Learning a foreign language: What you need to know
So, you’re heading off on a trip of a lifetime. Whether it’s India or Paris, knowing the native language is an important skillset to carry in your belt. Not only does it show your appreciation towards the people and the country you’re visiting, but it’s also crucial to be able to communicate with locals.
Here’s how to learn a foreign language in no time at all:
1. Learn more than the basics
While knowing basic phrases like “bonjour” or “ciao” may be helpful, they aren’t going to cut it when you’re stuck in a tricky situation. It’s next to impossible to become fluent in a language in a matter of weeks, so keep a language book handy and don’t be afraid of sounding like an amateur. Locals can usually spot tourists and they also understand that you’re trying your best to adapt to the culture.
2. Incorporate the language into your daily life
Languages roll off your tongue easier the more you use it, so maybe try befriending someone who is from the country you’re planning to visit. This way, they can help you improve on any areas where you seem to be struggling, and you’ll have someone to have a conversation with in that language.
Receiving feedback from native speakers is important, and they can also help provide the resources you need to improve even further. Such as foreign language media or books, which you can incorporate in your daily life.
3. Embrace your mistakes
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Learning a new language is extremely difficult, but also very rewarding. You will mispronounce things and you may not say the right word when trying to converse with others, but just know that it’s OK.
Over half the planet speaks more than one language, and the fact that you’re taking the step to learn is something worth commending. These things take time, be patient.
4. Use Google Translate
In emergency situations use Google Translate. The handy tool can be used to communicate with locals when visiting another country and could help make your life a lot easier when trying to find directions or just needing a bit of help.
Do you have any tips on learning a new language?
This article was made in conjuction with Over60.