Why You Really Should Learn Some Spanish

The other day I was complaining to one of my daughters about Facebook and the constant changes. “I really don’t want to have to learn all the tech stuff. Why can’t things be simpler?” I moaned. Her response was, “Dad, no one is asking you to be a programmer or to use complicated programs. But you do have to learn enough to get by. So stop complaining and just do it.”

Of course, she was right. But the old guy in me didn’t like it.

That old guy wants to rest and relax. Although I find learning challenging, I feel I’m at an age where if I don’t continue to challenge myself with new things, I’ll wither and die. So I said to myself, “Quit whining, Warren. Suck it up and do what needs to be done.”

Instead of complaining about having to learn new things, I’ve decided look on the bright side and think about the benefits. And in the case of Facebook, it’s staying in touch with my family and friends around the world.

You probably feel the same about learning a new language. If you’re contemplating moving to a Spanish-speaking country, then learning to speak Spanish really has to be on your to-do list.

But here’s the cool part…you don’t have to learn tenses or be able to read Spanish literature. You just need enough to get by.

For over 20 years, I’ve been teaching Spanish to expats. Folks just like you and me who would prefer to relax and not have to work at stuff. So, in the spirit of empathy and practicality, I’ve developed a course and a system of learning that works for us. It is simple, direct, fun, and everyone succeeds…no matter what your age.

Even knowing a little Spanish, can have amazing benefits. Over the years I have seen remarkable examples of people who have expanded themselves, reinvented themselves, and done things that they would never have imagined…just using the little Spanish they learned in my lessons.

Arequipa, Peru
Learning the native language can help expats create relationships and friendships with locals and neighbors.

Take Scott and Sheila Fossett. Scott recently retired from a career as a Walt Disney artist. After retiring he and his wife took one of my courses. They spoke no Spanish before the course and afterwards they took a three-week trip to Peru and were amazed at how well they did speaking the local language. They now have the confidence to travel anywhere they want in the Spanish-speaking world. That is what I mean by expansion.

When I talk about reinventing yourself, it makes me think of Tom Watson. Tom, a retired math teacher, started teaching English to his neighbor’s kids. Over a period of two years he was able to grow his class to the point where he got two other volunteers to help him. He has now opened a small school for his neighborhood kids. And as well as teaching the kids English, he’s improving his Spanish.

My friend Suzanne Sparks never imagined she would be in the food-service business. She got involved in a program where she drives into the country three days a week to deliver meals to school children. She works with and communicates with the children and their teachers…all in Spanish. This program is important to her and she feels she is really making a difference in people’s lives.

None of these people began with a goal other than to learn enough Spanish to get by.

Why should you learn Spanish? Because you never know where it will take you. So, step up, open your mind to new possibilities, and start learning.

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