Travelling remains one of the essential ways of expanding your worldview. Primarily because it gives you the chance to discover new places and come in contact with new people. With so many things to do, people rarely travel with the mind to learn a language while travelling.
Mastering a language can be explained as giving to a stranger the key that opens the door into a local culture. Because it makes it possible to connect with local people deeply, nonetheless obtaining a better revelation and understanding of the country being visited.
Sticking with your mother tongue in a foreign country blocks you from learning and appreciating other cultures; Don’t do that!
Among others, these are few benefits of learning a new language(s);
- It gives your brain a boost.
- It opens up a world of job opportunities.
- You become more exciting and meet more interesting people.
- You will become a better learner.
- Gives you the chance to enjoy the work of art in other languages.
Essential Keys To Mastering A Language While Travelling
1. Match Your Travel Destinations
Clarity defines a purpose; therefore, you need to match your destination with the desired language to be learnt. Is it your desire to dig out that high school Spanish? Spain remains a great choice, but Spanish is also the official language of the whole of Latin America.
Fancy the perfecting of your French? France is the obvious excellent choice, but there are other countries in Europe like Luxembourg, Belgium and many other African countries.
If your preference lies in Italian, you will agree Italy remains the perfect choice of destination. In all of these preferred locations, you can take online classes and add the practice with locals by interacting with them on a daily basis or finding the tandem partner.
It is human to like to have things come easy. But, don’t take the easy route! Put yourself in real-life situations that will sharpen or speed up the learning process.
2. Avoid Your Language
Although it can be challenging to learn a language while travelling, it does speed up the process. You need to fully immerse yourself with the language of the country you are in and act like yours doesn’t exist.
It’s not strange that people seek the company of fellow travellers, but try and distance yourself from people who speak your language and chat with those who don’t.
You can go as far as changing the settings on your mobile phone to display the language being learnt. Spend little or no time in restaurants, cinemas or other public places which use your native language. Instead, search for local venues and maximise the use of the country’s official language even when having fun.
These little things matter, as they guarantee you see little of your mother tongue while travelling and more of the one you’re trying to learn.
3. Start speaking Immediately
The reason many might not believe this is the same reason which hinders language learning. Adults have an elevated tendency of exhibiting the bad habit of “not letting go” unlike children.
Children exhibit little or no restraint when trying things they have no clue about. Adults, on the other hand, find it hard to communicate in a language they don’t feel comfortable speaking.
However, to improve, you have to start talking! Regardless of your knowledge level, whether you know the basics or have difficulty speaking at all, just try. At this point, you should actively seek every opportunity to use the language rather than shying away from it.
For instance, you might know the location of a popular place but stop once in a while to ask people for directions. This gives you the confidence to speak as you get to practice the language as often in communication with native speakers.
Natives are always more than happy to help foreigners trying to learn a different language, be open to corrections!
4. Listen Actively
Learning a foreign language for travellers requires a conscious effort. An essential aspect of this process is listening; you need to focus on active listening. It is quite easy to think you are listening while you miss on the critical details of the language. Focus on pronunciation, speech flow, intonation, stress pattern and word usage.
Paying close attention to these details will help improve your understanding of the language and speaking. When exploring the new country or hanging around town, try to listen to people talking. There exist a thousand and one exciting conversations going on in the markets, parks, and in the busses. You can take advantage of these and sharpen your language skills.
Asides from hanging around and listening to people talk, there exist others means to learn a different language. Learning while travelling is easy because you get to immerse yourself in the language. Another way to maximize active listening is to turn on the radio. Listen to stations that discuss things that interest you in other languages, not your mother tongue.
Volunteering offers language learners a hands-on way to learn a different language. This works best when you choose a responsible volunteer program with receptive members. Through working with natives on a particular project, you become surrounded by the native tongue. In this case, you are immersed in the language, and it becomes easier to pick up common words and phrases.
To learn a language while travelling is easier than you think. Moreover, locals will appreciate your effort to understand their language and have a deeper connection with them. The more you engage yourself, the more confident you’ll be for future trips