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Should You Learn a New Language When Traveling Abroad?

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Learning a new language has become a critical life skill. With globalization, monolingual individuals are slowly finding themselves isolated.

In this regard, there is a growing number of people interested in learning a new language. Some of the languages that have become very marketable include French, Spanish, German and Chinese. 

The growing interest in languages has encouraged experts to do more research into the development. In the studies, it was revealed that traveling could help to enhance your language learning. So, how does traveling abroad help in language learning? 

It Gives You the Chance to Learn As You Go

Traveling abroad allows you to do a crash course in the local language. According to research, immersion is among the most recommended ways of learning a new language. Immersion works perfectly when you are among native speakers. 

For example, if you are a German language student and want to speak German Fluently, traveling to Germany is very beneficial. For example, you have the chance to pick up on genuine phrases, slang, and other local dialects. Moreover, you are likely to observe nuances that you wouldn’t get in a classroom.  

Being amongst the natives might force you into thinking that you should be fluent or learn as much of the language as possible. However, that is not true! For example, the secret to learning German while on your trip is to build on what you already know. 

How? If you are learning German online, ensure you have mastered the phrases that are essential for you. Then, while there, you will build on your knowledge on the go. 

It Makes It Easier To Understand the Context

Language experts argue that it is easier to learn a new language when you have the appropriate context that helps you understand it. Traveling to your target language’s native land helps to give you context. 

Remember, you might not understand what the locals are saying in their conversations. But, as you listen to them speak will help you remember words, phrases, and grammatical structures later in your studies

Whenever you encounter a word in that language, your brain quickly connects to what you have already experienced. For example, if you take a trip to Germany, you will likely remember the words of the tradition you enjoyed most. If it was cake, then you will never forget Kaffe und Kuchen!    

It Helps You Appreciate the Culture

No language exists in a vacuum; every language is part of a culture. Therefore, when you experience a language for the first time in its cultural context, you will be able to experience it the way it is supposed to be experienced. 

Language experts argue that if you learn a new language in a classroom, you could easily forget its context. It does not matter if your lessons include discussions of culture. For instance, you could watch a German classic film in your German class as an exciting way of interacting with the culture. However, none of these efforts can match the benefits of learning a new language through travel. Traveling gives you the chance to engage with the language and the culture in its entirety. 

In the end, traveling will boost your desire and curiosity to learn a foreign language. During your trip, you will develop an authentic connection to the language as well as its culture. 

Tips for Learning a New Language on a Trip

Have Respect

Travel agencies will tell you that locals worldwide love visitors who make every effort to avoid being rude. Therefore, during your trip, ensure you show appreciation and respect for the natives’ culture. 

Speaking to the natives in their local language is simple, even if all you know are the basics. Additionally, you should be mindful of how locals dress by following their general dress code. This is a sign that you respect their values. 

You can also make your trip more immersive by participating in volunteer work. This move will give you a unique opportunity to experience the culture and give back to the community.  

Timeout Is Critical

It can be exhausting and sometimes frustrating to try to communicate where there is a language barrier. In this regard, it is preferable to give yourself a linguistic break. Decisively ignore the conversations around you and just relax. 

During this time, only focus on your thoughts. It is critical to take some time and meditate on the knowledge and experience you have gathered. When you re-engage, you will have enough energy to learn more. 

Bottom Line

Learning a second language has become inevitable. Multilingualism has become a critical aspect in this era of globalization. This trend has led to a growth in the number of students learning a new language. If you are one of the language students, it will help to visit the language natives and spend some time with them. 

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