Would You Learn A Minority Language For Travel?

Discussion in Travel started by kate23 • Feb 14, 2015.

  1. kate23

    kate23Active Member

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    If you planned to travel to and possibly live in a country for awhile, would you learn the language of the country? What if, for example, you would be living in Luxembourg or Iceland for a couple of years, would you learn Luxembourgism/Icelandic even though you could get along fine with French or German for Luxembourg and English for Iceland?
     
  2. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

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    It's always advisable to learn the language of a place you are visiting. For someone who travels solo, obviously you'll need to talk to people when making purchases, asking for directions [because you don't know your way around] and so on.

    So regardless of whether you intend to stay long in the country you are visiting for a short or a longer period of time, you need to at least learn the basics so you can at the very least . . . get by with the little you know.

    One of the first things I always learn is how to ask — "can you speak English" — in any language.
     
  3. Lushlala

    LushlalaWell-Known Member

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    Of course I would, it's always advisable to show willing. If you don't, the locals may view your lack of knowledge as being very arrogant and may not be willing to meet you halfway. I would learn the language and research about their culture and traditions. Locals tend to be more helpful towards people who show an interest in them, their language and culture. The French are very notorious for that. They'd rather you spoke broken French than nothing at all, for instance.
     
  4. Waynefire

    WaynefireActive Member

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    If I planned on living in the country for any amount of time or even traveling extensively in a country it would be smart to learn the language. Then you will not stick out as bad, but also can communicate with people which can make friendships.
     
  5. Squigly

    SquiglyActive Member

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    It would probably depend on the duration whereby you wish to stay in the country, and whether you'll be travelling alone or with a capable guide/interpreter. In any case it is probably good to learn a few essential phrases in case of any emergencies.
     
  6. Hedonologist

    HedonologistActive Member

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    I probably would, but I've always had a long interest in languages anyway. It's quite possible I might already know some of the language to a conversational level. I travel to Germany/The Netherlands quite a bit, and speak both conversational German and Dutch.
     
  7. Pat

    PatWell-Known Member

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    You would be more comfortable knowing the language where ever you are. Even if it you only have a simple command of the language it shows respect for the people of the area and you are able to communicate if there is an emergency.
     
  8. tipoywizard

    tipoywizardActive Member

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    Yeah I will. I think that is one of the best part of travelling you get to learn the language of the locals. It is somewhat important specially when you get lost or have an emergency while travelling you need to have even just a simple local language to communicate.
     
  9. Onionman

    OnionmanActive Member

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    I would do what would be practical and realistic. It would be nice to learn the languages, but realistically I'm not sure whether I would target a minority language that I would never use elsewhere. There's only so much time I think I would be willing to invest.
     
  10. goldenmaine

    goldenmaineActive Member

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    If I had this chance, I would definitely try to learn the language of the certain country I am travelling to or living in. As what the saying goes, “be like the Romans”, it is important to fit in and try to adapt to a certain place so that the people will be more comfortable in conversing with you and interacting with you. I would not want them to be the one having a hard time adjusting to me because I am the visitor, so I would be the one to adjust and learn their culture and language.
     
  11. rightct

    rightctActive Member

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    I remember that when I visited and stayed in China for about 5 days, I had learned essential questions and answers at home to be prepared for any eventuality that would have occured. It took me about 2 weeks to learn them, and I personally wouldn't advise anyone to bother learning it if they weren't interested in further learning this language, as it's very tedious and, in my case, quite unnecessary as I stayed there a only a short amount of time.
    However, if you were to stay there for a couple of months, I think you should definitely learn the respective language you seek, as you will find yourself quite often in a difficult situation and if you aren't able to evidentiate your ideas, you will undoubtedly feel ashamed.
    To conclude, learning the local language of the country you want to travel in varies, but I personally reckon that no matter if you were to stay there for a couple of days or months, you should still give it a try, it will only develop your general knowledge. :D
     
  12. May102014

    May102014Active Member

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    You should at least learn the very basic language of the country you are visiting like a simple greetings or asking for directions. I have a google translate installed in my phone, so I don't worry much about it. When I was in France while checking in at the hotel, I did try to speak French using the google translate. It did not went well as I did have a trouble with my pronunciation. Luckily, the receptionist knew how to speak English and it just made my day.
     
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbiActive Member

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    If I was planning to live there for any length of time then definitely, I think its also the polite thing to so to show that your making the effort.

    If it was just for a holiday then I'd just learn a few basic phrases but even then I might not use them. I've had experiences in the past when I've been on holiday and talking to the locals, they've said sometimes they'd rather people didn't try and learn it because it can be a slow and painful thing to listen to! They'd rather just communicate in English...
     
  14. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

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    The question is why wouldn't you? If you are going to live there, then you need to do it to be respectful and also to help your ease of living. Even if you're not good at languages, the effort is appreciated but the locals.
     
  15. xTinx

    xTinxWell-Known Member

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    The basics are enough but if you plan to stay for a considerable amount of time then learning up to the conversational or intermediate level would be more advantageous to you. Because you'll be staying for a long time in your country of choice, you can't avoid interacting with natives especially those who can't speak English.
     
  16. Aladar

    AladarWell-Known Member

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    Travelling and living is different. If I was travelling, then no. If I wanted to live there, even if only for a year, then yeah, I suppose I would have to.
     
  17. troutski

    troutskiWell-Known Member

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    I would at least learn the basics to get around a new country if I was going to stay there for even a few weeks. I'm not going to learn an entirely new language unless I'll be there long-term, and that hasn't happened yet, so I'm not worrying or thinking about it. I'd be willing to learn new languages, though.
     
  18. DrRipley

    DrRipleyExpert

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    I probably would try to learn some basics but if I'm just there for a few days and wouldn't be sticking around for long then I'd probably just stick to English unless it's frowned upon. I don't think it's too necessary if you're just touring for a bit and what small amount of discussion phrases you'd need you could probably just learn on the spot.
     
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