Relocating with your career? Here's 5 Tips for learning a foreign language.
Relocating internationally with your career is an exciting but a somewhat daunting prospect; moving away from your friends and family, your home country and it’s culture. This prospect can become even more overwhelming if the country, which will become your new home, is also home of another language.
International Consultant, Nicola Allan, who relocated to Madrid, gives her top 5 tips for learning a new language.
Do make the effort
In today’s interconnected world English has become the universal language and it’s not uncommon to travel to a foreign country and get by speaking only our mother tongue (of which we Brits are particularly guilty). However, for many moving abroad, whether on a secondment or making a permanent move, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Embrace it. Don’t rely on people to speak your language, make the effort.
Don’t be embarrassed
In todays interconnected world, multilingualism has become increasingly important. As a result of this, billions of people have gone through the process of learning another language. The biggest language hurdle I overcame was learning not to be embarrassed to speak in Spanish. Locals will appreciate you making the effort to speak their langue, even if it is not perfect. In fact, you will probably find they are more than willing to help you and give you a quick lesson.
Live with locals
Moving abroad will push you to the periphery of your comfort zone. But be brave when it comes to choosing your living situation. It can be strange to imagine living with people who speak another language. Forget fears such as “I don’t know how to say daily household words”. This is the best way to learn the language. You will be required to learn and you will be grateful you did. What’s more, you will benefit from your flatmates local knowledge: best restaurants, bars, customs…you name it, they know it.
Take advantage of tech
There are many free language learning apps; dictionaries, verb tables and word games. Take advantage of these. Forget a word, no problem. Look it up on your dictionary app and don’t let not knowing this make you revert back to speaking in your native language.
Make it Relevant
Don’t force yourself to read endless textbooks on grammar and vocabulary. Try to listen, watch or read things that you are interested in and then think about how you will use what you have learned in conversations. Listen to music, see if there is a TV series you like that has been dubbed into this language, read one of your favourite books which has been translated. This will make it more interesting to learn and you will pick up lots of everyday phrases.