Spanish is spoken in 21 countries and many large cities around the world by over 437 million people. The ability to speak Spanish takes a tremendous importance in today's international traveling and global economy where Latin American culture has a strong appeal, and conducting business with Spanish speaking countries has become essential.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY "I SPEAK SPANISH" ?
Globalization is shrinking the business world. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives across English speaking countries are awakening to the significance of Hispanic consumers, to their growing purchasing power, and to the importance that their employees in key positions have the ability to say,
"I speak Spanish" —even if it is only "un poquito."
Being able to say, "I speak Spanish" will not only enhance your employability over your monolingual counterparts, but will transform your travel experience by taking you to places you probably have never imagined.
Don't confine yourself to all-inclusive resorts full of tourists and staff speaking English. If you want to explore Spain or any Latin American country, talk with local people, enjoy authentic food and experience traditions and customs, learn Spanish, because while you can certainly travel without knowing any Spanish, your trip will in no way compare with the incredible adventure that awaits the traveler who speaks the language. Even simple things, such as reading signs and menus, asking directions or telling a cab driver where you want to go requires some knowledge of Spanish. Hispanic people are amazingly friendly and generous, and if you speak Spanish you will find yourself being welcomed in a way that would never happen if you speak only English.
Simply put, when you travel to a Spanish speaking country, knowing the language will enrich your experience and will take you to places you have never imagined!
Giant Kites Festival. Santiago Sacatepequez, Guatemala.
Photoillustration: Juan Lopezdabdoub.