There is a whole slew of different reasons why anyone would want to learn a second, or even a third language despite how daunting a task it might seem at the beginning. When you consider the amount of doors a new spoken language can open, it is practically a necessity in this day and age. In exchange for your efforts you would gain access to opportunities not only in the financial side of things (of which there are many), but the outright satisfaction of traveling to different countries, sharing ideas in ways you might never have thought possible.It is quite simply the best of both worlds.
While English would be considered the universal language for most, there are at least two others languages, which are spoken a great deal more, one of them being Spanish. Coming from a vast and diverse culture spanning hundreds of years, with its native speakers alone covering a massive 5.85% of the world population, there can be no question that the pursuit of this particular language is a worthwhile and rewarding endeavor.
Which raises the valid question, “Where would the top destinations be for practicing one’s Spanish?” While anyone can improve by studying this language head-to-toe with the aid of trusty Spanish translation programs to keep from being overwhelmed, eventually you will need to truly put your skills to the test.
Fortunately because of how widely spread Spanish has become, it is actually relatively easy to choose! Here are just a few of the top destinations to get you started on mastering this beautiful spoken language.
When it comes to general accessibility and the ease of which you can practice Spanish, there are few places that match the comfortable yet vivid allure of Mexico. Considering the fact that it is known for being the most populous Spanish-speaking country, there’s a reason why it makes the very first spot in the list.
Don’t let that intimidate you however, as Mexico houses a great deal of people who speak English, a language that practically everyone knows in this day and age. This, paired along with the fact that the country houses beautiful cities and even Caribbean beaches, makes this an easy first choice for anyone who wishes to practice their Spanish.
It is also a well-known fact that languages are often most expressive when it comes to their cuisine, and Mexico is no exception. If you could give the Spanish language a scent, a good deal of it would most likely come from the kitchens that litter the humble streets of this country. The natives are also known for being hospitable and are about as likely to help you get a firm grasp of their native language as they are to invite you over for dinner. After all, there’s a reason why it is known as the one of the most visited countries in the World, with the beautiful Mesoamerican ruins to explore and get in touch with nature – and the Spanish language of course.
Argentina is a little more challenging as far as practicing Spanish goes. Mostly because of their unique accent a mix between Italian, French and Spanish. The good news is that if you don’t know Spanish, you can still get by confortable on English since most of the Argentine’s are bilingual. It will be a little more difficult to appreciate the wonders of Argentina without a grasp of the Spanish language, which is why it makes such an excellent place to practice your Spanish. There are many Spanish Schools in Argentina and most of these Schools, like Vamos Spanish Academy are located in Buenos Aires City.
Argentina is a truly fascinating destination, and is also a tourist hotspot, being most famous for its music and the intricate tango. The fact that Argentina immerses you in its culture so very intensely means that you are going to get a crash course in Spanish whether you are prepared to or not. It is a wonderful and an exciting destination for anyone interested in practicing this versatile language, and also for the cosmopolitan soul who appreciates some of the fine things life has to offer.
If this happens to be your destination of choice, prepare to wow your friends when you return with not only a much firmer grasp over Spanish, but also a mean tango. After all, in Argentina there are Tango dance lessons being offered in almost every corner.
While Argentina might hold the monopoly on the tango craze, Colombia on the other hand is very well known for its salsa craze. Similar to Mexico in that it is one of the most populous locations for native Spanish-speakers, its sights and sounds inspire the best in anyone who wishes to speak the language. It is also known for being very linguistically diverse, so you will not find yourself having too difficult a time practicing the language in Colombia.
As a matter of fact, the sheer visual history that this country provides makes it one of the most inspirational hot spots to practice the Spanish language in the world. With over three thousand years’ worth of Colombian art to appreciate alongside its winding streets of fine cuisine and a thriving salsa scene, you’ll be meeting up with Spanish students just like yourself and sharing notes over a hot cup of authentic coffee from the hills of Colombia. This combination of culture and comfort is bound to get anyone’s creative juices flowing, ensuring that you learn the Spanish language quickly, and effectively.
Galapagos. The name alone seems to hint at wonders you would not see anywhere else – which fits great Ecuador like a glove. As a matter of fact, anyone who is looking for inspiration in general should give this place a visit at least once. There can be no denying that its mix of history, vivid sights, and deep culture practically make this a Spanish language pilgrimage more than anything. It is once again on the more challenging side as the languages are diverse but not common, with its Spanish being influenced by not only Bolivia and Peru, but the fascinating indigenous languages that litter this breathtaking land as well.
For those who are looking to really practice their Spanish, this place is absolutely remarkable. Even those who have no intention of improving this language would visit just for its laundry list of world wonders. The list includes the Amazon rainforests, the aforementioned Galapagos and even the Andean mountains.
While this is a destination truly worth visiting, understand that there won’t be as much handholding here compared to places like Colombia and Mexico. Consider this top destination only if you are serious about grasping and practicing the Spanish language.
Last but certainly not the least, it would be a complete disservice to the Spanish language if we did not include its point of origin in this list. After all, which place is better than the very country where this particular spoken language was birthed?
However, there is most definitely a reason why it takes the fifth spot. The choices above are extremes of comfort, culture, immersion, and wonder. Spain provides the aspiring linguist with all of these in a more balanced fashion, which makes this a practical but also a challenging decision for anyone who wishes to learn its language. It provides a comfortable and stunning setting, but it won’t hold your hand either. It has its fair share of beautiful cities, beaches and wonders that will leave any tourist completely satisfied, and a powerful culture that leaves the aspiring Spanish student all the better for it.
However, you won’t just be visiting Spain for the fun of it – it’s to truly take in the language and practice so that you can master and avail of all the opportunities it has to offer. If you find yourself wanting to experience a little bit of everything in this list, then look no further than Spain, because it simply will not let you down.
Spain is also known for having the most delectable cuisine in all of Europe. If food is something you feel is integral to the learning process (which it is), all the more reason to choose this incredible destination.
What Are You Waiting For?
For anyone aspiring to learn a second or third language, Spanish is most definitely one of the most useful and one of the most rewarding languages to learn. Each and every top destination mentioned above is worth a visit, as every single one has its own sets of advantages you can avail of. Whether it’s improving your speech alongside your dance moves, or finding an almost mystical environment with which to feed your creativity and hasten the learning process, they are all worth visiting.
As a matter of fact there are many others that deserve an honorable mention, such as Guatemala, though you can make the trip if ever you decide to practice your Spanish in Mexico. The fact of the matter is, because this language is so very widespread, it is not too difficult to find destinations on the map that will help you practice. The possibilities are endless, and the choices are yours to make!
Sean Hopwood, MBA is founder and President of Day Translations, Inc., an online translation and interpreting services provider, dedicated to the improvement of global communications.