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Is it Necessary to Learn the Language to Travel to a Foreign Country?

Should you learn the Language of your destination country before going out travelling?

If you are planning a vacation to a foreign country, it may be wise to learn a little about the native language of that country. Complete fluency in the language is not necessary for simply traveling to a foreign country, but knowing certain keywords has a positive correlation to safety when abroad. Plus, locals will be more welcoming and therefore  more willing to help you out if you need it. So before you get on the plane, make sure you have at least a basic understanding of the native language of the country you will be visiting.

There are a few specific words that you should know before traveling to a foreign country, no matter what country it is. It is important to know all of the basic pleasantries, such as “hello”, “goodbye”, “please”, “thank you”, and “do you speak English?” You should also keep in mind that speaking to a foreigner in their native language is polite after all, you are a visitor in their country. Imagine if a foreigner came to your country and started speaking to you in their native language, expecting you to know exactly what they are talking about.

It is smart to learn the words for “hotel”, “airport”, “taxi”, “police”, and “hospital” when traveling to a foreign country simply because of safety. You don’t want to get lost in some countries after dark, so it is always important to know exactly what you are doing and where you are going. In addition to learning the language, it is also important to do a little bit of research on the culture of the country that you will be traveling to. This will ensure that you fit into the new society as smoothly as possible. Natives of the country will be impressed by, and respectful of, a visitor who attempts to learn about their language and culture.

In conclusion, you should have at least a basic understanding of the native language when traveling to a foreign country. The more mastery you have over the language, though, the better. Not only will you ensure your own safety, you will also be traveling through the country as a respectful tourist which might very well open up new doors and experiences for you. If you have the time to become fluent in the language before traveling, do it. You will get so much more out of the experience if you are totally immersed in the language and culture when visiting a new land.

 

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