Traveling To Europe To Learn A New Language
Many Americans travel to Europe each year to learn a new language. Languages such as French, Portuguese, Spanish, German and Italian are often among the first choices for Americans, and there is no better place to pick these up than in Europe.There are also languages like Albanian and Slavic that are spoken by fewer people, but are no less enjoyable to learn and speak.
The romance languages include Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French and are spoken by well over one billion people worldwide. While these languages differ greatly, they also have a lot in common as well. Those who speak different romance languages can often understand each other reasonably well when they each speak in their native tongue, and so the learning curve is typically less steep when you are moving from one romance language to another. If, like many Americans, you speak Spanish as a first or second language, consider another romance language if you’d like to prioritize learning speed.
Many people imagine that they can travel to a country and they will be able to pick up the language very easily by communicating with the locals, but it’s much more difficult than it seems. Across many European countries people speak English very well, and therefore you might find it possible to get by only using English. Another problem is that exposure to a language is rarely enough to attain any reasonable degree of skill within a short period of time.
When you are learning a language, it’s typically better to visit the country a bit later on, after you’ve already grasped the fundamentals. Learning basic vocabulary and verb conjugations can usually be achieved relatively easily by attending a language school at home. Learning these things takes a while, and can just as easily be practiced at home.
When you understand the fundamentals, you are more likely to be able to put your language to use in the country you visit, and to be able to apply the skills you’ve already learned. If you have a vocabulary of around 100 words or so, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to converse much with the locals. Of course, saying “nice to meet you,” “hello,” and “thanks” can be rewarding enough, and native speakers often appreciate the effort.
If you are planning to visit a country for a period of 3–6 months, consider enrolling in a language school, while you are back at home. It will make your life much easier in the coming months. For example; you will be able shop more effectively if you know what you are buying.
When you are learning a language, practice is key. Expressing yourself is vital, even if you must resort to using imprecise vocabulary or incomplete sentences. In much the same way a child attains fluency in their native language, making mistakes is a huge part of the process. The more mistakes you make, the better you get over time.