More often than not, when we arrive in a new country, we tend to regret the fact that we didn’t take the time to learn some basics of the language before we got there. Or, perhaps, we have not master the language that it is not useful enough for us to use during our trip in that country. However, even if you only have a week or a month before your next trip, you still have time to learn some basics of that country’s local language. But this does not mean you will need to be a language genius in order to pick up the basics that fast.
We do have 4 steps to learn language for a trip :
Be Specific With Your Goal – One of the most common mistakes is that a lot of people take on too much at once. It’s not a bad dream having high goals of becoming fluent or even mastering a language, but if you’re going to use that language only for your travel trip, that goals will not going to help you right now. You need to identify what you will really need for your trip. Do not put a vague goal like “Learn Korean”. If you are planning to leave for South Korea in the next three months, say or even write something on your journal like “Basic Conversational in Korean in 3 Months”. That way, you will need to “force” yourself to learn that language in the estimated time.(image by Laureate International Universities)
Learn What You Will Use – Words and sentences to be used on a daily basis should be learnt above anything else. Since this will be for your trip, prepare to learn on how to start a conversation, introducing yourself, telling a location to a taxi driver, finding a place, ordering in a restaurant, sitting at a bar, etc. There are so many books and even apps where you can learn basic conversational in just a few months, especially for traveling purpose.
Learn The Whole Phrases – You will get excuse of not understanding the grammar of that language completely, given that you only have a short-time frame to learn it. Skip over the grammar studies but try to memorize a few selected sentences. You can also write a few sentences of your own by using the guidebooks before checking them if the sentences are correct. Google Translate will also be able to help you with this.
Practice Before You Fly – If there is a native speaker around, it is advisable to use the language before you will use it in that country. It’s a good thing that now there are websites like italki where you can get the chance of setting up a free exchange language studies or even pay a speaker of that language to teach you via the Internet. When you have someone talk to you, that person will be able to pinpoint your weaknesses and you can become better soon after.(image by gcsphotos)
Learning language is fun especially if you’re going to use it somewhere else. Traveling with the ability to speak in a local language will gain you more attention and even new friendship faster than you could ever imagine. When you’re speaking in a local language, automatically, the impression of your appreciating their culture and language will come to their minds. But if you make mistakes, always know that it is OKAY to make mistakes! No one can become fluent in just a few months. Well, at least you’ve tried.
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Feature image The Greatist