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If your first language is English, you’re lucky because it’s spoken in many parts of the globe. It can be found spread far and wide. Nevertheless, you can’t count on the fact that English is a dominant superpower. English will be fine in some places, but there are places where you’ll find it impossible to communicate. Consider learning a foreign language. Not only does it make getting around a lot easier but also to become integrated into the foreign culture. Take advantage of your road trip abroad to improve your fluency. Perhaps the following tips will come in handy.
Match your travel destinations based on the language you’d like to learn
First things first, decide what foreign language you’d like to learn. Some of the best languages to learn in 2021 are French, German, and Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin Chinese, in particular, is the most spoken language in the world. Mastering it could benefit your future career by expanding the pool of employment opportunities. China is the obvious choice, but it’s not the only one. You could travel to Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, or Tibet. The Mandarin dialect might seem hard to master. However, you can immediately reach practical proficiency if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
Spanish is a fantastic language and learning it comes with many advantages, but French shouldn’t be neglected. It’s the official language of about 29 countries around the world. You can enhance your travel experience by communicating with people at restaurants, hotels, museums, and so on. You have the chance to talk with locals from countries such as France, Monaco, Canada, Switzerland, and many African nations. Even if language is the main reason for traveling, take into account other aspects such as location, safety, cultural attractions, and the quality of the language.
Study on your own rather than enroll in a course
You could enroll in a course in your destination country, but it will take whatever time you have and make you regret your choice. You’re better off studying on your own, at your own pace. This way, you’ll get to see the different parts of the country. View language learning as an adventure, not a chore. You can use learning books, podcasts, and other similar material to improve your fluency. Don’t wait until your reach your destination. Get started learning on the airplane. These days, most educational resources are available in PDF format. You can save the materials on your mobile devices.
Make sure you have a dictionary, whether monolingual, bilingual, or illustrated. Look up words that you don’t know. The dictionary will provide a precise definition, examples of usage, and pronunciation tips. When visiting foreign parts of the world, it comes in handy to have a phrasebook. You can learn common phrases and, most importantly, how to pronounce them. Let’s not forget about grammar. You can get by with knowing some phrases and, if you have a fair understanding of the vocabulary, you can get many replies. Yet, it’s necessary to study grammar to properly speak a foreign language. If you want all your files in one place, use a tool like PDFChef by Movavi to merge them into a single PDF. In under a minute, you’ll have the combined PDF version. You can focus on each area of learning without wasting any time.
Try to stay away from tourist areas where everyone speaks your mother tongue
It’s likely to find English-speaking people in tourist areas and around. You see, countries are fully prepared to welcome tourists and many speak the English language fluently. English is the language of international communication, so having knowledge of English is paramount for those working in the tourism industry. If you want to get a good grasp of the language you’re currently learning, step aside from tourist areas. You should practice speaking the new language with ordinary people. Speaking is important only if you connect to the right people. Talk to someone. You’ll find it hard at first to understand what’s being said, but it will get easier with time.
Allow yourself to sit next to a foreigner at lunch or dinner and, if the rhythm of the conversation is too fast, just sit back and listen. With a little bit of perseverance, and a good dose of patience, you’ll make progress. Everybody likes to be addressed in their mother tongue, just to be clear. Even if you don’t have good language skills, you’ll be praised for your efforts. In Europe, for instance, people have experience learning foreign languages, so they’re able to appreciate the effort it takes. Tempting as it may be to switch to English, don’t do it.
Overcome the fear of making mistakes
Mistakes create a path for learning. More exactly, mistakes help us learn, so the memory retains the right information. No one is immune to making mistakes, needless to say. What is important is to learn from your mistakes and do better the next time. Unfortunately, many of us can’t get over our fear of making mistakes. What about you? Are you in the same situation? If the answer is yes, make an effort and get over your fear of public speaking. There’s no need to be perfect. You’ll never speak a foreign language fluently if you don’t try to speak it. The sooner you start talking, the better.
Don’t get discouraged if the conversation doesn’t go as planned. While some people are very understanding, others won’t be so patient and might not bother to understand your foreign accent. That shouldn’t stop you from trying to spark up a conversation next time. Visit places where your language of choice is spoken all day long. If you have enough time, consider volunteering for a noble cause.
All in all, traveling offers a great atmosphere for language learning. The lessons become more vivid and having fun makes learning a lot easier. You can make friends from all over the globe. If you can speak a foreign language, you can get out of the comfort zone and discover something amazing. While you’ll be isolated from your familiar surroundings, you’ll experience a new, exciting culture.