When we recently traveled to Quebec City, there were a couple of occasions that we would have been in difficult situations had an English-speaking person not been there to assist us. For instance, at Le Tier Temps, a restaurant that we dined at, the entire menu was in French! Thankfully, our server spoke English well enough that she was able to describe the dishes to us. I’m sure we aren’t alone when it comes to facing language barriers while traveling. Sure, we can use apps on our phones to help translate things, but this really only goes so far.
Unfortunately, neither Justin or I speak any second languages. We realize that while traveling abroad, communicating solely in English means that we might be missing out on many great, new experiences. We can only get a limited perspective of a new place if we are unable to talk to the locals and engage personally with their cultures. If you are planning on sticking to the hot tourist spots within a city, then knowing only English will probably be fine. However, being mono-lingual restricts communication with different people and limits your understanding of new places and cultures.
Knowing a foreign language isn’t just for some lucky or talented people. Nowadays, it is something that can be done by everyone and there are many resources out there to help you learn a foreign language. One of the best ways to practice a new language is to combine it with traveling. Not only will you be learning the language, but you will be able to fully immerse yourself in that language through everyday activities.
One agency specializing in such language trips is Sprachdirekt, who have just opened their English website. They specialize in “language holidays”, offering English, Spanish, French and Italian courses where you can not only choose the level and type of language course you wish to follow, but also choose from a wide range of activities offered by the language school. This way, you get the most out of your stay and get to practice the language at the same time. Sprachdirekt offers highly personable service and helps you through the process every step of the way. Whether you wish to do a beginner’s crash course or something more advanced, there are many language courses available in in fantastic destinations across the world, including England, Malta, the USA, France, Spain, Italy, South America or Oceania.
Perhaps Justin and I should consider attending a language course in the future so we can learn new ways of communicating as we slowly make our way around the world!