4 Myths about Learning Spanish
In today's busy lifestyle full of all kinds of sources of information, it is easy to get confused between everyone's opinions and the actual facts.
This is why we wanted to point out some common misbeliefs or excuses that we tend to use most when it comes to learn Spanish as a foreign language.
1. It is too difficult/too much effort!
According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Spanish is actually considered one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers. One of the reasons why we may believe it is difficult is how our education system is built up, concentrating mostly on book-based complex grammar issues and memorizing the vocabulary. There is no real opportunity to actually put your language skills in use during the school years, which is why most of the material is forgotten quickly and the years of GCSE studies may seem like a vague memory. So, do not be afraid of the rolling "R" and getting back to learning Spanish, just make sure you surround yourself not only with a book-based language class, but also with Spanish music, podcasts for beginners, audio books, Spanish meet-ups. Why not try out a personalised private lesson with a native teacher or try to find a language buddy to chat online. There is so much more you can do to fast-forward your language skills.
2. I don't really need to learn Spanish.
That may as well be true, but if you are a student or a professional trying to build a successful career, an additional language can make you stand out much more, because it does not only show an additional skill to be proud of, it shows dedication, an open mind, knowledge of the culture, and an enormously useful skill of being able to communicate with an additional ~500 million people in the world. Great opportunities and "luck" are always there, but we have to be prepared to accept them, and the more you have to offer, the more opportunities you will get.
3. I'm too old to learn a new language!
This is a common language learning myth: it is harder to learn a language as an adult, but in fact this concept may be flawed. Children may acquire better pronunciation when learning a language at a young age since they are also learning to pronounce their mother tongue, but adults have actually better metacognitive skills than youngsters, which means that they are able to teach themselves better. Along with that, adults usually have a specific reason for language learning to give them extra motivation that children lack, and they generally have much larger vocabulary in their mother tongue enabling them to pick up vocabulary much quicker than children.
4. Everyone can already speak English!
Only about 330 – 360 million people speak English as their native language, whereas there are around 480 million people whose mother tongue is Spanish. Fair enough, adding the ones who can speak English (although it is not their native language), there are about 1.5 billion people who speak English. Still, it is only 20% of the whole world population. Both Spanish and English are in the top three of world's most spoken languages and you would be surprised to experience how few people in Spain or Latin America can fluently communicate in English — just take a trip to a rural area.