Most enjoyable travel experiences involve meeting and connecting with people from other cultures, making learning a new language much simpler in this process.
Starting early is always a smart move; whether using travel guides and phrasebooks or one of the many language learning apps available today, getting ahead is always beneficial.
1. It’s a great way to meet new people.
Finding friends of different cultures while traveling is a big part of travel, particularly if you learn their language. Being able to converse in their native tongue opens up opportunities for deeper and more meaningful conversations; not to mention getting acquainted with local customs!
Traveling can be an amazing adventure, yet can also be frustrating at times. Sometimes, you won’t understand what someone is telling you, or they might misunderstand your greeting method – this is where Google Translate app or taking an evening language course at your local university can come in handy!
Taken language courses can be an enjoyable and cost-effective way to learn a foreign language for travel purposes. Many universities offer language classes during the day or evening at convenient times for you; you might also meet fellow travelers headed toward similar destinations! Furthermore, online resources like Tandem offer comprehensive language-learning for travel including videos with language lessons saved directly into them as well as personalized quizzes to practice pronunciation.
2. It’s a great way to learn about the culture.
An integral aspect of traveling is discovering new cultures. While you can experience these cultures without knowing the local language, learning its words will make the experience far more immersive.
Language knowledge will make reading signs and communicating with locals much simpler, as well as getting around and finding things to do more easily and making friends easier than ever since you can converse in their native tongue.
By speaking a local language, it will be much simpler for you to understand local customs and traditions. Knowing their language allows you to interpret hand gestures or expressions that might otherwise not mean much in your culture, helping avoid any cultural faux pas that might derail any attempts at making a good first impression.
Knowledge of a language will also make participating in local events and festivals easier, especially those hosted by native cultures. Many events celebrate these cultures’ lifestyle or way of life and can provide great opportunities to meet locals while learning about their food, music and customs – plus knowing their native tongue will only increase your enjoyment!
3. It’s a great way to make friends.
Travelers joke that as long as they know “Yes,” “No,” and “Where’s the restroom,” they can travel almost anywhere. While fluency in another language may not be realistic on a trip, even knowing some basics will make things much simpler and make you more at home abroad. Locals will appreciate your efforts at learning their language which may encourage them to approach you or communicate more with you during their visit.
Travel is all about making new connections, and learning their language makes that process even simpler. Once you do so, you can have conversations about topics that matter to both of you – maybe you even find lifelong travel partners!
Before your departure, it’s also a smart idea to download any applications you might need (e.g. Google Maps with offline version of destination) as well as translation apps, like Waygo or Duolingo. You will thank yourself when trying to navigate a foreign city without mobile coverage; libraries or community colleges also provide language courses designed specifically for travellers that will teach lots of useful phrases quickly.
4. It’s a great way to relax.
Though many joke that all you really need to get by when traveling is knowing “Yes”, “No”, and “Where’s the restroom”, learning a language will enhance your travel experience in numerous ways. First of all, learning a language will make you an open-minded traveler allowing you to engage with locals more and learn more about their culture; secondly you’ll be able to read menus, signs and maps more efficiently making your experience much smoother and relaxing overall.
Another great benefit of traveling in other languages is that it will deepen your cultural immersion. For instance, if you want to experience authentic flamenco while in Spain, learning Spanish beforehand would allow you to communicate with locals more effectively – this same principle holds for cultures such as Italian or German.
Traveling and learning other languages are an excellent way to unwind and relax while simultaneously satisfying a sense of achievement. When visiting countries with populations who do not speak your native tongue, communication with locals in their language can be both stressful and frustrating; conversing in it gives a great sense of relief and pride as you help them master it!