Being able to chat on vacation is great. It’s also great being able to live in a Spanish-speaking country and understand the songs on the radio, watch the TV, and speak to people in cafes and bars. What about your professional life, though?
Are you working in a skilled job or just making ends meet by waiting tables for tourists? Maybe your Spanish is holding you back in terms of your career and the money you earn. While the Spanish you learned in high school might be enough for visiting a Spanish-speaking country, maybe you’re struggling to speak Spanish at the level required to do a high-paying skilled job.
Do you know enough Spanish grammar to do an internship abroad or get a job in a Spanish-speaking country? Why is this so important? What is professional Spanish? Where can you learn it? And what are the advantages of speaking professional Spanish?
Firstly, professional Spanish is a higher register of the language. It’s not the language you’d use in everyday situations down at the supermarket or in a bar. It’s the language of boardrooms, offices, and ornate wooden tables where lucrative deals are being made over a glass of sherry (or jerez).
If you want to get into the world of business in Spain or any other Spanish-speaking country, you have to be familiar with the rules of the language as its used in professional situations, the accompanying terminology, and a completely different manner of speaking to people.
In this article, we’re going to focus solely on the Spanish language in terms of business and how it could help you get much further in your career.
“Learn Spanish online for free”, “Free Spanish classes”, “Learn Spanish online”, “Spanish classes online”, “Easy Spanish, “Free Spanish”, etc. The Internet supposedly offers plenty of different ways to learn Spanish. You’ll find a whole heap of results and while a lot of these resources are great for going on vacation, they’re probably just focusing on the basics.
Do you think any of these results will help you speak Spanish in a professional capacity? Without being rude, do you really think most of these methods are comprehensive enough to learn professional Spanish?
While Spanish isn’t the most complicated language to learn for an English speaker (in comparison to a number of less similar languages), there are still plenty of conjugations to remember, complicated tenses, strict pronunciation, and a nuanced vocabulary to master. Even when you’ve mastered all this, it’s still possible that you haven’t even come across any professional or business Spanish.
Don’t worry, though. If you want to speak Spanish professionally, there are 2 main solutions to choose from.
If you want to learn to speak Spanish professionally, one of the best options is to trust a private tutor. On Superprof, for example, you’ll find the details of plenty of different Spanish tutors.
Spanish classes with a private tutor are far more personal than your typical college class. (Source: pixabay.com)
There are also plenty of tutors who offer webcam classes.
While each student has their own reasons for learning Spanish, you can also find tutors who specialize in teaching Spanish for professionals.
While every tutor is unique, they do all have one thing in common: their objective is to teach Spanish at a higher level than you’d learn at high school or even at college. Some call this “professional Spanish”, “business Spanish, or even just “formal Spanish”. The goal is always to teach you a level of Spanish that will enable you to work in a Spanish-speaking country.
For this, you’ll need a special type of tutor. You might find a young graduate with a degree in Spanish. There are also native speakers, who have completely mastered the various uses of the language. You could also get a Spanish college professor who’s used to teaching “business Spanish” to post-graduate students.
Those learning Spanish can also find bilingual tutors. There are self-taught tutors who’ve spent time in Spain or Latin America working in a business or for themselves and know everything there is to know about business Spanish!
The reason we believe in this method is because we’ve seen so many students quickly progress to a professional level of Spanish with the help of a private tutor. Thanks to Spanish tutorials at home, students have an opportunity to make the most of working individually with their tutor. You’ll never be bugged by other students and you can just concentrate on learning.
Working from the comfort of your own home can help you master business Spanish in a matter of months rather than years. A private Spanish tutor can focus on your weaknesses and teach you the appropriate vocabulary (words, expressions, etc.), the grammar you want to learn (pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, conversation, etc), pronunciation and phonetics so that you can speak Spanish clearly, or conjugations you’re struggling with.
As you know, you can study Spanish at college. This is easily done if you’re already studying languages at college.
There are a number of degrees you can choose to do this. You can study linguistics, Spanish, or even anthropology if you’d like to do some Spanish classes. You can also carry these on as a Master’s degree.
All of these options come with an opportunity to learn the Spanish you’ll need to work in a Spanish-speaking country. You can also focus on:
Spanish or Latin American law
Editing emails, cover letters, and résumés
Learning professional vocabulary
Business organization and hierarchies
In short, there are plenty of ways a program can help you learn to speak Spanish professionally.
It is important to mention that choosing the right school is still very important. You should research which programs and departments offer the best ways to learn professional Spanish.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll end up learning Spanish to a good level. You’ll master the grammar, for one, conversation classes can help you improve your speaking and fluency in Spanish and you’ll also gain good listening comprehension skills.
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is to go where the language is spoken. (Source: skitterphoto.com)
Don’t mess about: you can now go straight to Spain or Latin America.
Whether you do a language exchange program or a summer school, you’ll have an opportunity to practice the formal Spanish you’ve been learning until now. Your goal is simple: Integrate yourself into a Spanish business as part of an internship, working abroad, or a full-time job.
Nothing beats immersion, after all. While private Spanish lessons are still very useful for learning the basics and getting conversation practice, if you want to work abroad, you should go as soon as you can!
Thanks to an internship, you’ll be able to practice your Spanish in a professional environment face-to-face with other Spanish speakers. You’ll be able to chat to colleagues, speak to your managers correctly, and you’ll understand the orders from upstairs and be able to give orders to those below you.
Doing all of this on a daily basis will help you to drastically improve your Spanish. Don’t be shy! Grab the bull by the horns and go for it!
While we know that learning Spanish in this day and age is really important for business, where should we go?
The most obvious answer might be Spain. The language is known as “Spanish”, after all and Spain is the original home of the Spanish language.
What about the Americas? Well, in Latin America, there’s every country except Brazil:
Central America is also home to plenty of Spanish-speaking countries:
How could we not mention the United States? While the US mightn’t be able to give you the same linguistic immersion as some of these other countries, there are a number of states where you can get access to a lot of Spanish. States such as California and Florida are home to a lot of Spanish-speaking communities.
There are also a number of Spanish-speaking businesses. That said, you can’t beat the real thing in a genuine Spanish-speaking country.
Will learning professional Spanish stop you from speaking normal everyday Spanish? Will it stop you from speaking Spanish like they do in the streets, for example? We wouldn’t say so.
If you can master professional Spanish, you’re half way to mastering Spanish. (Source: Ruslan Burlaka)
After all, you can’t really say you’re bilingual if you haven’t mastered both ways of speaking. You have to be able to speak to both types of Spanish depending on the situation you find yourself in. The biggest advantage of learning professional Spanish is that it takes you a step closer to becoming bilingual!