Communication is the one of the most important aspects of travel, and learning a second language is a valuable asset when overseas. Studies show that the earlier you learn a language, the more it will stick, and the easier it is to learn more languages once you get older. This is why many people in the US are trying to get language programs introduced into more elementary schools. For many of us, it’s hard to master a language without being immersed in it, but it can be done, even as we grow older.
Speaking the Language of Locals
It’s never too late to learn a second language, and technology makes it significantly easier than ever before. Computer programs are now specifically designed to teach language, complete with voice recognition technology. Thanks to the internet, you can access pretty much any website in a variety of languages, to help find reading material. There are also many free online translation sites which can help if you out if you get stuck.
Once overseas, there are books and electronic pocket translators you can use that will make communication fast and easy. Brushing up on language may not seem like an important part of travel, but it’s something you will be glad you did once you are there. While English is spoken throughout most of Europe, it’s important to at least try to speak the native language. It shows respect and can often lead to new friendships and conversations. Many times travelers will find that when practicing a new language overseas, they often are told, “Don’t worry, I speak English,” before the conversation even begins.
In short, learning at least some of a foreign language will help you on your next vacation in Europe.