3 Reasons To Learn Another Language Before You Travel

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In the past couple of months, I have written about tips on how to get you to afford travel, how to get the cheapest flights, and how to afford luxurious travel on a tight budget. But, all that should come with planning on learning a language before you travel. Learning a language has gotten much easier in the Age of Technology. We are no longer tied to only learning in classrooms unless you want to be. You can learn through apps on your phone like Babbel, or Duo Lingo. There are still group classes from schools like I mean, I know that I absorb lesson best this way but, if you are constantly on the go, that may not be a practical option. You can take audio or personalized online classes, like those from Language Trainers, makes a great compromise.

But knowing multiple languages, even though it’s commonplace everywhere else in the world, seems to be more scarce here. Or maybe it is not seen as a useful skill. Let me tell you the reasons why that is ridiculous.

Traveling is much easier and safer

I hate to think negatively but, an obvious reason to learn another language before you travel is safeguarding yourself from people looking to take advantage. This is applicable in any country. Getting around in a foreign country is much easier if you know, at least, the basic phrases. Tourist sometimes is synonymous to a gullible idiot when you are traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language and it’s very obvious. People are more hesitant to pull any scams if can at least put together a, ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ in their home tongue. Trying to learn those words gives the impression that you have respect for the country that you are visiting. And respectful travel is very important to me.

Dietary Restrictions and Allergies

If you have medical issues or a list of foods that you can’t eat for religious or ethical reasons, it just makes sense to be able to convey that to your server at a restaurant. If you only eat vegan, kosher or halal, knowing these phrases in multiple languages is priority one if you are strict about your special diet. There may not be a direct translation but, you may be able to use another phrase to get the idea across. If you happen to have a medical issue, wouldn’t you like to be able to communicate your medical history or allergies to medication that exacerbate the situation? I mean, personally, I would.

Navigation and directions will actually make sense.

You’ll be able to read the maps to your destination and road signs. You’ll understand left from right when a local is giving you the route to favorite restaurants. You won’t get lost taking the route from your train to the hotel. If you are lucky enough to have data on your phone, then easy peasy. Yes, you can write the name of your hotel on paper as well but, assuming that everyone has heard of your hotel is asking for a hassle. Why not make personal connections by trying to speak the local tongue, believe me, it will take you a lot farther to be able to say where you are from and reciprocate questions in the language of people around you.

picture by Erik Odiin on Unsplash Reasons why to learn a language before you travel

Have you ever thought about taking language courses to enrich your travel? How did it help you? Do you have any reasons to learn another language before you travel to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below, let’s keep the discussion going. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on social!

Reasons To Learn a language Before Traveling
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Until our next rendezvous…



9 thoughts on “3 Reasons To Learn Another Language Before You Travel

  1. I agree. I am an English speaking person from New Zealand/ Australia. I will never forget while travelling having to sit in the airport in Madrid in the middle of the night between connecting flights. I ordered black coffee, it was too strong and I tried to ask for a small jug of hot water. What an ordeal that was.

    1. Exactly, it would’ve been so much easier to just say that phrase in their language. And even if it wasn’t perfectly said, the person at the restaurant would’ve been impressed with you trying.

  2. I try to learn the basics of a language of the country I visit – being a native English (UK) speaker I learnt both French & German (and Latin) at school; my sons learn German & Spanish at school, so helping them with vocabulary and has helped me pick up the gist of the language; I learnt basic Russian at night school when I used to foster teenagers from Belarus following the Chernobyl disaster – words like shower & hurry up were very useful; and I have picked up very basic words and phrases in Swahili, Greek, Italian & Portuguese through holidays. Learning or recognising basic words such as Hello, Please, Thank You, Coffee (with milk/no milk/sugar) & various foodstuffs would makes life a lot easier when you travel. 😊

    1. Exactly, my point. It does make things simpler doesn’t it. You don’t have to be fluent but a couple of words go a long way.

  3. I have a hard time learning other languages, but since we’ve moved to Florida, my husband and I decided to learn Spanish. We’re using Duolingo, it’s slow going but worth it.

  4. Yes yes yes!!! I admit, the places I’ve traveled where English is less common are (so far) mostly just places where French or Spanish are spoken; I’m fluent in the former, and can get by in the latter. But I have had SUCH good experiences because of this, whether it’s fabric shopping with my mama in Mexico (yes, we actually plan suitcase space for all the yards of fabric we bring home from this amazing store we visit where no one speaks English!), or getting directions in Quebec (where I’ve lived, and where English is much less common outside the major cities), or even just ordering in a cafe in Paris, where (in my experience) you get a lot more respect if your French is intelligible.

  5. I find it very frustrating when I can’t speak a language and am always mad at myself for not learning, at least a few words, beforehand. I think this is a great idea.

What do you think? I would like to know.

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