Many people think learning a foreign language is an impossible task. You should rise to the challenge. Here's why you should learn a foreign language before traveling :
1. You can connect with different people.
Plain and simple- knowing another language opens massive doors in terms of who in this world you are able to converse with. A main reason why you should learn a foreign language before traveling is because you are able to dive head-first into another culture that you weren’t able to before. You’re able to have genuine conversations with individuals who may have never spoken a word of English in their lives. Not many Americans have this opportunity- to see the world through the real sentiments of a foreigner- so get learning!
2. You are way more interesting of a person.
Americans typically are known for being monolingual so when you disprove this widespread stereotype abroad you immediately become exceedingly interesting. Did the table of attractive Spanish girls in the back corner notice you when you were just another American ordering a pitcher of sangria? Nope. Do they notice you now as you switch back and forth between Spanish with the bartender and English with your friends? You bet.
3. You get the full-scoop.
By connecting with the locals in their tongue you are in far better shape to get restaurant/bar/sight-seeing locations. If you ask a shop owner where the _____ is in English, her/she will respond in English and tell you to make a right and walk for 5 minutes. If you ask in Spanish, he/she will tell you to make a right and walk for 5 minutes…but that it’s really touristy and filled with smelly pick-pockets so that you should instead go see the _____ because it’s cooler and more of a hidden gem. Boom! Basically a local.
4. You travel more easily and enjoyably.
Have you ever stared blankly at a menu at an Italian restaurant wondering why they didn’t put the English translation right under the fancy long Italian dish names? Well, life doesn’t come with subtitles so you will enjoy traveling much more if you can speak a little bit of the target language. This will allow you to ask questions about a menu, get the most delicious food on the table in front of you and then ask the folks on the street where you can go to find the best gelato around for dessert. Speaking a language breaks down walls and makes your communication experience direct and more fruitful.
Are you convinced? Get out there and start learning a lanugage today!