Let me begin by disclosing an important piece of information about me. I am useless when it comes to learning a new language. I try. I really do. And after 11 years of living in French countries, I can get by. I have many other skills, such as research, technology, and direction.
But when it comes to languages, I rely totally on my partner. I have a theory about the ability to speak other languages. You either can speak one language or you speak 3 1/2 or more.
For example, my partner is fluent in English and French and is pretty darn close to being fluent in Spanish. She also can get by a number of other languages such as German, Italian, Portuguese, and a few others. Although I must say, they often reply back to her in Spanish.
Learning another language, or having another language when travelling outside of countries where the native speakers are, English is a great advantage. It’s a skill I wish I had.
So why am I telling you all this? Because learning some basic jargon, expressions, and terms will not only be helpful in your travels, but it will also endear you to others.
For more suggestions and advice on learning a new language for travellers, go to A Traveller’s Guide to Learning a New Language
Learning a new language is the perfect way to enhance travel experiences and connect with locals.
- Cultural immersion: Speaking the local language allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and better understand the people and their way of life. You’ll be able to navigate the city, read menus at local restaurants, and even make friends with the locals.
- Brain health: Learning a new language is a great way to keep your brain active and healthy. Studies have shown that bilingualism can delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Travel flexibility: Knowing another language can also make your travel experiences more flexible. You’ll be able to travel to countries where your target language is spoken without worrying about language barriers. Plus, you’ll have more confidence in navigating transportation and accommodations.
- Fun and rewarding: Learning a new language is practical and fun. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you progress in your language-learning journey, and you’ll be able to communicate with people from all over the world.
You’re never too old to learn a few phrases. Your new travel adventure awaits!