How I Use my Language Skills When Traveling
November 27, 2013: When you get off your airplane in another country, it’s great to be able to speak the local language right away. Here is how I do that.
I study with our software one hour per day for at least eight weeks before I make a trip. Eight weeks is long enough to dust off old language skills or build new ones; and while longer is definitely better, in eight weeks you can learn a LOT.
The First Thing I Say Is . . .
When I get to passport control, the first thing I say when I hand the person my passport, is “I love your country.” Of course, I always say that in their language. This gets things off to a good start. It’s also the truth, because I don’t go places that I don’t love.
After that, every chance I get to speak the local language, I do. When people talk to me in English, I say in the local language, “I love your country, and I’m here to learn your language.” After that, I speak as little English as possible.
I Get Treated Better Than Most Travelers
This year I traveled to Mexico, Germany, and the Russian-speaking part of Ukraine, and people always love it when I try to talk their language. In Ukraine, the officials sent me through the very short Ukrainians-only passport line so I didn’t have to wait.
I’m not a super-genius at language learning; I have to work hard at it and repeat things many times in order to learn them. Fortunately our software makes that an efficient process, so that you can go from nothing to being conversant in 8 to 12 weeks.
Join me. It’s a LOT of fun!