It’s always a great idea to learn a new language when travelling to a new country. It helps you get acclimated with the local culture before you even go and makes it easier to get around and seek assistance from locals once you’re there.
Many people will try to learn a new language by taking a course or reading a book, but experienced captain Jako Hall says there are better ways. There are many fun ways you can learn a new language once you arrive in the country.
Here are seven valuable tips for improving your language skills while you are on vacation.
Tip #1. Be Social
Restaurant and bar staff are a very good place to start developing the transactional basics of any language. You also get to practice your “please” and “thank you’s” and your basic greetings.
Tip #2. Take a Class at a Library
Local libraries will often hold classes or workshops. This is a great place to practice your language skills, as they will be held in the local language.
Not only will the people there be very willing to work with you on language skills, but they’ll also help you learn some local dialect and lingo, too.
Tip #3. See a Movie
Watching movies in a foreign language can be a great way to learn new lingo. If you watch them at home, though, they will likely have subtitles.
Captain Jako Hall says you can remove this safety net by going to a local movie theatre. There, you can see regional movies in the local language without the subtitles, forcing you to follow along.
Tip #4. Get Your Hair Cut
The best way to dive headfirst into the local language is to go somewhere that people will be talking — a lot. And a hair salon or local barbershop is an excellent place for that.
You can enter and tell them that you’re a foreigner learning the language and see if you can practice your skills while you get your haircut. The hairdresser might find it a fun topic to talk about that is much different than what they’re used to.
Tip #5. Take a Walking Tour
A great way to learn about a new place is to take a guided walking tour. There are many options available in most major cities across the world.
Instead of opting for a walking tour in your language, opt for one in the local language. This will help you work on your language skills as you walk around on vacation. Many of these tours are free, too, which is a nice side benefit.
Tip #6. Go to Local Places
Many of the major cities in the world speak English. This can make it hard to learn the local language, as people often want to talk to you in English.
You can avoid this by staying away from the main places and venturing off the beaten path. Do your research and figure out where the locals go. Then, go there yourself. It’s a great way to experience local culture, too.
Tip #7. Visit a Coffee Shop
Another place where you can meet a lot of local people is at a small coffee shop. Go there for the experience, and relax and listen. Then, if you’re feeling up to it, approach some people and try talking to them in the local language.
About Captain Jako Hall
Captain Jako Hall is an experienced mariner and a former naval officer known for his strong work ethic and ability to lead and motivate crews. He pursued Maritime Studies at the University of Technology in Cape Town and has received the highest level of training in Navigation and Seamanship during his years in the Navy. After 13 distinguished years in the Navy, Jako joined the superyacht industry, following his passion for creating unique and exclusive experiences for high-net-worth clients. He’s managed multi-million euro projects that required attention to detail and efficiency and has a proven track record of operating at sea in remote and unsupported areas.