We are all familiar with the KISS principle: Keep it simple, stupid (which I like to substitute for “silly”). Certainly, KISS is the best way to approach language learning. You need to let go of your inhibitions and just roll with it. For me, as a Spanish Language Specialist, the KISS principle has a different meaning: learning the language because your significant other is Spanish-speaking. But aside from wanting Spanish romance and more KISSES, what are some reasons why learning the language can be so attractive when your loved one is Spanish-speaking?
The driest place in the world is in Atacama, Chile. The highest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Argentina. The first street of the Americas is in the Dominican Republic. There is so much to be learned about and from Spanish-speaking countries, and a great way to access that knowledge is through language. Spanish is the language of 21 countries around the world. Chances are you will travel to several of these countries at some point in your life. That, paired with the richness of the cultures and people of Latin America and Spain, will give you enough reasons to pursue Spanish language learning.
Have you ever been told to remember where you come from? Well, nothing says respect like trying to understand your loved one’s past, culture and native tongue. Showing reverence for a culture that is so innately their own is the ultimate expression of love and respect. Furthermore, if your in-laws live in Latin America or do not speak English, by learning their language you are making tangible efforts to communicate with them. Bonding, making that ultimate connection, is your goal.
With globalization on the rise and such a competitive market worldwide, bilingualism is sure to become a prerequisite to access a myriad of opportunities. If you plan on having children, ideally you’d make Spanish the first language in the home in order to give them a solid foundation that remains untarnished when they immerse themselves in a mostly-anglo world outside. This must be reinforced as they grow older.
If you have learned, or are in the process of learning Spanish, don’t be shy. You have a native speaker with you that could help you on this journey. Your prospects really couldn’t be any better than that. Don’t fall into the trap of speaking English at all times because it is more comfortable or because you feel self-conscious. It will get easier.
The quintessential Spanish lover… We’ve all heard about his passion and charisma. And of all the ladies that are trailing behind him! Although certainly many of these ideas have been romanticized by films and good old stereotypes, a small percentage of my male students admit to learning Spanish because they like “Spanish women.” To this I say the more power to you, but remember, when you succeed, do not to tell your South American girlfriend that you like Spanish women. She won’t understand why you are dating her. Spanish is not Latin American.
Love is in the air! Isn’t that enough? For the romantic readers, love is more than enough of a reason. I couldn’t agree more.
Irma is a trained linguist, native Spanish speaker, and teacher. She is the founder and CEO of Diáfano.
For those with no prior experience with Spanish. 9-week course.
For those who can hold a minimal conversation in Spanish, ask for directions, etc.
For those who are conversational and can express emotions in Spanish
For those who are conversational and can express emotions in Spanish. The course is designed to get you to full fluency.