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Learning a new language can be an exciting and enriching experience for travelers, providing a deeper understanding of the culture and people of a foreign land. However, mastering a new language comes at a cost and has challenges. We will discuss seven common mistakes travelers make when learning a new language that Lingomee.com experts highlighted and provide practical tips for avoiding them.
Common Mistakes Travelers Make when Learning a New Language
Not Being Patient
Learning a new language takes time, and patience is essential. Many travelers need to avoid expecting to learn a language quickly, which can lead to frustration and disappointment.
Understanding how you absorb information is critical in building patience. We have about seven learning styles. Among these are the visual style, where you retain information by viewing pictures, and the physical or Kinaesthetic, which is all about role-playing.
Understanding your study style will help you learn a new language quickly and plan your journey well.
Being Afraid to Make Mistakes
Making mistakes is a natural part of the language-learning process. Travelers who are afraid to make mistakes may miss out on valuable learning opportunities. They also get frustrated quickly, and the stress leads to language-learning burnout.
If this is you, start slow and focus on the language basics. Set realistic goals and ask for help from your language buddy and tutor. Remember to pause and look back and celebrate the milestones you have covered.
Focusing on Grammar Only
While it’s essential to understand the grammar of a language, focusing solely on it can be a mistake. When you meet someone foreign asking for directions in your local language, you understand even with their poor grammar. Unless you want to sit the CEFR exams, natives in the country you’re traveling to will understand you.
As a beginner, I worry not about learning vocabulary, idioms, and other colloquial expressions to communicate effectively in a new language. All these will come with time. The important thing is to focus on communicating a message.
Not Immersing Themselves in the Language
Immersing oneself in a language is an effective way to learn it. Language immersion is about surrounding yourself with as much language as possible to absorb the culture.
You can immerse yourself at home by finding an online tutor or app, E-meet people, practicing, engaging native speakers, and even changing the language setting of your phone. Travelers who immerse themselves may take advantage of valuable learning opportunities.
Not Adapting to Local Accents
Many languages have different accents depending on the region. Travelers who do not adapt to local accents may find it challenging to communicate effectively with locals.
How do you get to adapt to the local accent? Listening. Listening is one underrated skill that students find difficult.
No one fancies sitting down and listening, but there are many ways to actively listen and keep yourself engaged. Why not watch a movie or listen to a podcast in the language? Get an online video with subtitles and watch. You will find yourself in no time speaking with the accent of that language.
Relying Too Much on Translation Tools
While translation tools can be helpful, relying too much on them can cause significant miscommunication. Google Translate, for instance, may not understand the context and local slang. You will end up getting a different meaning. In addition, using translation tools does not guarantee the confidentiality of sensitive information because there is no place you sign an NDA with it.
If you need translation at some point in your travel, look for a professional human translator. They could also double up as tour guides. The solution, however, is to learn the language.
Not Practicing Enough
Learning a new language takes consistent practice. You can only grasp something new if you’re consistent. Do not let frustrations, anticipations, or competition bog you down. Choose a realistic schedule and dedicate yourself to practicing.
One way to be consistent is by showing up to your lessons, speaking up as much as possible, and setting the alarm to remind you to practice.
Learning a new language needs consistent practice, patience, and immersion. With these, you can effectively communicate with locals and enhance your travel experience.