Venturing to study abroad in a new country is undoubtedly exciting. It opens you up to a whole new world of opportunities, academic prospects, new friends, cultural traditions, and much more. However, communicating properly is a prerequisite for getting the most out of your educational sojourn. Here comes the question- should you learn the local language before studying in certain countries? Let us take a closer look at several crucial aspects in this regard.
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Learning a Local Language- Ins and Outs
Agreed, learning a local language is quite challenging, particularly if it does not have any similarities with our native language. Coming to native languages, Chinese is possibly the highest-spoken language in the world, followed by Spanish and English. Other widely spoken languages include Portuguese, French, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Japanese, and Russian. Here are a few pointers that you should note with regard to learning a second language:
- Learning a second language means training our brains to think uniquely. Every global language has its own unique vocabulary, sound, and structural components.
- Initially, you can travel and get around if you can speak English. However, in countries where English is not the local language, you may have to learn the local language accordingly.
- Living abroad means that you can keep practicing what you learn instantly. This will help you understand the dialect and build your fluency. Moreover, connect with locals.
- You will feel closer to the local culture if you learn a second language of the country you are going to.
- You can start watching movies in local languages, take classes, use learning apps, and attend exchange-group sessions.
- It can offer you a professional edge. For example, knowing the German language will help you if you are looking for a PhD post in Germany, and having knowledge of the French language will help you if you are applying for a job in France.
How to Learn a New Language Swiftly
Here are a few strategies that will help you learn a new language faster:
- Gather online resources to start at your convenience. You will find several YouTube lessons, free sites, and language learning apps like Duolingo. Do this before you land in the country, and it will help you prepare for the actual experience.
- You can build your fluency later by taking classes while studying in the country.
- You should participate in language exchange clubs that are present at most universities and global cities. You can also use Tandem and other apps to find language pairs. This will not only help you practice better but also make new friends simultaneously.
- Listen to podcasts and watch videos before repeating the dialogues. Record yourself and compare the same with the original speeches. Listen to the language daily and ask your new friends to correct you. Do not be shy and talk about general topics more.
- While mastering pronunciation, do not worry about your accent. Remember that every individual has one.
- You should write down new words that you hear or learn. Look up their meanings in the dictionary and examples of pronunciation and usage
You can then start creating sentences accordingly.
The biggest and most important tip to remember is that you should immerse yourself in learning the language. Be patient, ask locals for help, and do not be embarrassed about making mistakes. The more films and shows you watch and audio you listen to, the more you learn and improve. You can also combine your language learning pursuit with a hobby you like. For instance, if you dance, you can watch dance lessons in the local language.
You should try and learn the local language before arriving in a new country for your education. Indubitably, learning the language will help you understand cultural traditions better. You can avoid slip-ups that may be considered disrespectful or out of line. Knowing the language means that you have invested time and effort into learning more about the local culture and traditions. Moreover, you can travel with more confidence and make new friends. This will broaden your network and help you build genuine connections. Local spots and landmarks will seem more enchanting once you understand the local language. So, on that note, if you are still wondering whether you should learn the local language before you venture to study abroad, the answer is a big Yes!
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