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5 Reasons to Make 2021 Your Year to Learn Spanish

Stop simping and learn Spanish

By Andrea DoePublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

1. It’s still COVID Quarantine, what else are you gonna do?

If you’re still combating boredom and have too much free time on your hands, then I think learning Spanish is the right thing for you. I think you should make Spanish your language of choice over others because if you, like me, are currently stuck in the U.S. that means you are stuck in the most Spanish-speaking country after Spain itself. The utility of the Spanish language in the U.S. is unmatched. So, if you want to understand what Puerto Ricans are saying in passing, if you want to order in effortless Spanish at that Mexican restaurant, then get to studying!

2. To combat mental illnesses that COVID is exacerbating

According to NatGeo, more than 40% of U.S. residents have experienced concerning levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and drug dependence since the beginning of the lock down last March. This is double the prevalence since previous years. Former hindrances such as cost and lack of insurance have only gotten worse with the economic disturbances COVID has caused. Those who have access may not choose to seek help because of fear of catching COVID. As well, online therapy or psychiatric treatment may not be as quality. The isolation is killing us. The loneliness is closing in, and some of us need something to keep us sane. That’s where Spanish comes in. Taking up a language as popular as Spanish can help with assuage the symptoms we’re all feeling. Learning any language works out your brain, keeping it young and strong. As well, you can join Meetup groups, reach out to your friends (Latino and non-) who are interested in Spanish, or meet new people through tutoring and language apps. By expanding and strengthening your social network through Spanish, you would literally be keeping yourself alive. As well, feeling the satisfaction of increasing your Spanish knowledge or getting something right (even after getting it wrong) can be a self-esteem booster — something much needed during this time. I’m not recommending that you don’t seek professional help, but…I’m just recommending a little remedy in the meantime.

3. The U.S. is getting more Hispanic and you’re starting to feel it.

This especially goes for non-Latino dominant regions like the Midwest that are becoming increasingly more Latino as new waves of people move in.

For you….You couldn’t help but hear Spanish music playing outside of Chipotle. Some of the Top 5 Netflix shows in the country are Spanish-speaking. A couple of years back, Despacito was bumping on your radio every hourly rotation, and you knew not one word. Pre- and AD quarantine, you see Latinos breaking records and taking names: The Super Bowl last year, J. Balvin headlining Coachella, J.Lo sneaking in that Spanish speech at the inauguration. While you were re-watching anglophone Stranger Things, Puerto Rican trapper Bad Bunny’s album became the first all-Spanish language album to reach number one on Billboard. He was also the most-streamed Spotify artist of 2020. Did you know Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens? Yea, you can’t continue to run from that fact, and also the fact that they can’t vote as a U.S. territory and not a state. You heard trapper Travis Scott on that one McDonald’s commercial but also reggaetonero J.Balvin in a McDonald’s commercial entirely in Spanish. More and more of your commercials are entirely in Spanish. More and more of your favorite Pop and Rap songs are having guest verses entirely in Spanish. It’s time to face the music. Learn Spanish before you and the other monolinguals become obsolete. There are 60 million Latinos in the U.S. 18% of our total population, and that number is only projected to rise. You continue to look bad confusing churros with chimichangas. You continue to make a fool out of yourself forgetting that Mexico is in North America. Stop simping, rally up some friends, and start Spanishing.

4. You’ve made Latin Pop your new workout genre of choice but you understand 0% of the songs

If you’re one of the determined quarantiners out there that have been able to stick to a workout routine, good for you! If you’ve made a Latin Pop playlist your go-to for working out, even better. But you have to admit: it’s hard enjoying the full experience of a song without knowing what it’s saying. As one could guess, Latin Pop is not the most substantive, but are you looking for deep lyrics in the midst of a hundred squats? Probably not. But at the very least, jogging, lifting, and esp. dancing, you should know where the artist is telling your body to go and understand the rhyme schemes that rappers are putting together in their songs. It could help motivate you more to finish your workout. Also, if you want to get into more genres like reggaetón, bachata, and cumbia, Latin Pop is a good place to start. Lastly, and most importantly, people have praised me for my stellar Spanish accent, and I attribute that mostly to Spanish music. Listening to music and repeating lyrics is the surest way to get you speaking Spanish like a native. You’ll become a better listener, improving your comprehension of different Spanish accents, you’ll probably pick up an accent as well, and you’ll learn some Spanish slang, most likely from Puerto Rico.

5. To broaden your sense of what it means to be American.

If there’s anything that learning Spanish did for me was expand my sense of what it means to be American. No, not just a U.S. citizen but a citizen of the Americas. Learning the history of Spanish colonization in the U.S. and down and learning (unfortunately), U.S. involvement in the politics of Latin America — Mexico to Chile made me see how connected we are. We share a common, dark history (indigenous genocide, bringing in slaves, Western European predominance) that diverges much less than I thought. We also possess the fortitude to go beyond that past, to build a freer future, and shake off the relics of our colonial predecessors.

At the end of the day, we’re all a mixed-up mess of multiculturalism, violence, and pluralistic tolerance. Documentaries, TV shows, and cultural fun facts at the end of every lesson in my Spanish textbooks endowed me with this sense, and I’m proud to have it. I believe there is a common American destiny, but its border starts at the tip of Argentina and ends in Canada (and although Quebec is cool, the most common thought patterns, ideologies, and cultural exchanges happen in the Spanish language). I think we can reach that American horizon from trauma to healing, disunity to accord, violence to peace. It’s just going to take some time and effort. For me, being apart of crafting that destiny starts with improving my Spanish.

So whatever reasons rings louder for you, make 2021 your year to learn Spanish.

Sources: upon request

pop culture

About the Creator

Andrea Doe

I am a poet and writer based in Cleveland, OH. I graduated from Case Western Reserve University where I received my B.A. in English. I published my first book of poetry entitled "Nightmare." in 2018, and it is available on Amazon Kindle.

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