By: Cailin Kearns
There are some aspects to learning a new language that can seem like daunting barriers to overcome. Time, patience and willpower are all necessary in order to hurdle these challenges of learning a new language.
An often misconceived notion of learning Spanish is that if you are a native English speaker, or have a strong grasp on the English language, it can be easy since many words are cognates. This is partially true seeing as Spanish and English do share thousands of words that have similar meanings and etymology, and are even closely related in spelling and pronunciation. But, that doesn't mean that you will be able to master the language immediately.
Our minds work to comprehend and understand words and the meanings they formulate. Therefore, even though Spanish and English share common traits, each language expresses words and thoughts differently. Two examples of this are seen in a different ordering of the parts of a sentence and the complete contrast in how to divulge a certain emotion or feeling.
Immersion is really important to grasp all the minute details that will eventually turn you into a fluent speaker of a new language. Seeing as Spanish is one of the leading languages of the world there are a growing number of possibilities to learn the language. But the best way would be to dive right into Spain's dynamic culture.
When you become surrounded with a language that you have little, or no, understanding of you are forced to practice and thus, you will improve. Of course there will be many mistakes made, but that is all a part of the learning process; the process which, in time, will develop you into a stronger, more knowledgeable and even more qualified person in many aspects.
Not only are you gaining a new vocabulary and set of grammatical rules, when you allow yourself to take in a new language you will gain the capability to understand things better...you open yourself up to a new way of thinking. Research has also shown that besides these benefits, learning a foreign language can increase your memory capacity, and even help lessen the declines of mental status from aging.
Cailin lives in Málaga, Spain and works for Go Study Spain, which offers Spanish courses at top universities throughout Spain.