What is a Language Barrier?
When planning a gap year or living overseas, it’s crucial to think about how you’ll stay in touch with family and friends back home. You may know the best and cheapest ways to stay in touch with friends and family back home, but have you thought about how you’ll get around when you travel to places where people might not speak your language? The beginning of a trip abroad is sometimes the most difficult. It’s not just the language barrier, but the cultural, climatic, and social differences that may prove to be the most daunting. If you’re having trouble communicating due to a language barrier, the following five suggestions may help you keep trying.
In order to get the most out of your time abroad, it is highly recommended that you make an effort to learn the local language. The only way to make new friends is to go out and do so. How do you plan to get around? How do you plan to shop, and how will you ask for directions? Don’t freak out just yet; following five suggestions will help you communicate better when traveling abroad.
Let’s get right to it; here are some ways to get beyond a language barrier:
1. Learning the basics never hurts.
Even if you only know the basics of a language, it shows that you are trying your best to be understood. The simplest way to show respect is to learn the basics of the language of the people you are visiting. In addition, it will provide you with the necessary sense of safety. Learn some basic phrases and words like “Thank you” (Terima Kasih), and “Excuse me” (Permisi). Learning some polite phrases in another language is never wasted time. It’s better to write things down so you don’t forget. Keep track of the new vocabulary and expressions you pick up during the day.
2. Get a language app so you can learn while you’re on the go.
Duolingo is the best smartphone program for learning a new language before traveling abroad, and it comes in handy especially in areas where English is not spoken as a primary or secondary language. Duolingo is a free software that makes learning a new language enjoyable. You can use it on a regular basis, and it will help you tremendously in expanding your vocabulary and improving your grammar.
You can also use it to learn French, Spanish, and Dutch and it is a very fun program with lessons, grading, assessment tests, in case you’re more advanced and need to skip a few levels, and “attendance”, activity records and reminders when you haven’t practiced in a while. The best aspect is that the Duolingo app provides English users with access to 27 different languages, including some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Duolingo can be used on the move thanks to mobile app versions for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
3. Bring a dictionary to help you learn new words.
Don’t leave home without a dictionary if you’re terrified of embarrassing yourself in public because you can’t remember a single word of your newly acquired language’s vocabulary. You may get books in stores and on the web that provide you with the English translations of words from your chosen language on one side, and the inverse on the other.
The Google Translate app for iPhone and Android is another free dictionary alternative. Please don’t try to use this to translate complete phrases or your language homework/important correspondence. There are the dangers of over-relying on translation, it can cause an international incident by accidentally entering an idiomatic expression that does not come over politely.
Keep talking even if some words are out of order or if you pronounce it differently and even if others ask you to repeat what you’ve said a few times. With more exercise, your skills will improve. Do not wait for perfection; even native speakers rarely use the grammar and pronunciation found in textbooks. Knowing all the slang and paraphrases in use today is an unending task. If you simply plunge in, you’ll find a method to express yourself, and if not, someone will come to your aid. It’s crucial that you not give up in frustration and try again, this time with your notes as floats.
5. Take advantage of local friendships and teach each other.
No matter how much time you spend studying a language in school or online, you will never become accustomed to hearing and understanding at natural speeds, much alone being able to respond in kind, until you actually use the language. It doesn’t matter which path you take; each one is a unique approach that will bring you into contact with people, places, and cultures in other parts of the world.
you can get to know the locals better by exchanging roles as language teachers with them. In most cases, the person also has an interest in learning English or practicing it, if they already know. Why not help one other out with our mutual interest in learning new idioms and vocabulary? How to negotiate with taxi drivers, shopkeepers, and street vendors, as well as the general hustle and bustle of daily life, will be covered in detail by the locals. You may make light of the inevitable discomfort caused by straight translations by sharing the “cool” English terms that are equal to the sentences you just learnt. This is a really enjoyable activity.
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a local and show enthusiasm for their language and culture. If you show interest in and enthusiasm for learning about their culture, they will see it as a sign of respect for their nation and will be happy to share it with you.
To what extent do you plan to learn the local language?
In addition to expanding your mind, learning a new language may also help you write better and maybe even increase your vocabulary, remember more, socialize with interesting people, broaden your horizons, increase your intelligence, and generally enhance your life.
What’s your preferred strategy for picking up a new tongue on the road? Do you plan to use a mobile app or commit to a full immersion program at a language school for a set period of time?