A friend recently told me that her goal in life is to learn all the major Romance languages, namely French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. This sounds like a great goal to me. Imagine being able to travel anywhere in Latin America and large stretches of Europe, being able to speak to the locals in their mother tongue and really getting to know the culture! Fortunately for her, she already speaks Spanish.
All Romance languages share a common feature: they are descendants of Latin. Even today, the Romance languages have many more similarities to each other than differences, especially in vocabulary. About 85% of the vocabulary between Spanish and Portuguese, for example, are similar enough to be mutually intelligible in both languages. Likewise, the lexical similarity between Spanish and French/Italian is around 80% and with Romanian, 60%. Obviously, a strong foundation in the Spanish language will give students of other Romance languages a great advantage.
Vocabulary isn’t the only attribute the Romance languages have in common: they also share many grammatical similarities. The subjective tense in French works in the same way as in Spanish, and the Italian verb tenses are conjugated in the same way as in other Romance languages. Since these two characteristics are often the most difficult for English speakers to learn, mastering them in Spanish will give you an edge over the competition by learning, say, French or Catalan.
Why Spanish first? After all, learning Italian first will give you just as much advantage in learning Spanish as vice versa. There are two reasons why I believe most Americans should learn Spanish as their first Romance language. First, Spanish is becoming more common in North America. Italian may be more chic, but Spanish will be infinitely more useful. Second, Spanish is probably the easiest Romance language to learn. Since your first foreign language is always the most difficult, it makes sense to start with something easy and save the more difficult Romance languages, like French, for later.
From Marcus Santamaria, comes a Spanish action that is model for anyone from 30 to 96 life of age who wants to quick and easily get by in real-life Land to talk with their amigos: Click Here