The thought of moving overseas is often an exciting, invigorating one. But your courageous leap of packing up and journeying across the water certainly comes with its own set of anxieties and challenges. In fact, speaking and understanding foreign languages tend to be common intimidation factors; even experienced world travellers collide with communication barriers when in unfamiliar environments. Since you’ll be a resident of a new country, being prepared to engage with its native tongue will likely make your upcoming transition smooth, enjoyable, and fruitful.
Benefits of Learning Beforehand
Although immersing yourself in a different culture and soaking up another language via your conversations with locals all sounds rather dreamy, it’s probably safe to say that you’re better off with a proficient or even basic level of fluency upon arrival. When you’re met with the already overwhelming task of settling into your new space and community, you’ll be grateful you spent the time and energy studying everyday phrases prior to your big move. The chances are, with your attained “at home” mentality, you’ll make daily connections with neighbours and gain respect from native speakers for at least attempting to converse in their official language.
What’s more is you’ll be hireable. Employers are of course inclined to offer jobs to those who almost effortlessly receive verbal direction and take it upon themselves to seek help and clarity when needed. On the other hand, if you’re moving because of work, you’ll find that you’re an asset in the workplace if you know the mother tongue. Nobody likes feeling burdensome as workflow, business roles, and coworker relationships are taking root. Opportunity abounds when you can communicate with those around you. Otherwise, you’re fairly stationary in getting to know others and growing confident outside comfort zones.
It’s important to trust that you’ll continue to develop your foreign language skills as you live and work in your new home. Be encouraged by that, and keep it in mind as you dive into learning. Remember that you’re investing in your own initial health, safety, and success while embracing another language and educating yourself before you trek into unfamiliar territory.
15 Popular Countries & Languages
Here’s an alphabetical list of popular countries and corresponding foreign languages people must consider learning before moving overseas. Though English is spoken around the globe and even given preference in some exchanges and settings, you can’t guarantee it will always be the shared or most efficient means of communication.
- Belgium; Dutch & French
- Brazil; Portuguese
- China; Mandarin
- Costa Rica; Spanish
- Germany; German
- Israel; Hebrew
- Italy; Italian
- Japan; Japanese
- Malaysia; Malay
- Qatar; Arabic
- Russia; Russian
- Singapore; Malay, Mandarin & Tamil
- South Korea; Korean
- Thailand; Thai
- Turkey; Turkish
Helpful Mobile Translation Apps
Finally, here’s a brief list of the top mobile translation apps. Try them to see which works best and fits your needs and specific style of learning. Good luck with a new language and your move!
1. Google Translate: This is the most popular of all the foreign languages services. It constantly evolves and boasts the Word Lens feature, which interprets signs, symbols, and various texts in front of you.
2. iTranslate Voice 3: If voice-to-voice is appealing, this is the translation app for you. Speak into your phone, and the services will then translate your words and speak them back to you in the selected language.
3. TripLingo: This app dips beneath the surface of language into the realms of etiquette, slang, and custom. You can also test yourself within the app, as quizzes are available for practice.
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