Today we would like to talk about the problems people meet moving to the foreign country without knowing the local languages.
Nowadays most of young people speak English and hope that it will help them to solve daily problems easily wherever they go. Unfortunately, it’s not always true. For example, according to the fresh research, about 56 percent of citizens of Slovakia can communicate in English. It´s rather high result for a non-English speaking county. In the other hand, every second or third person here will not understand you. Therefore, we have prepared for you a short list of unpleasant things you can face with if you do not speak the local language of the county you live in.
It´s hard to be yourself
Imagine you live in conditions where no one speaks you mother tongue. Your knowledge of the local language is too poor to share your experience or to explain your point of view. So, every time when someone asks you „Why do you think so? “, you can answer nothing more than „Because “. You might be the most intelligent and smart person they´ve ever met. You might have so much interesting and useful things to talk about. However, locals will see only a silent boring person who cannot even take part in discussion. Have you ever been in such an uncomfortable situation? It is quite hard to understand that the language barrier is killing your personality. When it happened to me, I understood that foreign languages let us to be ourselves. It’s more than only a communicative tool. It is how we show our personality to the world.
If you have moved to another country within the company, you may not face this problem. But as soon as you want to change your job, you will find out that the knowledge of the local language gives you more chances to get a better job. Even if you are perfect in several world used languages, it will help you to build contacts with natives (teammates or partners). If you are not, you will need the local language more than breathing. Of course, it is not as sad as it sounds, but without local languages, your opportunities will be more limited.
Language is not only about speaking. Each language or even a dialect shows us the culture of locals. It matters how the language sound. In addition, idioms will tell you about the soul of the Nation more than average travel blog. Do you know what it means when Slovak „has a hard bread “or when a woman „is both to a car and to a carriage “? On the other hand, for example, some languages can sound rude enough so you can decide that people are quarreling. Language will help you to interpret correctly not only what people are talking about but also to understand their emotions. Even if in your country these emotions are shown in the different way.
Integration of your children
Once I´ve met a young lady who just moved to Slovakia. She talked about her life and family. One thing that she told me impressed me so much, because I´ve never looked at the problem from this point of view. She had a small child so they were spending a lot of time visiting parks and playgrounds. Children do not make difference between foreigners or locals; they are just fond of palling and making friends. So Slovak children were glad to share their toys with a new foreign visitor of the playground. But that child didn’t know how to behave. Neither her mom did. That lady felt herself so awful about the fact that she cannot help her daughter to understand what others want from her. She even could not understand if someone wanted to hurt her child or just to play with her. That was her motivation to study Slovak hard.
Making friends basing on nationality
Many foreigners coming to a new country are first trying to find the community of the same foreigners to communicate. It is a good step, because more experienced ones can help you with an advice or show you popular places in a new town. Yeah, it helps us to make the integration to the new society softer. Then you might find out that all of your friends speak the same language as you, but think in a different way and like other things than you do. And if you are trying to find you soul mate, do not limit yourself with nationalities or languages. World is bigger than you can think.
In conclusion, I want to say that it is important to learn a local language quickly with specialists who are oriented towards this direction.
The article was prepared by the iCan Language School in Bratislava www.icanschool.eu