Over the years I’ve spent hours – perhaps days – during travel/queuing/lounging doing word puzzles, so I made the switch to learning Spanish instead. I figured, why not? Not only is being bilingual a widely applicable skill both in the workplace and around town, but throughout the USA, Spanish is the most popular second language in use. Learning Spanish was daunting at first, but after enough exposure and practice, things began falling in place. I’ve made it to semi-fluent after a few months of practice!
Vast Networks of Resources
There are vast networks of resources available for learning Spanish – and every language for that matter! I began with Rosetta Stone, which I highly recommend for anyone venturing into language . However, online resources are also readily at hand. Just yahoo search “Learning Spanish ” or “Basic Spanish” and you’ll have instant free and helpful sources. After getting a general feel for vocabulary start listening to music (Mark Anthony, Juan Luis Guerra, Shakira, etc). Movies are also a good method of practice. One tip is to avoid using English subtitles, I find that when I have them on I tend to learn less (those ‘crutches’ giving the vice of laziness a way to reign). If a movie takes up too much time, Latina TV dramas are surprisingly entertaining and are broken into manageable episodes lengths.
Easy To Expand Your Vocabulary
It’s a constant challenge and I find that the more I learn the more there is to learn, but isn’t that the catch-22 of every project? Spanish culture is rich with tastes and humor. Experience more of the culture around the language by delving into cooking Latin foods . It can be tricky to make recipes exactly right, but after a little practice in the kitchen cooking becomes a great way to impress your friends and family. Learning a language is a slow process, and it took some time before I could understand what’s being said or what words to say. Still, it’s been a worthwhile venture. I can translate occasionally, practice with friends and colleagues, and I feel profoundly more cultured. An added bonus is that sometimes I boast having the ability to mind read (aka overhear comments while I’m out and about), which can be occasionally shocking — but always amusing.
It’s Not As Difficult As You Imagine
If you haven’t considered language study before, I can vouch for it not being as difficult as you might imagine. Learning Spanish is made easier since many words can be guessed by association to English words. For example: it’s no “secreto” that this means “secret”, not hard to apprehend that “aprender” translates to “learn”, and “similar” in Spanish is so “similar” to English that it’s exactly the same spelling. In fact, the hardest part is just remembering what you’ve learned. Keep using your skill as much as possible. It’s both fun and beneficial! Take the leap today.