I started learning Spanish about 18 months ago. I love travelling and exploring the world, but I also like to think I’m a pretty logical person, so as I was travelling more, it made sense to start learning a second language.
I visited Wikipedia to learn what the most widely spoken languages are, both by population and by country. I learned that Spanish is actually spoken by more people than English is, making it second after Mandarin. I also discovered that Spanish is recognised as an official language of 20 countries, making it the fourth most useful language for travelling, after English, French and Arabic.
So, based on the criteria of reasonably easy to learn for a native English speaker plus widely spoken around the world, French and Spanish seemed the most logical choices. My wife was learning French, so it seemed logical that since we travel together, I should learn Spanish and then between us we would be able to understand the official languages of 107 countries around the world. The similarities to Portuguese and Italian means I can also get by ok in another 14 countries that have one of those two languages as an official language.
It’s mind-blowing how much bigger the world gets for an English speaker when learning Spanish.
Matthew, Still as Life