Did you know only of expats feel that they speak their host country’s language very well? Or that one in ten do not speak the local language at all? If you fit into either of these categories but are keen to learn the language of your new home, we have some suggestions that may help. Learning the local language will not only make living abroad easier, it could also improve your career.
Improves business relationships
Upgrades your personal network
Tips for learning a language as an expat
Start before you leave
Don’t put off learning the language of your destination country until you get there. Start before your assignment does. Try to have the basics for everyday life before you move. There are many ways to get started:
· watch YouTube videos
· complete a short course
· watch subtitled TV
This will help you get familiar with the sounds of a language which is a starting point for building fluency over time.
Use a language app
Ask your employer
Find a tutor or take formal lessons
There is nothing better than immersing yourself to improve your language skills. If possible, visit your destination country on holiday before you move. Choose a location where you can try out your language skills in a relaxed setting. There are bound to be misunderstandings and mispronunciations, but it is amazing how much your skills will improve over a couple of weeks speaking a language every day.
Practice, practice, practice
It goes without saying but the more practice you get, the faster you will become proficient at your chosen language. Take every opportunity to speak it. If you are learning a language that is commonly spoken like Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic, see if there are centres in your home city where you can visit and practice with native speakers.
Learning a language is just one of the things you need to consider when moving abroad. Don’t forget your physical health and wellbeing too with an international health insurance policy that will enable you to access the healthcare when and where you need it.