Last updated on July 4th, 2020
Language Is More Than Just Words
When thinking of travel, people often daydream of delicious food, breathtakingly beautiful architecture & scenery, insightful tours, and exciting activities, to name a few. However, one aspect that is sometimes forgotten about until after the trip has already begun is language. I believe it is vitally important to at least learn some key words & phrases before you depart; let me tell you why.
While us English-speakers are extremely fortunate in that our language is typically a second language for many other countries, this will not be the case everywhere, especially as you get away from the more touristy areas. In order to be able to travel to the hidden gems and often most wondrous locations, you will need to arm your brain with some basic language of the country you are visiting. If you learn enough, you can even order food in the local language, impressing the locals.
On that same note, learning at least some of the language shows the locals you are at least making an effort to immerse yourself in their culture, which really goes a long way in making lifelong friends that you otherwise would have never met. People often know English as a second language, so learning some of theirs will separate you from most of the other tourists who go without really making any effort to fit in or understand the local culture.
Now, you might be wondering how it is best to learn a local language in a short amount of time. In my experience, Duolingo and Memrise have been great tools for me personally. I am not currently sponsored by either one of these apps, but I have used them both extensively in preparation for trips to places such as Italy and South Korea. They teach you in a way that is easy to ingrain in the brain and start from the most basic level, and you can work your way up as you get more advanced, if you so desire.
There are plenty of other apps, books, and options for learning various languages, so please choose what works best for you; I myself like using a combination.
I hope you have found this helpful and understand why it is so important to make an effort to learn some of the local language before you visit, whether it’s short-term or an extended stay. This is the first step towards immersing yourself in the local culture, which you will come to find immeasurably rewarding.
As always, please feel free to leave comments/questions as I will be reading each & every one of them and responding. If you want to know something, ask away! Do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything at all or would like to chat with us! Please hit those follow, share, & like buttons; just don’t eat the apple. Until next time, stay traveling (safely)!