Learning the Language Makes Life on the Road a Lot Easier
Brits are said to be notoriously bad at learning foreign languages but it seems that more and more of us are making the effort to learn at least a little before we travel. If you are thinking of doing this then here are a few tips to make sure you get it right.
Choose the Language
There are many different reasons for choosing a particular tongue to study. For example, if you go to Italy or Germany on holiday ever year then you shouldn’t have to spend too long thinking about this. Equally, you might have a decent residual knowledge of French or Spanish from your school days which would give you a strong start. Otherwise, you might simply like to consider which language is going to be most useful to you on your travels. We have already mentioned French and Spanish and these are two of the most globally spoken tongues. If you combine either of these popular languages with your native English knowledge it will, open up a huge part of the world for you to travel in more easily. Of course, if you expect to spend most time in Asia then tongues such as Chinese and Hindi are among the most widely spoken there.
Make Learning Fun
There are few things in life as dull as sitting in front of a foreign language text book and trying to force yourself to remember new words and grammatical rules. In order to learn the tongue well and make the new words stick you should make it fun. This can mean coming up interesting mnemonics, playing games on the internet, taking language quizzes or simply listening to music or watching films in the tongue you are learning. The more enjoyable it is the better you will learn.
Practice as Much as You Can
Once you have learned the basics of the language there is simply no substitute for practising all that you can. With the UK being such a hugely cosmopolitan place these days that is easier than ever before to do this. Big cities like London and Birmingham have always been magnets for foreign immigrants but nowadays even smaller towns often have a big foreign population. This is great for being able to speak to people in the tongue you are learning and it also means that you can find out about the culture behind the language before you travel as well.
Enjoy Using It Abroad
Some Brits learn a language pretty well but then feel too embarrassed or intimidated to speak it abroad. When you travel is really the ideal time to speak it as much as you can and immerse yourself in it. Once you start doing this you should find that you get a good reaction from the locals and that you enjoy using your new second language. It truly is one of the best and most exciting ways of making life on the road easier, as long you go about it in the right way.
Photo by behindthesteeringwheel on Flickr