Whether it’s for work or just for fun, moving to another country is a great opportunity. It will make you grow up in many ways. But it can also be scary, especially if you don’t know the language of that country.
If you know a popular language like English you might be able to move around and communicate with some people. But if you really want to feel at home, it would be better if you learned the language.
Have you thought of all the experiences that you would gain from moving abroad if you learned the language?
5 Reasons Why Learning a Country’s Language is Important when Moving Abroad
1. Easier Communication
Let’s start with the most obvious reason why you should learn the language of your new country of residence. You’ll be able to communicate easier with the citizens.
In a brand-new country, you will need to ask for directions, or will want to greet your new neighbors. You need the language to do that. It will also be helpful to understand your new job or school assignments. And you’ll be able to present all of your ideas to your boss or teachers. If you don’t know the language, you might not be able to express all you want to say.
If you use your native language, you might find some people that speak it, but not everyone. You can mimic or use online translators to make yourself understood, but it’s not very practical. After a couple of months, you might become tired of communicating in that way. You are going to live there; a proper way of communicating with the locals is by actually speaking their language.
So, you need to learn it for both professional and social interactions.
2. Better Local Welcoming
People love when foreigners try to speak their language. Even if you’re not very fluent and make mistakes, if they see you’re trying, they’ll be happy to help you. Many locals love to help people learn their language. They can teach you new vocabulary and common phrases.
So don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as long as you’re trying. People will love your enthusiasm for learning their language.
3. Richer Cultural Experiences
When you live abroad you inevitably immerse yourself in a different culture, whether you try it or not. You will learn that people from other countries have other ways to do things. They have another education, another history, and other traditions.
Languages are part of a country’s culture. So, by learning a new language you will show respect for that culture and its people. But not only that, if you know the language, you’ll be able to speak with native people beyond asking for directions. You’ll be part of their conversations. Through communicating with native people, you’ll understand their culture.
You’ll learn which words and phrases are used in formal situations, and which aren’t. You’ll gain vocabulary to use with your boss and with your friends, which might be different. What is perceived as “good” in your country, culture, and language, might be the opposite in a new country.
Usually, when we travel abroad, we visit museums or popular places. When you move, you’re going to be living within this new culture. You will see places that tourists don’t often see, and that will give you another perspective of the country. That experience will be enriched if you know the language.
By exploring the country while speaking and reading the language, you’ll get to know how people lived in the past, and how they live now.
Knowing the culture will also enrich your knowledge of the new language. Especially since many countries speak the same language, but have differences in their vocabulary, idioms, and accents. For example, the word pen in Argentina is birome, and in Mexico it is pluma.
4. Greater Job Opportunities
If you moved because of a job, chances are you’re great at what you do. But in order to fully understand your duties, it would be better if you knew the language. And, it would really impress your boss and co-workers.
Even if your job is in your native language, knowing a second language is always a plus. The more skills you have, the higher the probability of getting a raise or a promotion. And knowing two or more languages is a valuable ability. Even if it’s the language of the country you’re living in, now you’ll have two languages in your curriculum. Just in case you ever want to move again or change your job. Besides, your company will value the effort you made to learn their native language.
And if you just moved for fun, knowing the language will help you find a great job.
5. Knowing the Vocabulary for Important Life Matters
Paying taxes, buying or renting a house, and being aware of your economy in order to have financial stability are essential procedures. Same as knowing your life insurance information in case of an emergency.
Your company might help you with some of these, but it’s always good to know where you stand in these areas. You need to know the vocabulary related to these serious fields so as not to get scammed or be lost. If you don’t learn your new country’s native language, you run the risk of missing out on important financial or governmental proceedings. And that can get you in trouble.
How to Learn the Language If You Already Live Abroad
If you are already living in a brand-new country, and have no clue about the language, you’re probably feeling terrified. It’s okay! There are still ways of learning it while living abroad. Here’s what you can do:
Language classes exist everywhere
And there are also special classes for expats that don’t know the country’s language. Just look for some on the Internet. Looking in schools and universities will help you since some of them might have these kinds of classes, but they focus a lot on academics and not on real, everyday conversation, so find a conversational teacher.
Start watching Netflix movies and series
You probably already do that to relax after the stress of moving outside your home country. The good news is that you are already living abroad. That means that your Netflix catalog probably changed, and now you have some national series and movies. If you want to watch something in another language, you also have the subtitles from the country you’re in. If you don’t have Netflix, just watch local TV. The visuals will help you understand what is happening.
Join foreigners and expatriates’ groups
You are not the only person that has chosen to move abroad, people do that all the time. To make the transition easier, people make Facebook groups to connect with other foreigners. You can join one and write down all your doubts about the language and the culture there. You will get an answer to your questions from people that have already gone through what you’re experiencing. It’ll help you feel more at home in your new country.
Be brave & Speak with the Natives
We know it’s scary, but the best way you’ll learn is by doing. So, if you have a co-worker or classmate that you already know a little bit, try to speak with him/her. At first, you can help yourself with an online translator, but little by little start forming your own sentences. They will probably help you out if they see you’re struggling. It’s okay to make mistakes; you’ll learn from them. Just make sure that the group is safe; don’t give any personal information.
Take Online Private Language Classes
Another thing you could do to complement the above is to take customized private language classes at TruFluency. It’s a great option, no matter if you are planning to move abroad or have already done so.
Our classes are all online, so even if you live abroad, there’s a class for you. We only hire native tutors who will help you understand the culture in addition to speaking the local language.
With TruFluency classes our focus is on making you speak in order to gain fluency. You’ll learn effectively within a safe environment, so don’t worry about making mistakes. Get started now and receive 20% off of your first month of private coaching lessons using coupon TF20!