There may a number of different reasons to learn a new language. From personal reasons, such as being able to communicate with friends and family to understanding music and art, to business reasons – the list goes on. In today’s globalising world languages became a key element in our everyday lives and so professional agencies offering translation services such as Translation Services UK or Language Reach grow faster than ever, constantly expanding the service base and closing the language gap in international business.
Nevertheless, one of the best reasons to start learning a new language is so that you can use it while you travel. Visiting a new, foreign country can be an extremely fascinating experience and what better way to immerse yourself fully than go abroad with language skills in hand.
Although to a language lover like myself, learning even a few phrases in the mother tongue of a country I am about to visit seems seems pretty obvious, there are still people in this world, believe it or not, who think that English is sufficient enough to get around regardless of where you are traveling to. Although this might be true for some destinations, even then you won’t be able to fully experience your adventure. Here are 6 good reasons why you should learn to speak a language before going abroad!
Meet new people
Although English is an international language, not everyone in the world is able to speak it. By learning the mother language of a country you are travelling to, you will be able to communicate easier with the locals and therefore meet new, existing people. Speaking the local language will also show your respect towards the people and their culture and so they will be more approachable!
Keep you in the know
Being able to speak even a few simple phrases will definitely make traveling much easier. Being able to read street signs or ask for directions can in many cases keep you out of trouble! Not having any language barriers abroad will make every day occurrences much more bearable. Not too long ago a friend of mine who has an allergy to nuts had a very hard time in France, she not only had difficulties understanding the menu, but more importantly, wasn’t able to establish whether it was safe for her to eat a dish! Luckily, an English speaker at the table next to her overheard her awkward conversation with the waiter and helped her out!
Although this isn’t something that anyone would like to think about during their travels, you might find yourself in an emergency situation where a visit to the local hospital or police station is a necessity. Being able to explain your situation, talk about your allergies or medications you need or took will ensure that you receive the best possible treatment, which could’ve been impossible if you didn’t know the language.
Sure, following the same cliché route everyone else follows will allow you to see some incredible things and take great pictures, with thousands of other tourists beside you, all doing the exact same thing. If this isn’t something that floats your boat, and at heart you’re a true explorer, knowing the mother language of a country you are traveling to will help you to discover places only known to and by the locals, such as great restaurants, little markets or old, forgotten hiking trails.
Understand the culture
Charlemagne once said that to possess another language is to possess another soul. For a language and travel lover like myself, this phrase is truly influential. I personally believe that knowing a language, how sentences are constructed and how people interact with each other can really help you in fully understanding a country’s culture, history and the way people live in much more depth.
Explore art, music and film
Majority of people who travel abroad explore culture through different mediums, nevertheless, not many people truly dive into discovering local music, art or film. Some of the books available to us in English were written by foreign authors, similarly to some movies being filmed by foreign directors. Although translation agencies in the UK do a truly remarkable job translating and interpreting such content, being able to understand the art in its original language can really be a great experience.
As you can see learning a new language before your escapades can be help you experience and understand your destination in more depth. Also, even if you don’t speak the language fluently, don’t worry! Everyone needs to start someone and what better occasion to test and practice your language skills than during your travels?