describe a time when you first talked in a foreign language

Describe A Time When You First Talked in A Foreign Language: IELTS Cue Card

Updated on 20 June, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

‘Describe a time when you first talked in a foreign language’ IELTS cue cards can start by adequately analyzing the topic and thinking of the perfect incident to pen down. Thereafter, write and speak clearly and concisely while explaining the situation in detail.

Describe an Incident When You Had to Talk in a Foreign Language For the First Time: Question 1

“A different language is a different vision of life.” 

The above quotation has always inspired me to know more about different cultures, explore new places, and interact with the locals. Being an Indian, I always felt privileged to grow up in a nation where language changes every 200 kilometers or so. 

Knowing the two most spoken languages in India, my mother tongue, Hindi, and also English, I was able to communicate with people during my travels with no hassles whatsoever. But, whenever I get a chance to visit another state, I try to pick up small cues and learn new words in the regional dialect. 

However, a couple of years back, I faced a situation where I felt a language gap significantly. While touring one of the southernmost towns in India, I decided to stop by the local artisans and collect some souvenirs. 

The shop had a wide range of handmade jewelry and decorative items like table lamps and wall clocks. Made with original wood, all the stuff looked quite exotic, and still, the shop wasn’t receiving enough footfall. So, I decided to chat with the owner about the number of tourists they receive daily. 

After picking up everything I wanted, I headed to the front counter and initiated the conversation in English. However, the man there did not understand a word I was saying. I tried using basic Malayalam phrases I learned from my guide to convey my appreciation for his art. Seeing my efforts, he invited me to have tea with his family. 

There, I tried using the same terms, picked up a few new ones, and even sought help from Google Translate. Undoubtedly, the conversation wasn’t clear, but I understood the emotions well. 

Tentative Band Score: 6

Word Count: 286

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Describe a Time When You First Talked in a Foreign Language

Do you Know a Foreign Language? If Yes, Where Did You First Use it to Converse With Another Person: Question 2

Growing up, I was pretty excited about the prospect of traveling to other countries and studying abroad. So, when I had the chance to study the 3rd language, first being Hindi and second being English,  in the sixth standard, I instantly jumped at the opportunity and picked French. 

Living in a small town, my school was the first one to introduce a European language into its curriculum. Needless to say, I was quite proud to learn about a whole new culture. When I first received the coursebooks and French-to-English dictionary from my school, I wasted no time waiting for the first lesson. 

Even though the syllabus included beginner-level terms, I could not get the pronunciation and grammar right. I marked all my questions and paid attention in the first class, and all that followed for the next three years. However, many times, keeping up with the course turned out to be quite challenging as my parents could not help me with my queries. Additionally, the complexity of language made it difficult for me to ace all the concepts. 

Considering my struggle with French, I sought help from the trainer during after-school hours. At last, I could pass the course and pick up basic conversational skills. 

After a few years, I decided to join a Facebook group with people from different countries. There, I had the opportunity to video call one of my friends, a native French girl. 

I initiated the conversation by saying, “Bonsoir, mon ami! Comment ça va?” which translates to “Good evening, my friend! How are you?” She was surprised to see me talk in French, and we discussed basic greetings and phrases. After learning more about her hometown, I bid goodbye and said: “à bientôt”, which translates to “talk to you soon.” 

Tentative Band Score: 6

Word Count: 295

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