Planning on traveling to a country that doesn’t speak your native tongue? You don’t need to master a foreign language. But learning a language fast is easier than you think with little tips and tricks to speak common phrases. That bit of language learning goes a long way to make some very special travel memories.
Here are 7 reasons why language learning will make your trip even better!
1. It Helps You Feel Like You Belong
When you learn a bit of a foreign language, you can understand more of what’s being said around you. It’s liberating when you recognize words and can engage in a conversation with someone from a completely different background. And if you’re invited to join a group of locals, you’ll feel less like an outlier when you can participate in the conversation.
2. Learning the Language Helps You Understand The Culture Better
Learn a language fast and you will get an inside peek into the culture of the land you’re visiting. Whatever the foreign language, you will soon find out if there is a specific way to address elders (as is common in Asian cultures). Plus, you’ll be sure to find out what would be considered offensive and be able to avoid any misunderstandings.
3. Your Travels Will Be Easier When You Learn Some Of The Language
When you speak a foreign language, you can get around with less stress. You’ll be able to read signs and know where to go. At the very least, you’ll be able to tell locals where you are trying to go from where you are and they can help you get on the right bus or train.
Eating food you like becomes easier too when you can read a menu. Not all places you’ll go will have an English menu or photos to show you what’s what. It’s especially important if you have dietary concerns so learn a language fast to keep from exposing yourself to allergens.
4. You Can Bargain Better With A Bit Of The Language
Whether you hit a touristy market or one more off the beaten path, some vendors will take advantage of the fact that you’re not a local. But if you surprise them by speaking the language, you just might find yourself bargaining down to the local price. If not, you can do as the locals do and walk a little further to the next vendor who will likely give you the better price.
5. When You Can Speak With Locals, You’ll Make Friends
Particularly for solo travelers, making new friends is more difficult if you can’t communicate in a foreign language. Even language learning on a basic level can help you connect with others and make lasting friendships that will span across the miles once you return home.
6. It Opens Your Mind
Thousands of different languages are spoken across the world. What is native for you is not for someone else and vice versa. When you learn a foreign language, even if only in a basic sense, it shows you have an interest in a country and culture. Locals appreciate a traveler that makes an effort to speak to them in their language.
7. It’s Good For Your Cognitive Ability, Too
And finally, language learning helps challenge your brain and keep it younger. You’ll be far less likely to suffer from cognitive decline as you age by keeping your brain on its toes with a new foreign language.
When planning your trip, make sure and plan to learn some of the language. You’ll be glad you did.