Reason #1 Language is a portable skill
Updated: Jan 21
The first of six key advantages to learning and using a language.
In most parts of the US, we are a bilingual country. Because of this, and because knowing a
decent amount of Spanish is helpful in many jobs, Spanish classes seem to be on every corner. But I don’t hear many Americans enjoying an ordinary conversation in Spanish. It seems too daunting to learn the verbs and idioms. They use only whatever small amount of Spanish they might need and give up their hopes of using it in real life.
This is a waste. Just think of all the practical, everyday reasons to limber up your Spanish in
today’s global world. It would be an advantage at work, at school, and in public. You would
enjoy knowing enough tourist Spanish for a trip. Even beyond that, let me offer six other
advantages you may not have considered. The first is in this blog post, but keep reading future posts for more.
#1 Language is a portable skill.
Everything else you might do in your leisure time has requirements. You’ll need special equipment, special places, suitable partners, particular times, fees and dues. Even something as seemingly simple as playing bridge demands cards, partners, arrangements to get together, and a card table.
Everything you need lives in your mind. You're always ready to have a conversation.
Not so with knowing Spanish. Everything you need lives in your mind. If your house burns down with everything in it, you can still speak Spanish. If you’re confined to bed, you can still speak Spanish. You always have whatever you’ve learned and that’s all you need. You’re always ready to have a conversation.
Just as an example
I’m driving my husband to the airport for a golf trip. In addition to his suitcase of clothes, he has two pairs of golf shoes, a GPS, a range finder, a golf umbrella, extra golf balls, and a forty-pound golf bag with fourteen clubs.
Leaving him and his gear, I realize once again that, without an ounce of equipment, I’m always prepared to enjoy Spanish, wherever I may be, whenever I want.
Going lightly through the world like that is pleasant to think about.
Meet my friend Cyrena.
She walked the 500-mile Camino to Santiago de Compostela, thinking, “I am carrying
everything I need on my back. I am free.” That’s the way I feel knowing Spanish.