Kicking yourself that you didn’t pay attention in that high school Spanish class? Anyone who has been doing promo for more than a few events knows that a lot more people speak Spanish as a first language than might appear. According to the 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 35.5 million people aged 5 or older! The marketing companies know this and that’s why bilingual brand ambassadors are paid significantly more.
So if you already speak Spanish, you are most likely aware of this truth. If not, then play it up! Anytime you respond to a job posting, make sure to note that you are bilingual. Sometimes a promotion does not necessitate someone who speaks both English and Spanish, but you can be pretty sure that you will have a serious edge over the competition and will almost always end up being booked if you are.
Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish or feel a little rusty. There are many ways to become pretty proficient in limited time. Rosetta Stone is a great program that you can do on your own time that is very effective, that is if you have the money to front for it (it’s pretty pricey). Another great and more affordable option is to take a class at your local community college. Not only can you receive university credit, but the classes are usually very reasonable, and if taught by a native speaker, can help a lot!
The best way to learn Spanish in the fastest way possible is through immersion. If you can take 2-3 weeks off, go on a vacation to a Spanish speaking country and force yourself to not speak English as well as enrolling in a local language course. Try Puerto Rico (not a country!). It’s part of the US, and therefore you don’t need a passport to enter. You can work there legally and believe it or not, there are a lot of promotional jobs available. By doing a little research and maybe with just a pinch of luck, you can book yourself for a few days. This will give you a little bit of everything; vacation, work experience and the opportunity to learn a new language!