appreciate the many positive impacts that learning Spanish gives me. I’m growing as a person and exploring and interacting in new ways and all of this improves my quality of life. 

Whatever your goals may be, learning Spanish opens doors in your community, city, and world – and also in your mind. 

Abre las puertas y entra. 

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