When you go abroad do you bother to learn the language?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
Since I might be going to Thailand for a few months I thought I might try and learn a bit of it - and found a few resources online but it sure is hard ..

I always thinks it's polite to learn the basics like please, thank you and to count to at least 10.

BTW this is one of the free resources I found

http://www.byki.com

Has some useful free downloadable flash cards for loads of languages.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I worked in Spain for...9 months all together and I really tried to learn the language while i was there. I found it quite hard though because literally everyone I worked with spoke English, so i didnt need to use spanish as much. Im alright with speaking it though, I find I can understand a lot more than I can speak, like I can understand what people are talking about I just dont know the correct grammar etc when I'm speaking.

    Think you're definitely right about learning the basics, its only polite.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find I can understand a lot more than I can speak, like I can understand what people are talking about I just dont know the correct grammar etc when I'm speaking.

    .

    Thats exactly what im like with french
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i've never lived abroad but it's nice to be able to get by on holiday, i know enough french, german and spanish to say hello, ask for directions, order a beer etc and it's generally appreciated by the locals....if you have 2 months you will pick up the basics i imagine, there's a language audiobook series called pimsleur that's really good to get you started before you go, and free if you know where to look...*cough torrent cough*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes.

    When I was 16 I moved to Austria, didn't speak a word of German when I got there but I got on really well with the language and my German is very good indeed these days (even if I do say so myself ;)). For a long time I was stuck in the rut of understanding everything but barely daring to say two words for fear of grammar problems or being laughed at. You have to force yourself really, and make the mistakes, if you want your speaking to improve. It can only really improve through... speaking :razz:

    It's extremely difficult to learn Swedish (and I had this to an extent with German, too) because the level and frequency of English being spoken here is very high. You have to force the native speakers to speak with you in their language, because they're always terribly keen to improve and practice their English. When I'm in Germany and Austria especially I talk to EVERYONE in German, even English people! When they reply in English regardless of your effort (how rude, though not a common trait of Germans, more of another nationality whose name I will not mention) I just continue replying to them in German until I've managed to bully them more than they were bullying me! At first I had to really force myself though, as it's soooo easy when everyone speaks/tries to speak English to you.

    If I was going to live somewhere (regardless of the length of time - three months or three years) I would definitely at least put the effort in. It's easiest to learn once you're there though, immersion is the best way! :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I always try to learn some basic words in their language because it's polite.

    Luckily I was a GCSE and A level German student, so my many visits to both of those countries (including living with 2 families for a while) gave me the perfect chance to practise what I'd learnt. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im a language student so am good with french and german and i definitely try to learn a bit everywhere i go. it drives me crazy being somewhere and not even being able to thank them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I try to, but it depends how long I am going there for. I learned the basics of Serb/Croat, which was very useful in Bosnia, where not that many people spoke English, but in Croatia they all replied to my attempts in English :(

    I feel a bit strange going to another country then going to order food in English, but sometimes, what can you do?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I try and learn the very basics (because I'm crap at languages) and despite having to listen to/see Dutch for nearly three weeks this year I can still only say two phases.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Generally not as I already speak the language before I go :D

    As a linguist (nominally at least), I do try to learn a bit, enough to get by and not look like a total fool. I generally find languages quite easy so learning enough to get by generally isn't too much trouble.
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