Reasons I Should Be Fluent In Spanish
Start writing a post

Reasons I Should Be Fluent In Spanish

I mean, for one thing, there are 52.6 million people in the United States alone who speak this language.

Reasons I Should Be Fluent In Spanish
Know Your Meme

I’ve underestimated how much Spanish I actually know. Up until just recently, Spanish was a language that kind of freaked me out because I didn't know it. My palms would get sweaty and I would mostly just play dumb when I heard it avoiding the possibility of my answer being wrong. What was actually wrong was my aversion toward the language. I grew up in a household that spoke mostly English, with the exception of my Filipino mom yelling Filipino words at my brother and me when we were in trouble. And even though I took a Spanish class for three years in high school, I wouldn’t necessarily say I took it with the intention of actually learning the language but rather passing the class. You see, I should be fluent in Spanish. I should be able to keep up with the ridiculous banter of telenovelas. I should be able to understand what the lyrics to the songs I’m dancing to are. I know I should for a number of reasons.

First, according to a New York Post article, it's a language that an estimated 52.6 million people in the United States alone speak. Being fluent would mean that I could talk to and connect with an estimated 52.6 million people in my home country alone. Nowadays, there are more Spanish speakers here in the United States than in Spain, which is not as surprising in all actuality because of how much closer the United States is to Mexico, the country with the most Spanish speakers. And even though it can be assumed that there are still many people who speak English, being fluent in a second language, especially Spanish, puts people at such an advantage when applying for jobs.

In addition to that first point, it is always assumed that I am a part of the 52.6 million Spanish speakers because of my physical appearance. I mean, technically I am because I can speak Spanish, but not as well as I should. Although my mom is Filipino, as previously mentioned, I look a lot like my dad who is Mexican. It's actually uncanny how much I take after my dad. This past week I was vacationing in El Paso, Texas, where my dad's family is from, for my abuelita's ("grandma's" for the non-Spanish speakers) 75th birthday celebration, and I saw some old pictures from when he was a young boy, and I kind of look exactly like him. It's wild. But whenever I'm in a densely populated area, when there is confusion, confused Spanish speakers always turn to me for assistance. Before I would redirect them to my parents or some employee, but now I try to at least smash together some Spanish words that would make sense.

Now that I think about it, my reasons for why I should be fluent are all interrelated to that first point. What I think to be my most important reason is that my abuelita only speaks Spanish. Before high school, the little Spanish I knew had to do with saying "I love you" and asking "how are you?" Phone calls with my abuelita were short and were more or less:

"Hola abuelita! Como está?" ("Hi grandma! How are you?")

"Hola mi niña! Estoy bien! Y tú?" (Hi my girl! I'm good! And you?")

"Muy bien!!!!" (Very good!!!!) (Hey, I was a very enthusiastic child, okay?)

"[insert a really complex (probably not as complex, but complex for the non-Spanish speaker that I was) sentence that I didn't understand]"

"[insert awkward laughter on my end] Well abuelita, I gotta go eat-o! Hasta la vista, bebe! Te quiero mucho! Adios!" (See you later, bebe! I love you very much! Deuces! (just kidding, it means goodbye))

And then after that massacre of a conversation was finished, I would throw the phone back at my dad and eat-o some Cheetos, or whatever my mom had in the pantry. But you get the idea.

For fourteen years, I missed out on so many great conversations I could have had with my abuelita. All the advice and the words of encouragement that could have helped me through the dark days of middle school, gone. Luckily, I picked up Spanish when I did though because the more I matured, the more I was able to appreciate my relationships, first and foremost, my relationship with my abuelita. Although my Spanish is still relatively choppy and my repertoire of word is still relatively small, my conversations with my abuelita are much more comprehensive than from when I was younger.

So this past week, when I went to stay with my abuelita, it dawned on me that I know so much more Spanish than I give myself credit for. This was the first trip that I was able to really understand her jokes and her stories without needing someone to explain them to me, the first trip that I was able to reply and keep the conversations going, the first trip that I was able to really connect with my abuelita.

I still have a long way to go till I become fluent in this language, but I am happily continuing learning Spanish be it through subtitles when I watch movies on Netflix, reading more Spanish poetry, paying more attention to the bilingual signs, and talking to more Spanish speakers. The world is my Spanish classroom and the A is my relationship with my abuelita that I have been able to grow and nurture.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Panic! At The Disco Announces Breakup After 19 Years

Band Makes Breakup Announcement Official: 'Will Be No More'

panic at the disco

It's the end of an era. Originally formed in 2004 by friends in Las Vegas, Panic! At The Disco is no more.

Brendon Urie announced on Instagram that the band will be coming to an end after the upcoming Europe tour. He said that he and his wife are expecting a baby, and the life change weighed heavily in his mind to come to this decision. "Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin," he said.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Odyssey's response writer community is growing- read what our new writers have to say!


Each week, more response writers are joining the Odyssey community. We're excited to spotlight their voices on as they engage in constructive dialogue with our community. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less

To Mom

There are days when you just need your mom

To Mom

There really is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of someone. Imagine that someone being the one who carried you for 9th months in their belly, taught you how to walk, fought with you about little things that only a mother and daughter relationship could understand. You can have a countless number of father figures in your life, but really as my mom always said, " you only get one mom."

Keep Reading... Show less

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

I need someone to show that they want me for me, not that they're using me to chase the idea of being in a relationship.

The Way People In Society are Dating is Why I Don't Date

You hear your phone go off. He's asking you to hang out. Then, of course, you get the advice of your friends to decipher this text. Is it just hanging out or is it more than hanging out? You've probably done this at least once in your life or at least seen a tweet where someone posted their screenshots with a potential love interest.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Winter Break As Told By 'Friends'

Is a month at home too much to handle?


If you're anything like me, winter break is a much-needed light at the end of the tunnel after a long, stressful semester. Working hard for 15 weeks can really take a toll on a person mentally, physically AND emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to be back at home with your family and friends, but after a couple weeks, it can get, well... boring.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments