Article #6 – Language

The Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

Are you planning to travel abroad? Are you visiting any country where at least one language other than English is spoken locally? Are you in a dilemma over whether to learn that new, foreign language or not before you start your journey? In this article I am going to list some of the benefits of learning the local language of the country you would be visiting. After reading this article you would be able to decide whether you want to go for it or stick to speaking only English.

Lots of people shy away from learning new languages because it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication and most people are by nature lazy, stressed out and undisciplined. These people argue that there are plenty of people living abroad who don’t speak any other tongue and are doing just fine for themselves. Yes, it is true that with luck you are going to get some English-speaking college students show you the way, but ask yourself: is it really going to be enough for you? Would you not be eager to know about what the local people might be talking about you in their local language? These and many other reasons make it almost mandatory for any foreigner to learn the local language first.

Believe it or not, while learning a new, foreign language is tough, it opens up so many avenues for you in a foreign country that you cannot even imagine. I already mentioned one a while ago: imagine for a moment that some of the locals are talking about you, smiling at you and you cannot figure out a thing about what they are saying because you don’t know the language! I would say that learning a new language is easier than living with the fear of the unknown!

When you learn a foreign language, it is easier to make friends. A lot of my foreign friends are those who only spoke their local language and did not speak a word of English, yet those are some of the most beautiful friendships I ever had. Right now I cannot even imagine my life without them, but that would have been my alternative reality indeed had I only stuck to speaking English like a typical arrogant foreigner!

You will also find doing basic tasks such as ordering foods, reading the street signs, touring the city, buying grocery, etc., easier when you know the local language. After all, not everyone can speak English; certainly you cannot expect a poor grocer to know English (even though a lot of them can speak the basic English words with ease). When you order your food in English, you don’t know for sure if the waiter understood your specifications correctly or not.

When you are able to make friendships with locals, who know their country more than anyone else anyway, you would be able to tour the country and visit the kind of places whose existence was virtually unknown to you. You would also be able to get a closer picture of the foreign culture. All these things won’t be possible unless you are ready to learn the foreign language.

In short, if you want to enjoy your foreign trip to its full potential and make it a truly rewarding, enjoyable and unforgettable experience, it is time to get a foreign language teacher for yourself!

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