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Cuestiones con Cruz: ¿Qué difícil es aprender el español?

Si puedes leer esto, significa que tienes un poco de conocimiento del idioma español. ¡Felicidades! No sé de ti, pero yo amo a la idea de la capacidad de hablar más de un idioma. En mi opinión, es un ejemplo de trabajo duro e inteligencia. También, puedes conocer a más gente y aprender sobre culturas diferentes. 

However, it is very difficult to learn another language. You need to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the effort. Also, the process can be very frustrating. Sometimes you feel like you have a very complex understanding of the language, and later you talk with a native speaker and it makes you realize you do not know anything. 

I understand all of these frustrations a little too well because I have been trying to learn Spanish all my life. Both of my parents speak the language, and for my dad, it is his first language. My sister and I grew up with the language, but, as you can imagine, there are not very many opportunities to learn and practice Spanish when you live in Northern Ohio. 

Many times, we were the only Latinas in our community, and we were not exposed a lot to the culture. We spoke Spanish a little at home, but it was not enough to achieve fluency.

I began to learn the language in a formal environment when I was in the seventh grade. I have studied the language for almost seven years, and, furthermore, I have had the opportunity to live in two Spanish-speaking countries for two months each. However, I still have days when I feel like I have forgotten everything I have learned.

Other people who speak a second language know the feeling when you cannot find the words to express yourself completely. I always joke that I am funnier and smarter in English than I am in Spanish. 

Spanish is the second–most spoken language in the U.S. According to an article from Forbes, 13% of the population speak the language at home, and the country has the second biggest population of Spanish speakers. The number of Spanish speakers is predicted to grow in the future. 

According to The Economist, nowadays, apps like Babbel, Duolingo and Rosetta Stone make the process easier. According to Duolingo’s website, the majority of American users used it to learn Spanish during 2020.

Furthermore, if your first language is English, you have an advantage. Because the languages share an alphabet and are both romance languages, it is easier to learn one from the other. Also, there are a lot of cognates, or similar words, between them. 

If you want to learn and you speak English, it is my recommendation for you to practice every opportunity you have. This can include listening to music or watching movies in Spanish. For me, I like to watch television shows and movies with subtitles in Spanish. A lot of the time, I find myself reading the subtitles more than watching the screen. Also, listening to music is a great way to familiarize yourself with the language. There are a ton of artists you can listen to and enjoy.

En conclusión, ​​aprender el español es difícil pero factible. Requiere dedicación y tiempo, pero la recompensa vale la pena.

Alyssa Cruz is a junior studying journalism and Spanish at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Alyssa by tweeting her at @alyssadanccruz.

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