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By November 24, 2021Education
Being bilingual

The ability to speak Spanish opens doors to all sorts of opportunities

By Alexia Templeton

Being bilingual provides many opportunities I would not have had if English was my only language. So many of my life experiences and relationships I’ve built were only possible because I can speak Spanish. I spent full summers in Mexico, which opened up my heart to a culture that is not my own. I could tell taxi drivers where I needed to go, order food at local restaurants, and mingle with the locals. Taking the time to learn Spanish enabled me to start my own business as a Spanish language interpreter/translator, filling a need in the community.

Three other women benefiting from being bilingual and serving their business communities:

Sandra Romero is a local social worker serving the Hispanic community for 19 years. She is also the co-owner of Diaz Mobile Detail and Tint Service. Romero also facilitates a Spanish-speaking women’s support group. She utilizes her language abilities to serve the community and provide a business service accessible to the Hispanic/Latino community.

Vanessa Garibaldi earned a higher-paying position in a customer service company as a result of being bilingual. She manages a team in Costa Rica with whom she quickly built both rapport and trust by speaking Spanish. She eventually started her own side business providing bookkeeping services to English- and Spanish-speaking small businesses. “It is beneficial to be bilingual, as it can help you get in the door of your dream company, get a promotion or enable you to help someone that is struggling to communicate in English,” she said. The Covenant Group

Vanessa Mota is the CEO of Mota Enterprises LLC and the president of Mota Crosslinking Business Academy. Mota found success in her ability to build a bridge between the Anglo and Hispanic/Latino business communities. Her bilingualism has benefited her business greatly, enabling her to provide services that other businesses cannot. “Utilizing Spanish in your business helps you connect on a different level and build stronger relationships with a different market, not to mention the improvement in competitive advantage,” she said.

Being bilingual opens opportunities

Spanish is the primary language of 4.4% of South Carolinians, which is more than 200,000 people. How many of them could you be doing business with? There are numerous resources available if you want to learn Spanish. Apps like Babbel and Duolingo help if you’re an audio learner. Listening to Spanish-language podcasts really helps develop an understanding of the language. And online buddy systems, like My Language Exchange and InterPals, enable you to practice virtually with other learners. Reading books in Spanish can help you recognize vocabulary words and correct grammar. (Begin in the children’s section!) Want something a bit more passive? Try listening to Latin music or watching Telemundo for an entertaining learning experience. Want to go hardcore? Set your cellphone language to Spanish.

Learn a little or become fluent. It’s up to you. ¡Y es divertido!

Alexia Templeton is the founder and CEO of Templeton Spanish Services LLC, providing Spanish interpreting and translating to a variety of industries in South Carolina.