Welcome to the second edition of The Everything® Learning Spanish Book and the exciting and diverse world of Spanish! Perhaps you chose this book because you want to be able to communicate with some of your coworkers, neighbors, or clients. Perhaps you want to feel more comfortable traveling in countries where Spanish is the national language. Maybe you enjoy listening to Latin jazz and would like to understand the lyrics to some of your favorite songs. Whatever your reasons for learning this popular language, you've come to the right place.
Don't be surprised when at some point in your mastery of Spanish you find yourself rewarded in ways you had not even considered. When you find yourself in Mexico City and need to ask for directions, imagine the sense of accomplishment you will feel as you approach the first person you see and say confidently, “Perdón! Dónde está la calle San José?” (Excuse me, where is San Jose Street?) Imagine your feelings when the person answers in Spanish and you are able to understand the directions!
Learning Spanish will expand your intellectual horizons. You will be in a position to learn about Hispanic cultures from the inside—by listening to Latin music, reading books in Spanish, and conversing with native speakers. You will have more personal opportunities to witness how other people live day by day in your own neighborhood, on their own terms. Not only will you be able to listen to their opinions on family, life, work, and society in general, but you will be able to come to mutual understanding by sharing your own.
Knowing Spanish might even get you a promotion! Given the trend toward globalization, you will be able to take advantage of many opportunities that already exist, but that you currently know nothing about. The business opportunities are obvious—a larger market for you to sell to or find employment in.
To be sure, learning a new language is a difficult undertaking, but if you persevere, the results will be worth your effort. And there's more good news—Spanish isn't as foreign a language as you might think. Take a quick look at the chapters of this book. I'm sure you'll recognize a few words or phrases here and there. If you ever studied Spanish or another Romance language, something did stick, even if you don't realize it. Even if you've never studied a foreign language before, you'll discover that you already know a few things. Don't feel like you are starting from scratch. You'll see that even those years of studying English grammar will be helpful.
You are about to embark on a very exhilarating and at times frustrating journey that will lead you to look at your own life differently and will reward you with experiences as yet unimagined. Whatever your interests are in learning Spanish, this book will help you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself. Buena suerte (good luck) in your endeavor!