More and more people are learning other languages because they realize its importance. You don’t want a language barrier to limit you when today language learning has become much easier.
When you travel to another country, where you cannot speak your first language, it is then that you realize the importance of a second language. It is when you travel that you need to communicate with other people, and if you cannot speak their language, your entire experience will be affected.
There is a huge difference between travelling in your own country and travelling to another one. The obvious reason for this difference is the language barrier that keeps you from experiencing the culture and making new friends. Travelling will always remain incomplete if you have no stories to tell and come back without making any friends and connections. Knowing another language also opens doors to the hospitality that local people can show you.
So, how do you learn a new language while you are travelling the world? It is never too late, and you can always try to learn a foreign language, even when you are travelling!
No one can make you learn something when you are not willing to work for it. No matter how much you listen to local people, or how much you are excited to learn a new language, you will have to put some effort as well. When you are not hanging out, you should do your own self-study. That includes reading dictionaries or literature in the foreign language.
Get audios of the foreign language, including TV shows and songs. You can listen to the audio even while you are on the road. There are some languages, such as Spanish or Japanese, which require the learners to listen as much as they can so they can learn the right pronunciations. The best ways to learn Japanese are to read native literature or poems and listen to Japanese songs.
Listen To The Natives
The best way you can learn anything is by listening to it. When you are travelling, listen to the natives to speak their language. There is no one better who speaks the language then the local people. They know all about the slangs, which you need to focus on. The important part of a language learning process is to be clear, always. If you are confused about something, you need to understand it properly. You may learn a word or a phrase as part of the foreign language, but it could be considered as unacceptable or rude in the culture/country. A native speaker can help you know about such differences and language that you need to avoid.
When you listen to native speakers, you should try and mimic what they say. Keep a dictionary with you at all times. If there is something you cannot understand, you can later search it in the dictionary. Also, pay attention to when the natives are speaking. Look at the way they pronounce words and what are their hand movements.
Avoid Your First Language
It can be difficult to avoid speaking your first language, but this is something that must be done. The only way you can learn a new language, while you are travelling, is by learning it as a child. Forget that you know any language, and focus on speaking in the language you want to learn. If you are at a place where people are capable of speaking English, even then you need to speak in a foreign language. This is the best way you will learn to communicate.
There is nothing like desperation that makes you learn faster. When the foreign language is your only means of communication, you will let the instincts take over. Language is not as much as a conscious effort as it is something you learn through practice. No one teaches children the meaning of every word they speak. They pick up the vocabulary on their own.
Start Speaking At Once
Even if you are learning, don’t hesitate to use what you have learned in practical life. The sooner you start speaking in a foreign language, the better it will be for you. Speaking in the new language will also help you practice your lessons. You will get a sense of what word or phrase you have to use and when. It will also build your confidence, and you will feel motivated to learn more and get better!
Stop worrying about grammar or anything else. You cannot learn anything without starting from somewhere. Don’t worry about being judged. The native speakers will understand that you are a beginner, and will appreciate the fact that you are learning their language. The basic purpose of a language is to communicate, and that is what you need to do. You don’t have to speak articulately. You can communicate with the words you know. You can ask basic questions even without any prepositions or conjunctions. When you start speaking simply, using nouns and verbs, gradually, you will learn how to construct a sentence.
Find A Partner
Your learning journey will become a whole lot easier if you can find a learning partner. It will be hard to find another language learner while you are travelling, so find someone who can guide you. This person can be another expert or a native speaker of the language. You can practice with the person. Meanwhile, he will also correct your mistakes and push you to do better. It is human psyche that we try to work hard when we know someone is there to keep track of our progress.
Learning a foreign language is great for your cognitive development. Not to mention, it helps you connect with people from different cultures. Even if you are travelling, you have to keep practising the new language. Speak more with the natives, and focus on the way they talk!