When travelling to a foreign country, you get the chance to discover new landscapes, new cultures and meet new people. You also get to discover a new language, which can be a great opportunity but also act as a barrier. Not being able to understand and to be understood by other people can be frustrating and bewildering, especially if you are on your own. Learning the basics of the local language when you travel to a new country can therefore be very beneficial to you, both personally and professionally, and make the experience even greater. Here’s why.
It will help you in all kinds of situations
When travelling to a new country, you will encounter situations where you will have no other choice than to use the local language. Communicating with local people for simple things such as ordering food at a restaurant, asking your way or even just being able to read signs are aspects that can make your trip either smooth or very confusing. Knowing the basics can therefore be very useful and can keep you out of unpleasant or frustrating situations. By learning at least a few things, you will be prepared to deal with any issue or emergency. You might even be able to bargain with merchants and avoid getting scammed like most tourists.
You will meet new people
Meeting new people as you travel to foreign countries is one of the most interesting parts of travelling, especially if you are doing it alone. If you can’t pronounce a word in the local language, chances are you will tend to shut down because you can not communicate with local people, which can result in feeling very alone and frustrated. Crossing the language barrier is easier said than done, but well worth it. It will allow you to open up and be more comfortable interacting with locals, which will make your experience even more valuable. Making new friends and creating relationships with them is what will allow you to get a more local perspective and a more profound experience of the culture. You will get to experience their way of life, their vision of the world and learn so much more than you can imagine. Getting to know people from different backgrounds and places is what creates irreplaceable memories and makes you more aware of the world you live in. Language should therefore not stop you but push you to take advantage of this opportunity.
You’ll have a deeper insight into the culture
Language often affects and is affected by the culture it comes with. Just take English or Portuguese for example: they are spoken in different parts of the world but have major differences according to the country where they are spoken. Culture is probably one of the main factors that causes these differences. When learning a foreign language, you get to know more about the way people express themselves through their own language, which will potentially make you understand their culture better. Again, by interacting with local people and by being able to connect with them in their native language, you will have a deeper understanding of their way of living, thinking and behaving. Getting to know a culture, its customs, its roots and everything that comes with it is a priceless experience. You shouldn’t miss out on that just because of the language. Furthermore, learning a language helps you learn about the culture, and vice versa, which is a positive cycle.
Speaking several languages will be beneficial to you in so many ways
Being able to speak more than one language is truly an asset whether it is personally or professionally.
Nowadays, all types of institutions and companies seek for multilingual people, as the need for international interactions is increasingly growing in a world where globalisation is taking over. By speaking several languages, you can give yourself a chance to increase career opportunities and to open doors to new possibilities. This is a factor that can make a major difference on someone’s CV.
When it comes to your personal life, learning different languages can make you more aware of different parts of the world and discover cultures in a deeper way. There is no better way to open up your mind than to have an insight into different cultures, and languages can help you do so. Your travelling experiences will be much more enriching and eye-opening.
Practice the language
Being in a country is the best way to practice its language. If you are travelling to a foreign country, you shouldn’t miss out on that chance. Not only will it help you in all types of situations, but it will also give you a chance to experience the language accurately with native people in their everyday life. Being immersed in the country, the culture and the language will undeniably help you improve your linguistic skills, not just in the particular language you are learning but in general. Once you learn one more language, it progressively gets easier to learn new ones afterwards.
Travelling to a new country is therefore not only an opportunity to discover a new culture, new landscapes and new people, but also to discover a new language. There is no better way to learn something than on the field, which is why making the most of this opportunity can only be beneficial to you. Being able to communicate with people from a different part of the world, not in your language but in theirs, will teach you a lot of things you wouldn’t have learned otherwise and will make your trip a deeper, fuller experience. Why not go for it?