The image of the Alamo that is located in San Antonio, Texas is a shout out to one of my friends from high school who now lives in San Antonio. Eddie took my advice about learning Spanish as a second language and now owns a limousine company there that he uses Spanish on a daily basis. Eddie is really grateful that he took my advice. If you are in San Antonio and need a limo or town car, look him up at http://www.sanantoniotoplimo.com. Tell him his buddy Joe from Arizona sent you his way!
You’d be hard-pressed to find a country with more Latin influence than the U.S. – aside from Latin countries themselves, of course. Latin people, particularly those who use Spanish as their primary language, have integrated themselves in all layers of American society, making Spanish as a second language exceedingly useful to know.
Yet still, many Americans find themselves unwilling to take the time to learn an additional language, even one as useful to know as Spanish. With English being the language of the world, native speakers of English can sometimes wonder how useful knowing another language really is, especially when living in an English-speaking country. Indeed, what are the benefits of knowing Spanish, aside from feeling more cultured?
Work-related benefits of knowing Spanish in the U.S.
Every year, thousands upon thousands of people come to the U.S. looking for a better life. With Mexico being right across the border, many of them are native Spanish speakers – in fact, perhaps the majority of them. Due to the less-than-ideal living conditions that these people were born in, few of them had an opportunity to master the English language before coming here. Even those that do know it often don’t have a perfect grasp of it, and misunderstandings are commonplace.
As a U.S. citizen, you are probably blessed with the option of learning another language in your spare time. What better one could there be as your first choice of second language than Spanish? Depending on your age, it’s likely you’ve already had dozens of situations where you wished you could communicate in Spanish. Work-related reasons for knowing Spanish include:
- If you communicate with a lot of people on a regular basis, you’re bound to come across your share of those with poor(or non-existent) English skills, but perfect understanding of Spanish. Here, knowing Spanish as a second language can help you sell your product, manage your workforce better or relay your instructions more accurately.
- Someone at your workplace, maybe even your boss, might need an urgent translator that could make or break a business deal. You could even get a nice bonus for helping out!
- With the ability to speak Spanish fluently, you’ll also be able to employ or use the services of people you otherwise couldn’t, which can lead to increased profits, a better job done and an opportunity to provide work to those in need.
That’s just the start. Provided you become a good enough speaker, you could work for a U.S.-based company that has an office in a Spanish-speaking country – many Americans use this opportunity to live and work abroad, acquiring work experience while feeling that their job is one long vacation.
Of course, the most apt of speakers will also be able to utilize their knowledge of Spanish more directly. There’s never any shortage of a need for professional Spanish-English translators – from acting as a medium between two parties speaking different languages to translating texts, you’ll have no trouble finding a position that suits you, provided you are passionate enough about your linguistics.
The fun side of knowing Spanish
We went over some of the ways Spanish could help you at your place of work, but what about leisure? Think of all the telenovelas on Latin TV channels you’ll be able to weep to, once you understand why Juan left Raquel! Jokes aside, knowing Spanish opens up a world of opportunities to visit unique places and meet interesting people.
We’ve mentioned people from Mexico coming over to the U.S. due to its proximity, but what about the other way around? Mexico is actually a great tourist destination when you know which places to visit. The biggest obstacle is often the language – you’ll have a hard time getting around without a moderate knowledge of Spanish.
Once you know the language, however, you might have a new vacation spot for years to come. For U.S. citizens, visiting Mexico is usually an affordable venture, yet a deeply fulfilling one considering how rich their culture is. Of course, there are many other beautiful countries where Spanish is the primary language, or one that is commonly spoken. All of these will be open to you once you know Spanish, and you won’t need to worry about being lost in translation.
There’s also something to be said about overcoming the language barrier to meet people that could stick with you for the rest of your life, both for those staying in the U.S. and those visiting Spanish-speaking countries. It sounds like a stretch now, but a lack of a common language might be what’s separating you from your future best friend or spouse…