Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Fernando: 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, please, this is the time, you’re never too young or too old to learn.
JP: That’s right.
Fernando: So that’s going to do it for today, thank you for listening.
JP: Thank you for having me, Fernando.
Fernando: Thank you, and we’ll see you in All About Spanish 2. Thanks!
JP: Hasta luego.
Fernando: Bye-bye!