Like English, Spanish is an important and widespread language in the world. The Colonial Era caused both languages to be spread to the far corners of the globe. Along with French, these languages are the closest thing to a lingua franca that we have today.

South Beach in Miami, Florida

South Beach in Miami, Florida

In the U.S., Spanish is the second most commonly used language. Although it is not an official language of the U.S, the relatively high percentage of Latino immigrants means that it is in widespread use in some parts of the country, including California, Florida and New Mexico. There are parts of Los Angeles and Miami where Spanish is the dominant language. If you want to improve your employability within American borders, Spanish is the single most important second language you can learn. In some areas, if you do not speak both English and Spanish, it can be nearly impossible to get certain jobs. They go prefentially to bilingual applicants.

Outside of Spain, Spanish is an official language in multiple countries, most of them concentrated in South America. The list includes Puerto Rico, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Honduras. If you want to travel or work in any of these countries, learning Spanish is essential. Spanish is also an official language of the United Nations.

Outside of the countries where Spanish is an official language, there are several countries beyond just the U.S. where Spanish is a major language. These include Belize, Gibraltar, Andorra and Brazil. 

Learning Spanish also opens doors culturally, giving one access to books, movies and music that are either bilingual or only available in Spanish. Even if you do not use Spanish as part of your job or to conduct the business of your day to day life, like shopping or ordering a meal in a restaurant, being able to understand literary or artistic works in their original language adds nuance that is often lost in translation. If you are a fan of a particular art form or musical style typically performed in Spanish, learning Spanish will enhance your understanding and enjoyment.

If you are studying Spanish and getting frustrated, try to find something fun and easy to help you keep your interest. Some day, you will be glad you did when you are more fluent.