Foreign languages for travel. How can I prepare?
Ad – Foreign languages for travel are essential if you want to get to know a country and its people well. Learning the language before a trip would contribute to a deeper understanding of the culture or history of the destination as you can speak directly with locals. It leads to a better learning experience while travelling, which is a pillar of sustainable travel. It makes a big difference even if you only know a few basic phrases in the local language.
Preparation is everything
And by preparation I don't mean learning grammar and vocabulary, at least not in the traditional way. One can prepare by listening to music in the language of the country. When I first got acquainted with the Portuguese language, I went to see some popular Brazilian bands.
The best part? Without understanding anything at first, you begin to get a feel for the language and become familiar with the new sounds and pronunciation.
When you find something you like, listen actively and you'll start mimicking the sounds, even singing along. It's like the process with babies - they listen to their parents and over time they imitate.
If you want, you can look up the lyrics to your favorite songs and translate them so you really understand what they're about. This way, you also have a much better chance of remembering the words and their meanings than just memorizing a few basic phrases and vocabulary from a book.
You will most likely discover that English is spoken by the time you reach your destination. It may just be time to have one Online English Course to visit.
This is very important if you are afraid of speaking new languages abroad. We all know that traveling with friends is great, but when you're traveling alone, the chances are much better that you'll step out of your comfort zone and meet people you probably wouldn't meet if you were with the best friends travels. These people can help you learn a language fast!
I also wouldn't recommend going with a friend who speaks the language you're trying to learn, because then you're letting them do all the work. And if you don't practice speaking, you won't improve your skills.
Stay far away from the touristy places
This goes hand-in-hand with opting for a travel experience alone. Stay away from the touristy places. Avoid encounters with people from your own country! Not only does it broaden your perspective, but it also forces you to communicate in another language.
Focus on communication
When you learn a language at school, they teach vocabulary, tenses, conjugations, etc. For example, French was studied at school for a few years but never practiced. If a French tourist asked for directions on the street, you could probably offer him a baguette but not explain anything.
Start with the basics; Learn to say hello! Point to things, ask their names. Learn how to ask for places. Try to understand the answers you get, and if you don't, ask more questions.
Order food in the foreign language or go shopping at the local markets. It's like a game. Every time you speak and engage, you collect another piece of the puzzle until it all finally falls into place and makes sense.
Talk to locals
Once you master a new language, you can converse with people who live outside of the tourist centers. So you don't need a tour guide or anyone else to talk to these people for you.
You'll find that the locals are much more open when you speak their language. If you try to use basic phrases in their language, they'll open their hearts and feel more comfortable because you're showing them that you're trying to learn about, or care about, their culture better.
Benefits of learning a foreign language while traveling
Learning the local language in advance will help you get a deeper understanding of their culture or history as you can speak directly to local people, not through the guide who speaks their language.
You become more tolerant
Since you will also learn a lot about the way of thinking of the locals, you can put yourself in their shoes. You will question your own behavior and compare it with others. You quickly realize that the ways of thinking you know are not always the best. This also makes you more tolerant and open to strangers.
More tips for learning a new language for travel
Of course, learning a whole new language is a challenge. But don't worry, the locals won't judge you if you're not fluent in their language. For many inhabitants of a country it is already worth a lot that one even makes the effort to speak their language. As you already know, practice is still the best way to learn a new language.
There are many ways to learn basic vocabulary in a foreign language. One of them is through movies. Many people don't realize how quickly they learn a new language by watching films in a foreign language. Of course you can watch them with subtitles, that helps to learn even better. The advantage of this method is that you learn how to pronounce words and sentences at the same time.
Learning a foreign language for travel is an exciting way to enhance your vacation experience.
Cultural benefits of learning a foreign language
Non-native speakers shy away from asking questions and conversing with locals. Instead of finding out if this street food tastes incredible, the unsavory traveler might find himself lost in the nearest McDonalds. Without knowing the country's native language, the traveler only experiences a small part of the country's real culture.
Of course, even the fluent multilingual will never stop learning; every day there are nuances, phrases, slang, and new words to learn. Just think how many times you've read a novel in your own language and been asked to look up the meaning of a word - this is the best way to speed up learning a new language.
The difference, of course, is that a bilingual abroad not only “gets by” but can explore the depths of the culture.
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