Language for Travel: Enhance your Social Skillset

There is no doubt that learning languages helps you to travel. You will truly experience an enriching time away from home by being able to speak and interact with local people.

It is impossible to truly understand a city or a location without being part of daily life. This means walking during the hustle and bustle of the daily commute, getting down to the local market and of course, speaking to the local people. The recommendations of those that have been in an area for years, or even decades, can prove invaluable to the tourist who is armed only with printouts of google results and the local tourist handbook. Individual testimony can give you something that is impossible to find from other sources.

By speaking the language of the locals, you will potentially be safer when you visit a city.

Misunderstandings can result in nasty consequences and if you can communicate with difficult people or those who are not being welcoming to tourists, you will be far more respected and even treated better.

Just think about it.

You are representing your own culture when you go abroad. If you are able to speak to the locals and give a good account of yourself, they may well go away thinking about your country in a favourable light. This could also help to dispel misplaced prejudice against certain cultures, bringing the world just a little closer together.

You have to put yourself in the shoes of the locals.

You are visiting their home, partaking in their way of life and thus you should respect their customs. Nobody wants to be the brash tourist shouting at locals in their own language, pointing and gesturing frantically. Instead, be the tourist who makes a connection with the shop owner. Be the tourist that finds out about the 100 year old building in which they are standing.
One essential part of any trip is the frequenting of eating and drinking establishments when visiting a new city or a new culture.

The cuisine of a place is sometimes just as relevant to the local identity of a settlement as the old church or the market square. In this sense, it is crucial to have the language so that you can order properly and get exactly what you want. If you have a preference for the way your food is cooked or if you require a certain special side dish, you have nobody to blame but yourself if you are unable to speak the language.

So before you travel, have a go at learning a new language. Of course, native speakers are best placed to help you and the internet can be your best friend here.

Thanks to the new technology and the rise of the digital age, there are language websites offering all kinds of tutoring and instruction to language students. These websites cater to different  price ranges and all levels, so you will be able to find the right setting to start learning or improve your knowledge of a language. You will not only learn a language, but you will make connections with real people from around the world.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology such as Skype means that all you need is an internet connection and the motivation to learn something new. It’s a totally intriguing and exciting experience!

Ultimately, whilst learning a language requires time and patience, the process is certainly worth the final result. Language provides the keys to open doors into worlds that you never knew existed. Adding a language to your skillset has no downside. If you put in the hours, you are guaranteed a new skill that, when nurtured, will last you a lifetime.


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