Moving Checklist March 23, 2020

Breaking the Language Barrier – How to Do It and What Are the Benefits

By Eva Johnson

The chances are you already speak the second most spoken language in the world  – English, but breaking the language barrier when it comes to any other tongue can take some time

There are many ways you can go about this task. Start small, and don’t let yourself get frustrated; remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Being bilingual or trilingual has many benefits, not only when it comes to meeting new people and fitting into a new environment faster after moving abroad. It will also prove to be of big help if you’re moving to a certain country in search of work opportunities and can communicate with the locals in their own tongue.

Start With the Basics

When it comes to international moving, there is a high chance that you will be relocating to a place where English is not the official language. Gaining the ability to communicate in a foreign tongue takes some time, so you need to start with the basics and work your way up to becoming a fluent speaker.

Welcome Visual Methods of Communication

Visualization of words you are uttering can be a great way to speed up the learning process. Saying things out loud helps you to connect the concept with the spoken word. Everything from 3D models to educational cards can be a great learning resource. Throw in some colorful photos, and your brain will memorize it faster.

Gesturing Can Help

When it comes to learning new things, the brain remembers better when you apply some sort of physical activity while you’re at it. Gesturing can be a great way to remember and obtain information faster. Let’s say you are studying Germanic or Romance languages, and you are trying to remember the word “shoe.” Saying schuh or scarpa while pretending to put a shoe on will help you keep it in your memory.

Increase the Use of Technology

We live in the golden age of technology – use it to your advantage. Google Translate will become your best friend during the learning process. Its simple and basic design allows every user to just type the word and even listen to the natives pronounce it. Other tools, like Quest Visual, Linguee, Prompt, Bing Translator, and Thesaurus, are also free and can come in quite handy.

Speak Slowly and Think out Loud

Taking baby steps in the learning process means that you will be talking slowly in the beginning, at least until you get some practice. Just accept that it will take a while to form a sentence. Also, if you want to work on your accent, talk out loud. Hearing how the words sound will help you notice mistakes in pronunciation.

Be Realistic About Your Knowledge

When you start mastering a language, be honest with yourself about the knowledge you already possess. If you never had the chance to learn it before, don’t expect to be fluent in a month. Setting realistic goals will keep you inspired and on track during the learning process.

Start with basics and work your way up.

Hang Around Native Speakers

If you already picked one of the best places to live abroad and moved away, you will probably be surrounded by native speakers. Use that to your advantage and listen to them talk among themselves. Listen and try to pick up not only the accent but the slang as well. Also, having friends who are native speakers will be an excellent opportunity to practice.

Take Some School Classes

Taking classes can be a smart move, especially if you are packing and getting ready to relocate. Knowing that you need to reserve some time for going to school will keep you focused and on track. Classes can also improve your accent and grammar.

Make friends and take advantage of their knowledge.

It Takes Time for a Student to Become the Master

Gaining and mastering a new skill is a long process. Don’t get discouraged if it takes more than you planned.

Depending on the category, some languages you can conquer in a year. According to the Foreign Service Institute, the hardest languages to master for native English speakers are Arabic, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin, and it takes 88 weeks or 2200 hours of studying. French, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish take only 24 weeks to learn.

Learning French is easy for English-speaking people.

Stay Motivated: Learning a New Language Will Help You Excel in the Work Environment

When you finally collect all the documents needed to travel abroad and begin job hunting, you will see how speaking more than one language is a great advantage. Having a fulfilled life abroad and the chance to climb the career ladder will be more achievable and easier if you master the native languages.

Besides, some companies appreciate when employees show interest in getting to know everything about their new country and its customs and culture. If you ever feel discouraged or unmotivated, just remember all the advantages of this process.

Bosses will appreciate your interest in everything related to the country you chose as your home.

3 Additional Tips on Breaking the Language Barrier

According to certain definitions, almost half of the world’s population is bilingual. Becoming a part of that group of people shouldn’t be that hard, but it takes time and a lot of practice. Let’s go over some additional tips that have been proven useful in the process of studying.

Learn About the Local Culture

Every nation has a unique culture. Do your research, and you will figure out the character of people living in the country you are relocating to. When you figure out what makes them tick, it will be easier to form sentences the way natives do, with the same passion and vigor.

Turn to TV Shows, Music, and Magazines for Help

We all love music, movies, TV shows, and reading. Why not use those as resources when figuring out words, grammar, and syntagms? Music will help you master the pronunciation, while TV shows and magazines can be beneficial in remembering words and creating more complex sentences.

Accept the Fact That Making Mistakes Is Normal

When you start learning something, anything,  without any prior knowledge, know that mistakes are bound to happen. Nobody’s perfect. There will be problems with grammar, words you don’t understand, and how you should use them. Don’t take it too personally. When you feel frustrated, take a break. Remember where you made a mistake, and try not to repeat it. After all, trial and error is an excellent way of mastering any skill and breaking any barrier.

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