Traveling to boost your language skills
When you are trying to learn a language, you might not know where to start. The opportunities are endless and language courses can be followed everywhere. Just Google for a bit and you will find yourself drowning in all the possibilities. At this point, most people give up and just let it be. However, I can tell you, when you really want to learn a language fast whilst still having a good time, traveling is the way to go!
The thing which is probably the most important part, is doing a bit of self-study. Just try to find some useful sentences that you might need with following your day-to-day life. This way, you will not go in completely unprepared. It is up to you how prepared you want to be; you can be fully prepared and just wanting to polish your language skills, or you can be a little bit prepared and put your mind open to the challenge to diving into the deep whilst learning a language!
Find yourself a learning buddy
Having yourself a trusty friend who you can rely on during your journey might be just the thing you need. Whenever traveling with a specific purpose – in this case learning a language – it might be too much to handle sometimes. When you find someone who shares your passion and wants to go on this amazing journey together, I guarantee that you will learn even faster! You can always practice your freshly learned skills with your friend, make as many mistakes as you possibly can, and laugh about it. Also, you know those times when you feel sad or lonely, and you just want a hug and someone to talk to? All you need is a friend! And to keep in the language-learning flow: try to talk about this in the language you are both trying to learn! I assure you that your worries and tears will be gone before you know it!
Surround yourself with locals
Whenever traveling with the intention of picking up the language, you should really surround yourself with the locals! The best thing to do is go to markets, parks, or the restaurants which are loved by people from around the area. I always had such a blast figuring out how different people communicate in different parts around the world. It will not only leave you amazed by all the different ways to speak with people, but it will also make a great way to start a conversation with someone you don’t know.
Try to avoid using your mother tongue at all times
This might be hard – and scary – at first, but once you get the hang of it, shopping in another language becomes a game! Just do it, trust me. You will pick up the way they speak and the useful sentences so easily when you are just paying attention. And always remember that it is never stupid to try to speak in another language. Most of the times, they will appreciate it that you are trying, and they will help you to get better.
Check the signs
“Checking signs?” you think? Yes! If you are walking down the street, just check the signs and try to translate them. At first, you might need to check your translator-app every now and then, but once you get the hang of it, it will become a habit and you will be able to translate everything you see. A thing that might really help you – it helped me out more times than I can remember – is to see where the sign belongs. Linking words with things makes it so much easier to translate.
Keep a journal
Last, but definitely not least, I can really recommend keeping a journal. It is fully up to you how you want to do this! The best way to learn is obviously writing in the language you are trying to learn, but I can imagine this might be hard at first. You can always start in your own language and evaluate your story after, and maybe try to translate it as much as you can! If you feel more comfortable to just write in your own language in general, you can keep a log to see how you have been developing your language skills! It is so eye-opening and refreshing to keep track of your progress. Imagine, being one month into your learning experience. You surely want to know if you have been making progress. Just check your log, and the results might blow you away! This will not only be a good reflection, but also an incredible confidence boost!
It doesn’t matter how long your journey lasts, I can assure you that you will feel like a different person afterwards – in a positive way, obviously! For me personally, when I went to Madrid for my internship and started learning Spanish, it was an eye-opening experience which boosted my confidence immensely. I also got to learn so much about myself as a human being and an individual in such a colorful and exciting world. You will feel like a better version of yourself. And only imagine the reaction of your friends at home when you share your story fully in the language you have obtained during your trip! Sounds great, right? Just go for it, and you will not regret it!
Written by Merel from StuDocu