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Why learn Spanish?

  • 2nd most popular language

    There are 460 million native spanish speakers in the world.
  • Easy to learn

    Spanish is considered one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn.
  • Fun and connecting

    Travelling to Spain is always a more fun and rewarding experience when you can communicate with the locals in their own language.

1000 most common Spanish words

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Inspiring real-life stories of learning Spanish

Why should you start learning the most common Spanish words? Read inspiring real-life stories from people who started learning Spanish.
  • Achieve your goals

    Spanish is the 2nd most widely spoken language in the world - behind Mandarin Chinese. Yet, my location (Houston, Texas) and my business travel puts Spanish squarely as the most useful language for me. 37% of Houstonians speak Spanish and 29% of Texas. I'm close to Mexico and it is similar enough to Portuguese that I can use it when traveling to Brazil. It is also easier to learn Spanish than Mandarin or Arabic for an English speaker.

    When choosing any language, I think the most important thing is to audit what language would be most useful to you and your goals, especially if it is for business.

    Paul Chittenden
  • Better job opportunities

    I have been learning Spanish for over a year. I originally studied for a month years ago while traveling South America and then resumed when I moved to Colombia. Any Spanish speaking country outside of the touristy areas you will have a hard time communicating.

    When I traveled back to the US it has helped me many places speaking spanish going to restaurants in Mexican communities in Chicago. I also helped my friend hire a contractor who didn't speak English well. Speaking Spanish can lead to many better job opportunities. I currently run an Airbnb business and half of my clients speak English the other Spanish. One of the biggest bonuses to learning a second language is that many studies have shown a second language delays Alzheimer's.

    Brandon Kroll, Visiting Bogota
  • Opens doors and windows for friendships

    I am Australian with no family ties to the Spanish speaking community.

    I learnt Spanish to be able to travel South America in 1993 at a time when virtually nobody spoke a word of English in most of the places I wanted to visit. The idea was to make the travel easier and to be able to ask for things, bargain and if needed to use the language to protect myself.

    It was all of these things and more. By learning the language, it opened doors and windows for friendships, to see and understand parts of the Spanish speaking cultures that are otherwise unable to be experienced. This added another perspective to my world view.

    When I returned to Australia, I continued learning. This allowed me to take an exchange program to Spain and do part of my MBA in Spanish. It has allowed me to have had two Spanish speaking girlfriends and many Spanish speaking friends. It has allowed me to communicate with Portuguese speakers who do not speak Spanish or English. It allows me to take tours in Spanish. Moreover, it has allowed me access to one of the three most spoken languages in the world, one that is full of culture, colour, dance and vibrancy.

    Bruce Josephs, Travel Ideology
  • The world gets bigger

    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

  • Communicate with locals

    I know some basic Spanish and I've found that it was great to know a little bit so I could communicate with locals way better in Spanish speaking countries.

    I probably sound like the Latino version of Borat. I know enough to communicate to people and have a conservation - and actually tell some ironic jokes. However, I haven't been to a Spanish speaking country for a while and I need to brush up again. I would mostly speak in present tense, but locals don't care as long as you're making an effort.

    Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world after Chinese and it's a very useful travel language because so many people in a lot of countries speak it. I've found it very useful in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru. It means you get to interact with the locals more and they are more than willing to let you into their world, giving me some of the best experiences I've ever had.

    I also have an Italian background. Ironically, I don't speak Italian, but Spanish and Italian are similar in structure, wording and sounds and my Italian relatives can understand me if I speak Spanish slowly, and likewise.

    There are a number of methods to learn - taking classes before travelling, listening to audio recordings, practising with native Spanish speakers, and immersing myself into the language in the country. Once you know the rules of Spanish, it's quite easy to adapt your English into Spanish, as many words are Latin based. For example, 'information' and informacion'.

    Anthony Bianco, The Travel Tart
  • Truly understand the culture

    I'm a full-time traveller and, before that, a linguist, so I hope I can offer some insight into this. Spanish is the fourth language I learned, but - as a native English speaker - also the most useful.

    There are 20 countries and one territory that use Spanish as an official language - that's around 10% of the world. And., even if you only speak conversational Spanish like I do, that unlocks a lot of cultures. Knowing a language is the best way to truly understand a culture on a deeper level. As well as helping you form deeper connections with the local communities, it allows you to understand people in a way that you otherwise wouldn't.

    Spanish is a particularly great language to learn, not only because it's widely spoken but also because most Spanish speaking countries don't speak English at all. During a solo trip to Colombia this year, my basic Spanish was what allowed me to get around, get to know people and, as a result, write about places that weren't previously covered in English online. That's a huge advantage for my travel blog, but, moreso, it made the travel experience much more authentic and exciting for me. If you're planning to travel to any Spanish-speaking country, knowing even a small amount of the language will make a huge difference.

    Jodie Dewberry, Travel Blogger & Photographer
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

    I started learning Spanish when backpacking around Latin America. Before traveling, I had a thing for Spanish- it always had a wonderful ring to it and seemed like a language I would love to speak.

    Once in Latin America, it made sense to learn Spanish since I wanted to interact with the locals and learn about Latin culture. I took Spanish classes for two months in Bolivia to have a base and get the grammar right.

    One great thing about Spanish is that there are a lot of conversations going on all the time. You would hear a lot, and that I think helped me to learn it more naturally. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but everyone was super kind to me.

    Fast forward two years, I speak it fluently. Other than the fact that I can now communicate with 500 million people more, I have also started doing translation gigs. I am planning to have my blog in Spanish as well. And it has opened the doors to so many things from a beautiful culture.

    Deb, The Visa Project
  • Spoken in 20 countries

    I started learning Spanish simply because it's a really widely spoken language that you'll certainly need at some point in your life, as it's spoken in 20 countries. I noticed I was coming across a lot of Spanish speakers socially, so thought it would be great to be able to converse with them in their own language!

    Spanish is also the 3rd most used language on the internet, with 10% of all web pages being in Spanish, meaning there's lots of opportunities to read!

    It's also a great language for learners, as the grammar is not too complex and there's a lot of vocabulary in common with English or other Romance languages, making it an ideal second language in terms of difficulty.

    Mark Hemming, Translator
  • Makes traveling a lot easier

    I started to learn Spanish as a new hobby during lockdown as I had some extra time on my hands. I often travel to Spain on holidays and so I thought it would be useful to learn. If you learn the basics, it's easier to order food, ask for directions and even check into your hotel.

    As well as this, lots of other countries also speak Spanish, not just Spain. Lots of South American countries like Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, have Spanish as their official language and they speak a lot less English so learning Spanish makes travel in these countries a lot easier.

    Samantha Wragg, Travel Blogger
  • Make local friends

    The most obvious reason to start learning Spanish is to immerse yourself in another culture and make local friends when visiting a Spanish-speaking country.

    In 2012 I set out to travel around South America. I had learned a little Spanish at university before, but it wasn't until I arrived in Colombia until I truly understood how valuable it is to speak the local lingo.

    Thanks to speaking Spanish I got to see a lot of places other tourists never got to experience. I made lots of local friends, got invited to their homes, dined with local families and learned about their lives, worries and dreams.

    One of the best memories was spending the local carnival in a small town in Ecuador. I was with another German traveler, but aside from that we were only surrounded by locals. I didn't even see any other foreigners all day, since they were all headed to the standard tourist attractions or the overrun tourist carnival events in the big cities.

    So yes, for the sake of authentic experience that will last you a lifetime and change your worldview, I highly recommend everyone to learn Spanish before visiting a Spanish-speaking country.

    Chris Kaiser, Click A Tree