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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: The All About Spanish Series, this is lesson one. Welcome, everyone. I’m Fernando, I’m here with JP, how are you?
JP: Hola, I’m doing great. How are you?
Fernando: Good! I’m good, thank you.
JP: Alright, I’ve got my top five reasons to study Spanish, because I studied Spanish before. We’ll do that at the end.
Fernando: Definitely. What I want to do right now is give our listeners an idea of Spanish; the different countries, the history behind the language itself.
JP: Ok.
Fernando: At least be brief, please because I know you can get long-winded.
JP: What are you saying, Fernando?
Fernando: I’m just keeping things real. So JP, we all know that there are plenty of countries that speak Spanish.
JP: Around 20; 20 of them where the official language is Spanish, but there’s plenty more countries where Spanish is not the official language, like the US by the way.
Fernando: The US has a pretty big Spanish-speaking population.
JP: Exactly, it’s the 2nd largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, the united states is
Fernando: Second? Wow.
JP: A little bit less than 50 million Spanish speakers, in the United States.
Fernando: 50 million.
JP: That’s right.
Fernando: That’s impressive.
JP: Now I’m taking these numbers from Wikipedia.
Fernando: That’s a good source. So, let’s move along. Now JP, Spanish is a Romance language, right?
JP: Right, that means it came from Latin, and the reason why is because Spain was a part of the Roman Empire, back in the Roman Empire days; everywhere in the Roman Empire they spoke Latin. And in Spain, they kept speaking Latin, and over the last millennia, it has evolved into Spanish. It became other languages, too; in Italy it evolved into Italian, and in France it evolved into French, and in Portugal it evolved into Portuguese.
Fernando: Now there’s another Romance language out there…
JP: You’re talking about Romanian?
Fernando: Right, I was amazed, and actually, when I came across a couple of Romanian friends, I could understand what they were saying.
JP: Right and sometimes if you see Romanian written, if you speak Spanish, you can guess what’s going on.
Fernando: Right exactly. That’s amazing.
JP: Well it’s called “Romanian.” right? Roman empire…
Fernando: Right, right, exactly.
JP: You should have known, Fernando.
Fernando: Hey, I’m just a host, man. You’re the guy with the information. So, we understand where it comes from: Europe. So tell us how it got to the Western Hemisphere; to South America, to Central America.
JP: Ok, well, obviously during the Spanish colonial times (right? Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492) the Spaniards colonized the New World, and they brought their language, and their religion, their food, and their drama…
Fernando: Of course. Now I really need to know, because I will admit, I do speak Spanish, but I grew up in a Spanish household. So my understanding of Spanish came naturally. For you…
JP: I studied it.
Fernando: What led you to learn Spanish?
JP: You want the truth?
Fernando: I think I deserve the truth.
JP: Well… I wanted to learn Spanish because... Well actually the truth is I wanted to learn my parents’ language, it was Filipino, or different kinds of Filipino. They didn’t offer it in school; they offered Spanish, and because the Philippines was also a Spanish colony, I thought, ok, that will help. If I take Spanish first, then I can wait until college to take Filipino. That’s basically why. Now my Spanish is a lot better than my Filipino.
Fernando: Right. Now you teach Spanish…
JP: I do.
Fernando: Now when you’re talking to your students… or a student comes up to you and asks, “why should I learn Spanish?” what do you tell them?
JP: You want my top five reasons?
Fernando: Absolutely.
JP: So here are my top 5 reasons…
Fernando: Do you need a drum roll? We’ll put that in later.
JP: Ok… Top 5 reasons to study Spanish, number five… Spanish is easy to learn. For me it was, and because I’m an English speaker. For people that speak English, Spanish and English are related. There’s a lot of cross over, there are a lot of words that are the same, they are cognate languages; that’s what we say in linguistics. Spanish has the same alphabet as English… with a few variations, but you don’t have to go and learn a whole new set of characters. Also, there are not a lot of exotic sounds that you have to force yourself to make. There’s not a lot of crazy vowels… the Spanish sound system is pretty close to the American English sound system… The other thing is, Spanish speakers are everywhere, and culturally speaking they’re helpful; Spanish speakers tend to be very helpful to people who are learning Spanish… which is not true of other cultures, I have to say.
Fernando: I can see that. This was number five, right?
JP: Number five, Spanish is easy to learn.
Fernando: There you go, I can attest to that. What’s your number four reason?
JP: The number four reason is that speaking Spanish is a professional asset. It has certainly helped my professional life. There are Spanish speakers everywhere in the workplace here in the US, and they’re everywhere from the dish room to the board room. So whether you’re managing a restaurant, negotiating an international trade deal… or maybe you’re serving the public sector, you’re a police officer, a fire fighter, a nurse, or a doctor; people who can speak Spanish are in demand.
Fernando: That is very true.
JP: I speak Spanish every day in the US, whether I’m at work in New York, whether I’m back home in Seattle, or visiting my parents in Las Vegas, every day I speak Spanish.
Fernando: It’s pretty handy, basically.
JP: It is, absolutely.
Fernando: Ok. Reason number three?
JP: Ok, the number three reason is that Spanish is like a passport to travel all over the world.
Fernando: That sounds expensive…
JP: Yah, but it’s worth it, right? because whether you want to hike Machu Pichu, or you want to party really hard in Spain, or if you want to let your worries flow out with the tide on a sandy beach in Mexico, like I do… your ability to speak Spanish helps you, it enhances your travels in the Spanish speaking world… which is a big world.
Fernando: It is a big world. We’re talking 20 countries…
JP: 20 countries where it’s official… Ok, the number two reason?
Fernando: Are you going to mention anything about the cultural aspect, the different gastronomies…
JP: Funny you should ask, because my number two reason for learning Spanish is that when you learn Spanish, you can experience the cultures and cuisines of the whole Spanish speaking world. You can experience flamenco in Spain, you can find out what tacos al pastor taste like in Mexico, and everybody should find out what they taste like… you can play domino in Cuba, you can roast guinea pigs in Peru…
Fernando: That’s exotic.
JP: So there are 20 Spanish speaking countries, you’re going to find something sublime, you’re going to find something exotic too. So if you speak Spanish, you get to experience all these cultures and cuisines that you might never have known existed.
Fernando: This is true, and this is where we add the drum roll effect…. number one?
JP: The number one reason to learn Spanish… is that Spanish speakers are awesome. I always have great times, I have great fun, and I have great friends in the Spanish speaking world, including here in New York, and in the end it always comes back to people anyway; that’s my experience. If you have Spanish speakers in your life, you’ll learn it a lot faster, it’s very easy to learn. And Spanish speakers are relatively easy to have in your life, I really enjoy speaking Spanish to Spanish speakers.
Fernando: That’s great. Thank you so much, JP, that was great information. And everyone out there, if you still haven’t started learning Spanish, this is the time, you’re never too young or too old to learn. So that’s going to do it for today, thank you for listening. We’ll see you in All About Spanish 2.


Please to leave a comment.
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SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Hi folks! Hope you enjoyed this podcast about the Spanish language! Here's a couple questions to start the conversation... 1) Which Spanish speaking countries have you visited, or which ones would you like to visit? Me, I've been to Spain, Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala... and the USA of course, where I speak Spanish every day! 2) Which Spanish speaking communities have been part of your life? I've always had Chicano, Mexican, and Mexican American friends, but I'm lucky to have friends from all over: Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba, Puerto Rico, DR, Andalucia, La Mancha, Catalonia, and the Basque Country. Here in New York City, there are a lot of Puerto Ricans, but Dominicans, Mexicans, and Ecuadorians as well. What about you?

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 05:56 PM
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Hola Tamara,

Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Tuesday at 12:26 AM
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So far, I’ve only visited the USA. I could say that I kind of had the Dominican community in my life.

I’m so excited to learn and, one day, hopefully, speak Spanish!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:53 AM
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Hola Amanda,

You are very very welcome. 😇❤️️ We were so happy to read your positive message!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Thursday at 05:48 AM
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Not a doubt... But I had the urge to say these two podcasters are the best dynamic duo!

They make learning spanish so much more fun!

Thank you for always be here bringing elucidative lessons to us!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:21 PM
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Hola Krishnabhadra Suresh,

We're happy to know you're enjoying the lessons.

Please let us know if you have any questions or doubts.

Sigamos practicando.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Krishnabhadra Suresh
Thursday at 01:38 PM
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Hola! 😄😄Loved this podcast! Seriously, JP and Fernando together are perfect for newbies like me! I am definitely going to recommend SpanishPod101 to my friends! Love from India!

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:38 PM
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Hola Chantae,


We're happy to help you in this new journey.

Please don't hesitate to leave us you questions or doubts.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Sunday at 01:09 PM
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Highlights of today's podcast section on reasons to learn Spanish:

1. Professional asset

2. Travel

3. Culture and cuisine

4. Spanish speakers tend to be helpful to people learning spanish

5. It's easy to learn

Para me, yo quiero apprender espanol porque... the culture and cuisine as well as it being a professional asset.

SpanishPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 11:34 PM
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¡Hola Roxanne!

Muchas gracias for taking the time to leave us a comment. 😇 We wish you good luck with your objectives! 👍

Let us know if you have any questions.



Team SpanishPod101.com

Friday at 11:16 AM
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Hola amigos! My name is Roxanne and I've just begun my journey into the Spaniard culture and the Spanish language. What would your top five tips be for a newbie? I'd greatly appreciate some advice. Also, mucho gracias for this wonderful study podcast!

The only "Spanish speaking country" I've been to is America. I have a very close Mexican-American friend who speaks Spanish and that has encouraged me to learn. My biggest reason for learning is the business pros! I'm going to be attending college for journalism and knowing more than my first language will give me a huge leg up ❤️️