For one reason or another, I’ve taken quite a variety of foreign language classes throughout my school years. While I haven’t practiced any of them long enough to become anywhere close to fluent, I’ve benefitted from each one. I have learned about the cultures in a deeper way, it is easier to get around in other countries with even basic words and phrases, and now they come back quickly if I start practicing them again. Plus, learning another language is great for your brain. If you’d like to grow in your Spanish skills but are a little intimidated, here are some ways to think about it that may make it a little less daunting.
Students in English classes everywhere complain about how the language makes no sense, even if they’ve been speaking it their whole lives. English is a blend of borrowed words and grammatical rules from dozens of other languages, which makes the rules inconsistent and confusing at best. Spanish, on the other hand, borrows much less, making it more consistent. There are exceptions, of course, but once you learn some basic rules, you can generally piece sentences together, helping it feel more like a puzzle than a jungle of memorization.
Unlike many other languages, English and Spanish have similar alphabets, which means you can sound out words with relative ease. There are some different sounds, letter combinations and accent marks, but it’s much easier to learn a handful of those than it is to learn an entirely new alphabet. Since Spanish and English share similar roots, many of the words are similar as well. Sometimes focusing on the similarities can make learning a new language seem less intimidating.
Chances are, you don’t have to go far to practice your Spanish. Whether it’s a Mexican restaurant, a neighbor, someone you’re working with, or a vacation, there are opportunities to practice Spanish all around us, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. There are a variety of apps to help you grow your vocabulary and build on what you already know. You can also practice reading the Spanish section of a dinner menu or of other product labels and signs. Even if you’re shaky at best, chances are people will be more impressed that you tried at all. Just think about who you can connect with, help, or allow to help you because you learned another language. Here are some more motivators for beginning to learn Spanish.
Are you interested in learning Spanish for the first time or brushing up on your skills? This semester, we are offering a four-part Beginning Spanish class series! Each one will build on the one before it, so you can go as in-depth as you like. Eventually, you’ll sit through a class where the instructor is speaking only Spanish! To register click here or call 405.377.3333. To find out about more courses like this sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. View all of our upcoming courses in our digital catalog.
Abby McCain is a Communications and Marketing Specialist at Meridian Technology Center.