16 Ways Learning Spanish Can Benefit You


Learning a new language like Spanish can be a daunting task, but you may find that learning Spanish is not just a box to check if you consider the benefits. It improves you as a person.  If you take on the challenge to learn Spanish, you will soon discover many opportunities that will improve your life, income, and even your health.

From personal growth to work opportunities, the benefits to learning Spanish are numerous and you probably have not considered them all. If you are on the fence about learning Spanish, discovering and understanding the benefits that lie ahead of you could help you make the decision to learn it.

Therefore, continue reading to find out the many ways learning Spanish can benefit you.

Work and Employment Opportunities

Learning Spanish will benefit you in work and employment opportunities! Do you like making money and having a job? What if you can make more money? Studies show that being fluent in a second language opens up more career opportunities and can provide you with a bigger paycheck. Extra dollars leads to extra joy.

Surveys and job reports have shown that people fluent in both Spanish and English in the US get on average 4-18% more pay than their single language-speaking colleagues. Some companies even provide extra pay if you know Spanish, usually just for jobs in which knowing the language could be beneficial.

The list of jobs for people with bilingual capabilities in Spanish and English is close to endless and continues to grow. If you check out online job postings on a website like monster.com, indeed.com, linkedin.com, or simplyhired.com, you will find pages of search results for jobs with bilingual proficiency preferred or required.

Knowing Spanish certainly provides more career opportunities, and it also opens up more types of careers and/or opportunities for higher pay. There are many jobs where being a Spanish speaker is beneficial.

  • English tutor/teacher for native Spanish speakers learning English
  • Translator
  • Medical Professional
  • Police Officer
  • Jobs in Spanish speaking countries

It may be cliché to say, but being fluent in Spanish looks great on any resume! You will be able to stand out and find jobs more easily, especially if you live in larger cities where it’s generally even more necessary to be able to speak Spanish.

Your Brain and Mental Capacity

Another benefit of learning Spanish is the effect on your brain and mental function! If you learn Spanish and become fluent, you will become smarter from the standpoint that you now know a second language. I’ve written more here about how bilingualism impacts your I.Q.

Becoming smarter is great and beneficial in its own right. However, besides becoming wiser, there are other benefits to your brain. In fact, learning Spanish could have serious health benefits in the long-term, so it is something to consider seriously.

Learning Spanish Will Help You Understand English Better

Learning a second language also improves your understanding of English. (I’ve addressed this in detail in this article, too.) How and why does this happen? Think about it from a broader viewpoint. Spanish and English are both languages, so if you are learning Spanish, you are learning a language. You are learning things like:

  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Syntax

You will apply the things you learned not only to Spanish but to English as well. Learning Spanish boosts your English speaking and writing capabilities.

Your Cognitive Function and Brain Power Will Increase

Learning a second language, like Spanish, helps with a lot of things that can benefit your life. For instance, it:

  • Improves your short-term and long-term memory
  • Keeps your mind sharp
  • Causes you to make better decisions

In addition, it also upgrades your creative thinking skills to new levels. (To learn more about how it supports creativity, you should check out this article I’ve written, too.)Being creative is beneficial to everyone since creativity can be applied to many aspects of your life, such as:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Projects

Various aspects of your life can benefit from learning another language and increasing your brainpower. It might even help you adjust your perspective, further increasing your cognitive process.

You Will Be Less Susceptible to Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia 

Scientific studies show that learning a new language helps prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The studies show that bilingual people develop symptoms of Alziehmers 4-5 years later when compared to their single language cohorts.

Learning Spanish will help with preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia and allow you to live more of your life without symptoms of these conditions.

You Will Be Primed to Learn yet Another Language

Spanish is a Latin root/origin language, as are French, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. These are also known as the Romance Languages. Learning Spanish will prime you to learn the other Latin origin languages, and it will be much easier than learning Spanish.

Why would it be easier to learn the other Latin origin languages after learning Spanish? For one, you have already learned how to learn a language, and you can apply your learning principles to the other languages. Secondly, all Latin origins languages share many things in common, like sentence structure, grammar, and even some words.

You can read more here about Spanish and other languages.

Reading Spanish Literature

Learning Spanish will benefit you by opening up your world of literature! Spanish is an old language, and there is a long history of books published in the language. Although many have been translated to English, sometimes meaning, tone, and other facets are lost in translation. 

Why bother with a translation if you could read the real deal? Experience great classic novels like Don Quixote, found on Amazon, the way Miguel de Cervantes intended. Besides “Don Quixote,” you can read many other great Spanish novels (Amazon linked), such as:

You will also be able to read Spanish magazines, Spanish websites, and Spanish instructions. Have you ever received instruction manuals in Spanish and lost the English copy? No need to worry if you know both languages!

Watching Spanish Movies and Television

DVD available for purchase from Amazon

Learning Spanish will benefit you by expanding your entertainment! Do you binge-watch shows and movies on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney Plus, or Hulu? You are more than likely to have trouble finding something to watch because you have already seen it all or nothing looks interesting. What if you suddenly had access to thousands of new-to-you shows and movies? Could you find something to watch then?

Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney Plus, and Hulu each have hundreds of shows and movies in Spanish. Besides those streaming platforms, there is a Spanish exclusive streaming service called Filmin, which hosts over 10,000 titles. Filmin is based in Spain. After learning Spanish, make sure you do not miss out on the top Spanish Movies.

There are also an incredible amount of Spanish shows that are worth a watch as well. These could even help you learn once your language skills have advanced a bit.

  • Bala Loca
  • Frontera Verde
  • El Reina del Sur
  • La casa de las Flores
  • Paquita Salas

It might never have crossed your mind that your favorite show is in another language, but it could be. Maybe you already watch shows and movies in Spanish. Imagine how much better it could be without subtitles.

Listening to Spanish Music

One word – Shakira. Ever wonder what she is saying in all of her catchy, hit songs? If you know Spanish, you can follow along and understand the meaning, which will provide you with a better connection to the music and make your hair stand up.

Like literature and film, there is a large catalog of music that will open up to you. If you enjoy music and learn Spanish, you should be excited about all the new tunes you can jam to (and understand).

Besides Shakira, you will be able to enjoy these top Spanish musicians (links to Amazon) too!

If you are a music writer or a singer, you can sing and write songs in the Spanish language. You will be able to create more meaningful songs and entertain more people with your Spanish singing capabilities.

Enjoying Spanish Podcasts 

Like television shows, movies, music, and literature, you will be able to listen to Spanish podcasts once you know Spanish. Podcasts have been growing for years, and recent data suggest that they will continue to grow in all languages. There are over 50 million podcast episodes available. 

Knowing Spanish will give you access to the top Spanish podcasts. These are all wonderful choices which can also give you the benefit of further learning the language. 

TED en espanol
  • TED en espanol 
  • Nomadas 
  • Radio Ambulante 
  • El souvenir 
  • Posta FM

Podcasts are a nice way to enjoy the Spanish language. You can listen to them on your drive to work, while you walk your dog, or while you are doing chores around the house. Spanish podcasts are a great way to stay connected to the language and to learn more about the culture.

Traveling to Spanish-Speaking Countries

Learning Spanish will benefit you by enhancing your travel experience! If you have ever traveled abroad to a foreign country, you should recall how difficult it is to get around if you do not understand the native language. If you visit one of the 20 countries that speak Spanish as their primary language and you know Spanish, you will fit right in.

You can go to Equatorial Guinea in Africa and have a far different experience as a Spanish speaker. In central America, there are eight countries, including:

  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Panama

Europe has Spain, North America has Mexico, and South America has various countries, such as:

  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru

If you know Spanish and visit one of these countries, you will be able to get around easier and be less likely to get lost or scammed. You will also be able to communicate directly with the locals and find destination spots off the tourist trodden beaten path. Additionally, the US territory of Peru uses Spanish as its primary language.

Since Peru is a territory of the US, a US citizen can easily visit without a passport. Visiting Peru is a great way to experience a Spanish language and culture without leaving the US. You will be superior to the only-English speaking tourists and will not have to waste time returning to a translator app on your smartphone in every conversation.

Experiencing Spanish Culture

Learning Spanish will benefit you by expanding your cultural hobbies! Have you ever fully immersed yourself in a different culture? Can you fully immerse yourself in the culture if you do not know the language? You likely cannot without speaking the same language. 

Knowing the Spanish language will allow you to experience many cultures throughout the world. Whatever culture you visit, whether it is a Hispanic or Latin culture, you will be able to fully absorb their practices and way of life. 

You can learn salsa or Latin dance, celebrate Los Días de Los Muertos  (The Day of the Dead holiday), or enjoy a great game of fútbol (soccer). You will now be able to enjoy more activities that are part of Spanish speaking cultures.

Learning about other cultures and expanding your world views is a great way to become more empathetic and understanding of other people’s goals, intentions, and desires.

Knowing a Common Language

How common is Spanish in the world? There are close to 7,000 languages worldwide, so how does Spanish rank amongst them all? (I’ve written extensively about second languages around the world here.)

  • Spanish is the second most common language in the world
  • The most common language in the world is Chinese
  • English comes in third

Why are there so many Spanish speakers? Well, the Catholic religion utilized Spanish as its primary form of communication and teaching language in the 15th century. As the Catholic religion expanded in Europe and other parts of the world, the Spanish language grew too.

Additionally, the Spanish language was spread far and wide in the world during the 16th and 17th centuries when Spanish explorers spread the language to the Americas and other regions. The Spanish language is still spreading and is not going away. In fact, it has been growing for some time and is expected to continue to outpace English.

What That Means

It is estimated that over 550 million people speak Spanish, and roughly 350 million speak English in the world. Therefore, 200 million more people speak Spanish than English. That is a staggering difference.

In the United States, rough approximations show that just over 15% of the US population speaks Spanish. Spanish is also growing in the US, becoming more common in the southwest states every year.

By learning Spanish, it will enable you to speak with an additional 550 million people than you did before knowing Spanish.

Coupled with knowing English, you are now able to speak with close to 800 million people in the world.

Spanish also shares some common aspects with French, Portuguese, Romanian, and Italian, giving you the benefit of being able to partially understand those languages and perhaps even pick them up as well. Therefore, with the language being so popular, you stand to benefit a lot from speaking it.

Overcoming a Challenge

Learning any new language is challenging. If you like taking on challenges and overcoming obstacles, learning Spanish can easily scratch that itch. You can break up the challenge of learning Spanish into many smaller milestone challenges. 

  • Learn basic vocabulary words 
  • Learn and understand basic grammar
  • Learn ten or more new words per day
  • Watch Spanish TV/movies with subtitles for one to two hours a day 
  • Talk to fluent Spanish speakers four to five times per week

You could even add more challenges to your list and keep going until you are fluent in Spanish. Giving yourself milestones and smaller challenges with target dates can help keep you stay motivated in learning Spanish. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to get over obstacles like you desire.

Setting goals in the process of learning Spanish will help you stay on track and learn faster!

The Discipline of Learning Spanish Can Be Applied Elsewhere

Learning Spanish is work and that work will benefit you by preparing you elsewhere! It requires hard effort and persistence. If you become disciplined enough to keep grinding through it and apply Spanish to your day to day life, you will develop skills to get work and projects done faster and better. 

The discipline of learning a language will boost your confidence. You will think to yourself – learning XYZ or doing ABC tasks will not be so hard compared to the grand accomplishment of learning Spanish. Go on, apply your newly chiseled discipline to other areas of your life!

Love and Finding Your Life Partner

Finding a life partner and romance can be a life goal for some people. Learning Spanish will benefit you by opening you up to a larger possible dating pool as you would now be able to communicate with Spanish speaking men and women. Others hope that finding someone will just happen passively while they are not looking for love, but by learning Spanish, you are actively increasing your chances of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right! This includes:

  • In-person dating
  • Dating apps
  • Dating websites

Your dating chances with English speakers may improve too, since speaking two languages can be seen as an attractive quality. Spanish is a romantic sounding language, after all, and will boost your attractiveness and confidence.

Additionally, during the process of learning Spanish, you may end up meeting your future wife or husband. The learning process is a long road. The long road will take you across the paths of many people you would have otherwise never met if it were not for learning Spanish.

Spanish can bring partners together.

Making Friends

Finding friends is similar to finding a life partner. You will likely make new friends while you are learning Spanish, and those friends will help you better understand the language. 

If you know Spanish, you will have the benefit of making new friends that also speak Spanish. Remember the 550 million Spanish speakers in the world? Call them up, shoot them a text, or add them on Facebook and make millions of new friends!

Jump in on New Conversations

Have you ever been visiting a restaurant, mall, or another public area, and you overheard people speaking Spanish and wondered what they were saying? If you knew Spanish, you would be able to understand them. Sometimes not knowing something makes you want to understand it more.

If you’re able to understand Spanish conversations out in public, you can jump in and provide help if you think you can add value. 

For example, if you overhear someone at the mall ask where the bookstore is in Spanish, you can give them some assistance by telling them where in Spanish.

Being able to provide passive assistance to others in your new language will bring a smile to your face.

Understanding and being able to communicate with more people leads to more opportunities to connect with others.

Impress Friends and Show Off

Everyone has some admiration for other people’s talents, knowing Spanish could be your talent. If you like impressing the people in your life, you can put this skill to use. Impress:

  • Friends
  • Colleagues
  • Family

It might not seem like much, but impressing those around you, particularly in the workplace, can be a great benefit.

You can show off to them by ordering food at a Spanish or Mexican restaurant while only speaking Spanish or be their tour guide on vacation to a Spanish-speaking region!

Get Technical Help Faster

Have you ever called into a business for customer service or technical support and waited on hold for many minutes or even hours? Most large banks, internet service providers, and cell phone providers have an automated option for Spanish. If you do press 2 for Spanish, you will likely get to talk to a real person much faster.

Why? These large companies ensure they are providing superb service to their customers by employing Spanish speaking representatives. Oftentimes these representatives have a smaller call volume in the US because there is a smaller speaking Spanish population.

Speaking Spanish will give you the benefit of being able to fast-pass to the front of the line, skip the hold time, and resolve your issue with a real person much faster.

How Do You Learn Spanish?

You can learn Spanish in a variety of different ways. Whatever methods you choose, it is important to stick with and keep practicing. You need to be sure to include reading, writing, speaking, and listening to Spanish to learn it successfully. Incorporating many methods will help you learn the best. 

  • In-person courses
  • Online courses
  • Language training apps
  • Immersion
  • Textbook

There is no right or wrong way to learn Spanish. As long as you keep learning, practicing, and moving forward, you will eventually become fluent. It is important to learn Spanish by being consistent and using as many methods as possible. 

Learning Spanish through various methods activates different parts of the brain. This will allow your brain to get exposed to Spanish from all possible angles. Incorporating many learning methods is like holding your brain under a waterfall. Using only one method to learn is like holding it under a leaky faucet. 

Your brain will get more soaked with Spanish knowledge under the waterfall compared to the leaky sink!

How Long Does It Take to Learn Spanish?

It takes anywhere from three months to two years to learn Spanish to a point where you are fluent enough to hold conversations. Of course, the length of time varies based on how dedicated you are to learning it.

If you only spend one hour per week studying Spanish, you will become fluent much slower than if you were to completely immerse yourself in Spanish speaking country for a few months and study the language with a passion.

Being “fluent” in Spanish is interpreted differently depending on the person. Some will say you are fluent when you can understand Spanish speakers and read Spanish without assistance. Others will say that you are only fluent if you are immersed in the culture and know all the slang and jargon.

Studying abroad or moving to a Spanish speaking country is the best way to learn Spanish as quickly as possible. Living in a Spanish country is a full immersion into the language. You will be forced to learn every day from dawn till dusk. English will be placed on the back burner, and you will become less reliant on it every day that you speak Spanish.

How Difficult Is It to Learn Spanish?

Learning Spanish as a native English speaker is one of the easier languages to learn. Spanish shares the same alphabet as English, so you do not have to learn a whole new alphabet like you would with more difficult languages such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Spanish does have some major differences from English as well, which can make it more difficult to learn. For instance, every noun has a gender:

  • “La” is feminine 
  • “El” is masculine
  • Words that end with an “a” are feminine 
  • Words that end with an “o” are masculine

There is also no such thing as possessive nouns, such that “Greg’s beer” becomes “the beer of Greg” or “cerveza de Greg.” Additionally, punctuation is different:

  • There are upside-down exclamation points and question marks at the beginning of sentences that accompany the regular exclamation and question marks at the end of the sentence!
  • The use of a comma instead of a decimal point. The number 332.57 in English becomes 332,57 in Spanish.
  • Languages are not capitalized in Spanish.
  • Days and months are not capitalized in Spanish.

Also, adjectives follow the noun in Spanish. Though, there is a positive as well, which is that spelling in Spanish is easier than in English. Spanish has five vowels, and each one has only one possible sound. Vowels can have long and short sounds in English. It might all sound complicated, but taking it one step at a time makes it possible.

This Is Important

Understanding the sentence structure and grammar is one of the core principles of learning Spanish. If you can grasp grammar and sentence structure early on, you will be setting yourself up nicely to learn Spanish in no time! 

Next, you will have to learn the vocabulary! How is it possible to learn thousands of words? The answer is simple – practice, practice, and (you guessed it) more practice!

If you keep immersing yourself, you will eventually remember many words. You will also start to notice patterns of spelling, word structure, and context in a sentence that will allow you to infer what some words mean.

Remember, Spanish is a Latin root language. After you learn it, you can more easily learn the other Latin-based languages too, which are French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.

The Final Talking Point on 16 Ways Learning Spanish Can Benefit You

Learning Spanish will benefit you in a plethora of ways and above, you’ve learned about at least 16! It’ll be a challenge, but one that is certainly worth it. So what are you waiting for?

Additional Sources

https://www.livescience.com/12917-learning-language-bilingual-protects-alzheimers.html

https://www.languagemagazine.com/2019/11/18/spanish-in-the-world/

https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/how-many-languages-are-there-world

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2019/11/18/podcasting-is-going-mainstream/?sh=199329641699

Jackie Booe

Jackie Booe is a licensed teacher for elementary through high school in 3 states. She is a former adjunct professor at the undergraduate level and certified to teach elementary, secondary English, and English Language Learners. She was a mentor for many education interns, has taught and coordinated professional development for teachers and educators, and professionally tutored in a multitude of subjects.

Recent Posts