When I am visiting a foreign country, I get a kick out of acting like a local from the start. You know, the little things like ordering from the menu in the native tongue or getting a coffee and chatting with the barista. Basically, anything than looking like a tourist. I always try to have at least a few basic phrases on hand to feel comfortable and get to know the local people.
Lately, I am kind of smitten with Stockholm and Sweden in general. From what I’ve heard Swedish is a very interesting sounding language and I think about taking classes before I am heading north. Dutch is also on my list and something tells me it’s not too hard since it uses German and English elements as well. Growing up, I did learn French and Spanish in school and while I am still pretty good at understanding both, I can’t converse properly in either anymore.
Learning foreign languages is necessary, I think. It connects us all even more! When I backpacked through India, I learned just a few phrases before in Hindi, but they made such a difference, especially in the more rural areas. Locals were eager to talk to me and ask questions.
I loved this illustration about eight tricks for learning a new language. Have you seen it?
Many moons ago I wasn’t that comfortable talking or writing in English either. If you’d told me back then, that I might pen a blog one day in English, I surely would have called you crazy. But since living in New York City for a year, getting to read English books, and watching American movies without any German translation, it just caught up with me.
I still think the best way to learn a language and master its quirks and pronunciation is to go to the native country and talk until your mouth hurts!
Oh, and I did take this fun quiz via Buzzfeed. According to my choice of coffee and Brad Pitt movie (?!), I should take Arabic lessons. Interesting!