With more than 55 million Hispanics living in the United States, totaling 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide, learning Spanish has become a strategic move for 2019. To talk about this issue we interviewed Elizabeth Verna Briceño, co-owner along with Scott Chalom of BnCLanguages, located in Coral Springs, Florida.
“Learning a language gives you a universe of opportunities that people who speak only one language do not have”, says the experienced professor-turned-entrepreneur.
“Not only can you access a better job, but it opens opportunities to have relationships with more people in the world. It is a world of possibilities”, she enthusiastically adds.
La Familia de Broward: Why do you recommend learning Spanish?
Elizabeth Briceño: Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and every day is occupying a more important position every day. Within 25 years, three out of every five inhabitants in the United States will speak Spanish and, if we look at the map of this nation, the entire east and west coast are populated by Hispanics.
Spanish as a language is growing everywhere, because as long as there are immigrants, like what is happening now, these people will take their language to the country where they are going to be located and in the end they merge the native language and Spanish. It’s amazing how this language has different ways of speaking in different parts of the world.
LF: It is difficult to learn Spanish?
EB: It’s much easier than people think because you read and write it as you hear it. It doesn’t have different sounds like English, where each vowel has a variety of pronunciations. Spanish is one of the four Romance languages, so once you learn how to conjugate in Spanish, that opens the doors for other languages. For the other three, Italian, French, and Portuguese. You only have to learn the phonetics of the language like Portuguese and Italian that are more sung. French is a bit more complex in its pronunciation, but its verbal conjugations are the same.
LF: Is it complicated for an adult to learn Spanish?
EB: It doesn’t get harder. The problem with adults is that they are embarrassed to make mistakes and when you have that feeling in you there is a barrier to progress. Instructors have to use acting techniques many times, because you have to learn to speak and let go without the fear of making mistakes. Particularly now, I have adult students and eight of them are over seventy years old. Doctors have said that learning a new language prevents Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases because our brain cells are constantly being renewed
Verna Briceño concludes by saying “learning another language is amazing because you get involved with the culture of that country or region.”