Thursday, September 25, 2008

Learn the language!

I often get asked for advice by people who are considering moving away from their home nation and living life as an expat. The first of my gems of wisdom is always regarding language and communication.

The single most beneficial thing you can do when living abroad is to make an effort to learn at least some of the local language. Some countries are easier than others for sure, but wherever you are, you will be received so much more openly if you are seen to be attempting to learn how to speak the language.

I cringe sometimes when I see other expats waving their arms around and shouting because they think this will enable the person they are trying to converse with to suddenly and miraculously be able to speak English!

Trying to learn the local language not only makes your life easier, but shows the local population that you respect their culture - give it a go!

1 comment:

JoJo said...

Hear, hear !

I've lived and worked in a number of countries, and made a lot of friends by learning the local language, to whatever degree. Plus, it's fun to learn other languages ! It really helps get into the local culture.