Hasta La Vista, Baby!

by Chief Spanish Learner on December 17, 2013

Hola, por favour, gracias, adios amigo… See? You already know the basics of the Spanish language, most likely from various forms of popular culture, but with a few more words and phrases you could travel to 21 countries and easily get by on a day-to-day basis.

Spanish is the official language of 21 countries, it’s spoken by over 400 million people as their native tongue, 60 million speak it as their second language, and it’s now more popular to learn than French – second only to English.

Hasta-la-vista,-baby Shirt And due to various films, TV programmes, and musicians, we are subconsciously aware of quite a bit of Spanish already – even without having had a single lesson! Thanks to James Cameron and ‘The Terminator’, we all know how to say “Until I see you again” (“Hasta la vista, baby”), Ricky Martin’s ‘Maria’ lyrics taught us to count to three (“un, dos, tres“), Bart Simpson’s expression of surprise “aye, caramba!” has become a household phrase, who hasn’t sung along to Feliz Navidad at Christmas, and if you’re old enough, you’ll recall Speedy Gonzales running around and getting everyone to hurry up with “arriba, arriba, andale, andale“.

So, yes, we all have the basics thanks to growing up surrounded by pop culture, but with a bit more effort, you could join the dots, and actually hold a conversation – with a real Spanish person!

Spanish is a romantic language, and not just because it sounds it, but historically too. Its Latin background means much of the vocabulary is similar to English, and it’s relatively easy to pronounce – once you’ve got your lisp down pat.

As with English, the sentence structure is subject + verb + object, but then it gets a little trickier with their feminine and masculine articles, and adjectives following the word they’re describing, but what are a few grammatical differences between friends?

For food, wine, dance, music, scenery, art, culture, history, and romance, you can’t beat Spain or its Spanish speaking counterparts, and knowing the language lets you experience it that much more – and if almost 500 million people can learn and speak it, so can you!

This post was written by Victoria B-C, a keen traveler, lover of languages, and writer for Listen & LearnLearnSpanishContributor in London.

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